Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
Asian Dining Rules: Essential Strategies for Eating Out at Japanese, Chinese, Southeast Asian, Korean, and Indian Restaurants Paperback – October 21, 2008
Top 20 lists in Books
View the top 20 best sellers of all time, the most reviewed books of all time and some of our editors' favorite picks. Learn more
“Read this book before eating at an Asian restaurant…you’ll be a step ahead” (Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto)
“With Shaw’s Dining Rules under your belt, you’ll be ordering like a regular.” (Martin Yan, cookbook author and host of the Yan Can Cook Show)
“What impresses me about Steven Shaw is not that he’s mastered Asian decorum, but that he’s mastered almost everything in the food world. Nobody should be that gifted. I’m twice his age, and I’m constantly learning from him.” (Alan Richman)
“Steven Shaw is the dining companion we all yearn for when eating unfamiliar foods in unfamiliar places: He is warm, wise, and goes out of his way to make us feel as informed (and well fed) as possible.” (James Oseland, editor-in-chief, Saveur, and author of Cradle of Flavor: Home Cooking from the Spice Islands of Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore)
“As you order the shrimp fried rice and General Tso’s chicken for the eight hundredth time, you eye the guests to your left. They have, apparently, seen a secret, far superior menu. Hungry reader, they read this book.” (Phoebe Damrosch, author of Service Included)
About the Author
Steven A. Shaw, aka "The Fat Guy," is the founder of the phenomenally successful eGullet website, a James Beard Award-winning food critic, and a contributor to Saveur, Crain's New York Business, and many other publications. He lives in New York City with his wife and son.
Top customer reviews
Shaw doesn't attempt to present a comprehensive guide to Asian eating in North America. Instead, he chooses what he thinks is useful, important, or interesting, especially to the person relatively inexperienced with Asian food. An Asian food aficionado may not get much out of "Asian Dining Rules", but the book does cover Japanese, Chinese, South Asian (Thai, Vietnamese, Cambodian), Korean, and Indian restaurants. If you're knowledgeable about one Asian cuisine, you still might benefit from some advice about another. There is no coverage of Indonesian restaurants, as there are too few of them to be of broad interest. Too bad, as vegetarians flock to them in Europe.
Each of the five sections dedicated to a different Asian nation or region includes some history of the cuisine in North America, description of the style of service in the restaurants and how best to navigate it, and advice for Beginners, Intermediate, and Advanced (experienced) diners. Shaw talks about specific foods, what they are and how to eat them. He doesn't usually say which items might be suitable for vegetarians or any other diet, but he provides enough information about ingredients that readers can figure out what they might, or would not, like to try. Interspersed throughout the book are interesting essays about specific restaurants and related topics, such as chopsticks or working conditions for deliverymen.
Shaw has a reputation for rejecting any notions that foods might be harmful to one's health. Along those lines, "Asian Dining Rules" tries to convince readers that there is no significant risk in pregnant women eating raw fish and that adverse reactions to MSG are imaginary. He ignores studies that have found unacceptably high bacteria levels in most fish on the market and doesn't seem to understand that the risk is to the fetus, not the mother. MSG is a neurotoxin whose long-term effects are hotly debated. But there is no neurologist who doesn't acknowledge that it causes everything from dizziness to panic attacks in sensitive individuals. I found Shaw's willful ignorance obnoxious.
But Steven Shaw's love of Asian food and adventurous spirit are infectious. "Asian Dining Rules" made me want to try some cuisines that did not appeal to me before. It alleviates the intimidation factor in Asian dining and encourages the timid or inexperienced to get out there and try the enormous variety of Asian food. While you do generally get better food at more expensive restaurants, Shaw covers all strata of restaurants in "Asian Dining Rules" and gives advice on how to get better food out of relatively inexpensive establishments. The book is very readable and a useful guide for those who might like more adventure in their dining but don't know where to start.
Most recent customer reviews
I thought it a patronizing, self-indulgent ramble by an egocentric buffoon, the likes of...Read more