3 Expressions to Order in Korean:
Expression #1: 주세요 “joo-sae-yo” (literally, “please give me”)
As in “Kimchi joo-sae-yo” (please give me Kimchi), or “Soju joo-sae-yo” (please give me Soju). This is your go-to phrase for ordering anything in Korean.
Expression #2: 저기요 “chuh-gee-yo” (literally, “over there”)
It may sound rude from the literal translation into English but this is what you say to get the waiter/waitress’ attention in Korean. Don’t be shy, just shout it out whenever you need anything.
Expression # 3: 잘 먹었습니다 “chal muh-guss-seumnida” (literally, “I ate well”)
Koreans don’t usually use the word for thank-you 감사합니다 “kamsa-hamnida” at the end of a meal. Instead, opt for this phrase whenever you want to let the waiter or owner of the restaurant know you enjoyed the food (or to thank someone after they’ve cooked for you or treated you to a meal).
5 Tips to Eat like a Korean:
Tip # 1: Order meat first, then rice and soup
If you want to eat Korean BBQ like a true Korean, order the meat first and then once you’ve had enough, order the rice and soup, usually a soy bean based soup called “Dwaen-jang-jjigae” (된장찌개). In Korea, it’s not considered a real meal without rice so save room!
Tip # 2: Make a Delicious Lettuce Meat Wrap
Grab a piece of BBQ, wrap it in lettuce, add some sauce/onion/garlic/kimchi (whatever you prefer) and enjoy in one tasty bite!
Tip # 3: Use Two Hands when Giving or Receiving
As a sign of respect, always use two hands whenever you’re giving or receiving something to Koreans. This is a general rule but it applies to meals especially when you’re pouring Soju for someone or if someone is pouring Soju for you. (Soju is the most popular alcoholic drink in Korea).
Tip # 4: Use Spoon for Rice
Unlike in Japan or China, Koreans don’t usually eat rice with chopsticks. Use your spoon for rice and soup and chopsticks for everything else.
Tip # 5: Don’t Pick Up Rice/Soup Bowl
This is another one where Korea differs from Japan and China. You probably wouldn’t want to pick up the soup bowl anyway because it usually comes in a boiling hot traditional bowl called a “ddukbaegi” (뚝배기).