有忌口吗? (yǒu jìkǒu ma?)

有忌口吗?
yǒu jìkǒu ma?
(Do you have any special dietary requests?)

René was having lunch with some foreign students in Wudaokou and after they had ordered some dishes, the waiter said:

有忌口吗?

There was a silence and then René not wanting to ask the waiter to repeat the question simply replied:

没有
('No')

The waiter then asked: “Would you like anything else” (还要别的吗?, hái yǒu biéde ma?)

忌口 means to avoid certain foods, but it is a very common expression used by restaurant staff when asking customers if there is any particular food or ingredients that one might be allergic to or might cause one to become ill.

One can reply to 有忌口吗? with 没有, but you can say the following depending on dietary needs or taste preferences:

1.别放味精
bié fàng wèijīng
No MSG

2. 别放鸡精
bié fàng jījīng
Don’t add (processed) chicken stock

3. 少放油
shǎo fàng yóu
Go easy on the oil
(lit: ‘less place oil’)

4. (我们)不吃辣的
wǒmen bùchī làde
We don’t eat spicy food‘

5. 我对…(有)过敏
wǒ duì...yǒu guòmǐn
I’m allergic to….

花生米
huāshēngmǐ
peanuts

茄子
qiézi
eggplant

西红柿
xīhóngshì
tomato

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