- The dish of the day / daily special = what the restaurant is featuring
- set meal = the starter, main course and dessert are chosen by the restaurant (don’t say “menu”!)
- a la carte = where you choose what you want to eat from the menu
- What is ‘Wiener Schnitzel’ exactly?
- Is this dish vegetarian?
- What's in spaghetti carbonara?
- Can you tell me how this dish is prepared?
- It's a meat dish, garnished with parsley.
- It's topped with cheese.
- It's served with a side salad.
- Sauces can be cheesy (made with cheese), savoury (not sweet), creamy (smooth), spicy (made with chilli peppers) or delicate (a subtle, rather than strong taste).
- Desserts can be rich (very filling with a strong taste, like chocolate gateau), light (not heavy in taste or texture, like a sorbet), tangy (with a sharp taste of lemon or orange, like a lemon pie), or fruity (made with fruit, like trifle).
- Are you ready to order yet?
- Have you decided what you are having?
- Would you like anything to drink with your meal?
- Can I recommend the chef's special?
- We'd like a little longer, please.
- Could you give us a couple more minutes?
- We really can't decide. Can you advise us?
- I’ll have/take the schnitzel, please.
- I’d like the vegetarian dish of the day, please.
meat (or "red meat")
= lamb, pork or beef
poultry (or "white meat")
chicken, turkey, goose, duck
game ("wild" meat)
rabbit, hare, partridge, pheasant
salt water fish / sea fish or fresh water fish
prawns, shrimps, lobster, scallops, mussels, crab
leafy vegetables (such as broccoli or spinach), root vegetables (such as carrots and onions) etc.
stone fruit (such as plums and peaches); berry fruit (such as strawberries or raspberries) etc.
|boiled||cooked in boiling water|
|steamed||cooked over a saucepan of boiling water|
|fried / sautéed||cooked in oil in a frying pan|
|stir-fried||fried fast in hot oil|
|pan-fried||fried in a frying pan|
|roasted||cooked in oil in the oven|
|grilled||cooked under a grill or on a ridged pan|
|baked||cooked in the oven|
|stewed||cooked for a long time on a low heat|
starter / hors d'oeuvre / appetiser
the first thing you eat as part of a more formal meal
often a meat, fish or vegetarian dish
dessert / pudding
a sweet course at the end of the meal (you might also see cheese or fruit offered)
watch what you eat
be careful about what you eat, and the quantities you eat
watch your figure
refuse certain food because you want to stay slim
cut out certain foods altogether
stop eating bread or pasta, for example
cut down on
reduce the amount of (e.g. sugary foods)
eating no meat or fish
avoiding all animal foods
plant-based diet with occasional consumption of meat or fish
avoiding gluten, a protein found in wheat and similar grains
plant-base diet of natural, unprocessed and wholemeal foods
|put on / gain weight||become heavier|
|lose / shed weight||become lighter|
|have a sweet tooth||like eating sweet or sugary things like cakes, sweets or chocolate|
|eat sensibly||eat moderate quantities of food, and not over-indulding in unhealthy food|
|Braten, Röst-, Brat-||roast|
|gebacken (im Backrohr)||baked|
|aus biologischem Anbau ("bio")||organic|
|hartes Ei||hard-boiled egg|
|weiches Ei||soft-boiled / runny egg|
|Rührei, "Eierspeis"||scrambled eggs|
|Lachs||salmon ("l" is not pronounced!)|
|Paprika (grüner)||pepper (green)|
|Wiener Schnitzel vom Kalb mit Erdäpfelsalat||breaded veal cutlets with Viennese-style potato salad|
|Schweinsbraten mi Knödel und Krautsalat||roast pork with dumplings and cabbage salad|
|Tafelspitz mit Braterdäpfel und Apfelkren||prime boiled beef fillet with fried potatoes and horseradish sauce|
|Palatschinken mit Marmelade||pancakes with jam|
|Kaiserschmarrn mit Zwetschkenröster||"Emperor's Mess"; shredded, sweet pancake served with plum sauce|
|Marillenknödel mit Bröseln||apricot dumplings with buttered breadcrumbs|
|Sachertorte mit Schlag||classic chocolate cake served with whipped cream|
The German “Das Buffet ist eröffnet” does not exist in English. What you could say, though, is, “There are some refreshments waiting for you outside / next door / over there. Please help yourselves!” or something similar.
There is no phrase like the German “Mahlzeit” that people say when they start eating. If you like, though, you could say, “Enjoy your meal!” or use the French “Bon appétit!”
The German expression “ich lade dich ein” is not the same as the English “I’ll invite you” (this means “invite somebody to a place or event”). Instead, you should say, “This one is on me!” or “I’ll get this” or “my treat”. If you want to pay for your own meal only, you say, “Let’s split the bill, ok?”