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Makan Pantang


A cutlery set designed based on Chinese superstitions

Company :

Little Thoughts Group

Collaborator :

Photo credits :

Cause & Effect Studio

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Behind each of these utensils is a folktale passed down from parents to their children aiming to cultivate good meal etiquette.

This project was exhibited in the Singapore National Museum.

Eat all your rice!

Growing up, Chinese parents often remind their children to finish up every last grain of rice or each grain that remains equate to a pockmark on their future spouse’s face.

As one finishes their food, the face in the bowl serves as a subtle yet delightful reminder to not waste food.


How you hold your chopsticks reflects your dining etiquette.

Chopsticks need to be identical and one should never stick their chopsticks vertically in a rice bowl as it resembles the joss sticks used in Chinese funerals.

The Chinese also believe that the position of your fingers relative to the ends of the chopsticks indicates how far one needs to travel to find their future spouse.  

A vertically symmetrical form with a notch for fingers ensures that users will always use their chopsticks in the perfect position.

Fish Stand

There is a saying amongst old Chinese sailors to never flip the fish during a meal as this infers the capsizing of their boat, later translated to business belief of misfortune.

This plate is designed to hold the fish at a wedged angle; diners can thus eat both sides of the fish without having to flip it.

Taking visual cues from the Chinese junk boat, the curved profile of the plate holds the gravy while the perforated stand supports the fish, enabling steam to circulate.


It is considered ill-mannered to have your spoon sit facing down.

The spoon is designed to sit firmly upright with a deep cavity to hold your favourite food.


The napkin is a design based on the belief that shaking your leg during a meal will shake your wealth away.

The bell attached to the napkin serves as a not-so-subtle reminder to both the user and other diners, stopping one from shaking.