New answers tagged culture
Basically you can use it whenever you want to say enjoy the meal. Most common use is by waiters. In Chinese dining, dishes are served in turn, not all in one go. So waiters say 请慢用 every time they bring a new dish to your table, no just right before you start. Same applies if you are cooking for your guest. It is also used when you need to leave the party ...
The general principle is from top to bottom, from right to left, but the format can be very flexible. For a four-character seal, there are 6 ways to arrange the characters (see picture). Seal calligraphers normally pick the arrangement that is most aesthetically pleasing, depending on how the character is written & number of strokes per character, etc. ...
I think it's all about when you say it. If you say it before the person starts to eat, it's just a polite way to say "enjoy your food". If you say it when he/she already started, it could sound like you are correcting the way he/she eats.
慢 generally has positive connotations of being deliberate, such as 慢走, "walk slow", which is commonly said before someone departs.
Usually you would say "bon appetit" at the beginning of the meal. Same applies in Chinese: you can say either 慢慢吃 / 请慢用 / 请 / 慢用 The only time it might cause confusion is when you say it during the middle of the meal
It is a polite expression, not liable to cause offence, something like 'enjoy your meal'.
Top 50 recent answers are included