Two things about ordering food in restaurants in China take getting used to.
The first is that you order everything together. There is no real distinction between appetizer and the main dishes. You choose all that you want, order it, and it will arrive as it gets ready: do not expect appetizers to arrive first. We reconciled it with our Indian experience by thinking of a Gujarati thali, where again, everything arrives in any order whatever, and you can go back and forth. Exactly like that, in Chinese restaurants, the rice is more or less the end of the meal.
The second is when to pay. In some restaurants you get a bill at the end of the meal. In some, especially the smaller establishments, you order and pay and then find a table for yourself; only then should you even expect the food to arrive. There is also the third method: the food and the bill arrive together, and you pay before you begin to tuck in to the meal. We do see all three methods in India, the problem is that our expectation of which restaurant will use which method is wildly off.
That’s cultural differences for you.