Maybe you’ve never thought about this before, but there is such thing as 'ordering etiquette' when you’re in a sushi bar. Your sushi experience can get so much better if you learn some sushi related dining etiquettes. Take our word for it and read on, you’ll understand what we mean once you’ll be done reading.
So, here’s what you need to know about the 'ordering etiquette' when visiting your favorite sushi bar:
- Be aware of the difference between different types of sushi
Sushi etiquette has to do with understanding what it is that you're actually going to eat. Therefore being aware of the types of sushi out there is kind of a must:
Nigiri: pieces of fish, shellfish, or fish roe over rice balls.
Maki-zushi: rolled in seaweed, sometimes just called "maki". These are large sushi rolls, made by hand. The filling is enclosed in nori-wrapped rice and can be known as nori maki. "Nori" means seaweed.
Futomaki-zushi: thick sushi rolls, using a full-sized sheet of nori spread with vinegared rice, fillings, and possibly a dab of wasabi. This one is a versatile form of sushi.
Hosomaki-zushi: thin sushi rolls using half a sheet of nori, less rice and only a single filling.
Inside-out California roll: the rice is on the outside and can be decorated with fish roe, sesame seeds or tempura flakes.
Molded sushi: this is made using a Japanese mold.
Temaki: hand rolls or cone sushi. This is shaped like a cone or a log. It is usually made by the person who is going to eat it.
Sashimi: sliced/chilled raw fish without rice.
Chirashi-zushi: "scattered sushi", sliced/chilled raw fish served like sashimi but over a bed of rice. A mixture of vegetables is also common. This is the simplest form of sushi to put together.
Wrapper sushi: sushi wrapped in something other than nori, such as tofu pouches (inari-zushi).
- Ask the chef what's good, and let him pick for you...
...This is especially relevant in case it's your first time eating sushi. This shows your respect for what he does, and maybe you'll get a good snack. As a compliment, in case you're in Japan, buy the chef a drink, like sake or beer.
Although approaching the sushi chef for recommendations is welcomed while dining at a table, it is always best to place your order with the server assigned to take care of your party, and this includes regular patrons too. However, in case you prefer to place your order with the chef personally, it is recommended that you sit at the sushi counter to avoid any confusion or delay with your order.
- Learn a few polite Japanese words and phrases
Keep in mind that in Japanese pronunciation, all syllables receive equal stress. Learn some phrases like:
Thank you: Arigato gozaimasu (ah-ree-gah-toh go-zah-ee-mahs) - this means "thank you very much".
Before eating, say "Itadakimasu!" (ee-tah-dah-kee-mahss) and when you're done, say "Gochisousama deshita!". This is what Japanese say before and after they eat.
When asking for a waiter/waitress say "Sumimasen" (su-mee-mah-sen). This is the equivalent of saying "excuse me".
Remember that if you're outside of Japan, the employees at the restaurant may not speak a word of Japanese, so make sure to use these phrases when you know they'll be understood.
- It's ok to put a small amount of wasabi on your sushi...
Also, it's fine to tell the chef (itamae-san) that you don't want any wasabi, as it will never be taken as an insult. Just use the phrase "wasabi nuki de". Some people just don't like wasabi, and the customer is king - or "god" as they say in Japanese: "okyaku-sama wa kami-sama desu."
So, here they are, four simple yet so important ordering tips when visiting a sushi bar.
We would love to hear about your first experiences in sushi bars, so please leave a comment and tell us.
Also, if you are interested to start your sushi experience with the best sushi in Miami, you can visit Hannya Restaurants sushi bar in Brickell.
To see the Menu from Hannya Restaurants, online, please visit: