Sushi Etiquette


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Eating sushi requires more skill than simply putting nigiri in your mouth and chewing. There are a number of things you should keep in mind when eating at a sushi restaurant, starting with how you use your chopsticks. There is a special etiquette involved in the experience, covering everything from asking the chef for the best cuts to eating rolls and sashimi. This video will show you all of the things you should never do in a sushi restaurant and gives you tips to the correct approach. You’ll look like a pro the next time you dine.

I’ve been eating sushi since 1997 and I’ve eaten at plenty of different restaurants in my time. During a dinner at Japonessa a couple of months ago, I received permission to create a sushi-eating etiquette video. The general manager sat down with me to help educate all of you.

It’s not necessarily asking the chef “what’s fresh today?” That’s an insult to a sushi master who fills his case each day with fresh fish. The better thing to ask is if he will cut from the best parts of the fish.

It’s not a smart thing to click your wooden chopsticks together. It’s pretty rude, actually. You should always approach things in a very delicate way. You don’t shovel food into your face. It’s okay to check your chopsticks for splinters. If you find one, delicately take it off and put it aside. Don’t try to bang it on the table or loudly rub the sticks together.

When sharing dishes, never pass your chopsticks to another person. You pass the food to their plate itself. Touching chopsticks is actually rude. Don’t pass things from one set to another!

When you sit down at a sushi bar, you want the experience. You shouldn’t order everything all at once as you would at a normal restaurant table. You need to put yourself in the chef’s hands. Order one thing at a time – really immerse yourself in the food before you.

When you enter the sushi bar, you need to realize this is the sushi chef’s home. Respect them and their craft. They have trained for many years. They aren’t a server nor a bus person. They are a master – literally.

The biggest piece of advice we have for diners is to just be polite and be prepared to have the experience of a lifetime. Enjoy yourself!

6 thoughts on “Sushi Etiquette”

      1. It’s what you say before starting a meal, like “Bon appetit” πŸ˜‰

        BTW you should not transfer food directly with chopsticks because that’s how bones were passed in ancient Japanese funerals, also not cross them as that’s related to death as well.

        Japanese culture is really interesting! πŸ™‚

  1. I stumbled upon Japonessa one evening a few months ago and have been in love with the restaurant ever since. They have great chefs (Billy & Will), fresh fish, great service (Logan), and comfortable settings. Don’t forget to try the Super Bad-Boy roll. Two thumbs up for Japonessa!

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