About Sushi

Sushi Etiquette



18242 Imperial Hwy

Yorba Linda, CA 92886

(714) 524-9003



Email: Kaz@Kaz-Maguroya.com

Sushi Etiquette

The Setting
Regardless of the city or even the country, some things about sushi restaurants and bars do not change. Assuming that you are lucky enough not to have to wait, once you arrive at the establishment, the host or hostess will seat you. Once seated, you will notice several items in front of you. The most recognizable of these items are the hashi, or chopsticks. Unlike those in Chinese restaurants, most hashi are made from unpolished wood, so they can be a little rough. Your wooden hashi should be in one piece, and they will need to be split in two. At the right of your setting will be a small oblong ceramic saucer that is for the shoyu, or soy sauce. Wasabi is always provided to flavor your shoyu to taste.

The Dining Etiquette
While it is not expected that all westerners will be able to follow or even know all the rules to sushi dining etiquette, you should certainly try. Though a few faux pas may be overlooked in most western establishments, upscale restaurants or eastern sushi bars may not be so forgiving.

Some Guidelines to Remember

  • Never pass food to someone using chopsticks. If you must share food, pass them the plate so that they can pick from it instead.
  • If you take food from a shared plate (such as in the above situation), use the reverse ends of your chopsticks rather than the ends which go in your mouth.
  • Never bite into a piece of food and then replace the other half on your plate. Once you have picked something up you should eat all of it.
  • When not using your chopsticks, you should place them in front of you, parallel to the edge of the sushi bar, never place them directly on the bar.
  • Never leave rice after a meal. Leaving any kind of food is considered rude, but leaving rice is especially so.
  • Never expect the chef to handle money; another employee will settle the bill for you. People who handle the food never touch the money.
  • If drinking sake with another person, it is polite to be attentive to their needs, so you should fill their little tumbler (called ochoko) and they yours. Actually, this applies to all beverages.

The Eating
Most westerners eat sushi by dipping it rice-side-down into the soy, and let the soy soak up into the rice. Then they wonder why the sushi disintegrates on its way from the soy to their mouth, leaving little black flecks of soy-stained rice all over the bar and their clothing. Japanese people rarely have this problem, because they know that the purpose of the soy is not to flavour the rice, but the fish. As such, the sushi should be dipped rice-side-up in the soy and then carried to the mouth.

A Final Note
If you have ever wondered why sushi is so expensive, it is because sushi is neither made nor eaten quickly. Good sushi should seduce you with its texture as well as its flavour, and well-cut sushi such as toro should dissolve in your mouth in a sublime burst.

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