Going to a nice sushi bar for the first time - tips?
Mar 14, 2008 at 3:39 AM Post #16 of 34

Originally Posted by jjcha /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I've never heard anything this silly in my life. Maybe here in the States, where sushi places are pretty crappy with the exception of a rare handful, some poser who thinks he's a sushi chef, serving you a crudely cut piece of defrosted tuna or salmon on a fistful of packet-seasoned rice, such a person might feign offense at being asked such a question. But I can't say I've ever ordered sushi at any of my old sushi bars in Tokyo without asking "honjitsu no osusume ha?" or just "kyo, sashimi ki ga suru, omakase".



If you have the experience, I trust what you say.
I'm just passing along what I remember learning.
Mar 14, 2008 at 6:25 AM Post #18 of 34

Originally Posted by XxATOLxX /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Make sure you try the sea urchin. (aka Uni)

Ugh, that's the one thing I would recommend against! Very acquired taste, don't order more than 1.

I would gladly recommend the Red Dragon (or simply Dragon Roll), it's one of the best I've had, readily available everywhere. Also recommend the Hamachi (Yellow Tail) and Unagi (BBQ Eel).

Chopsticks are easy to use and doesn't take long to learn. Little tip, if you're sharing, when you take wasabi, use the other ends of the sticks so you don't spread your saliva to the wasabi, just common courtesy.
Mar 14, 2008 at 7:19 AM Post #19 of 34
I thought sushi (except for chirashi sushi of course) was meant to be eaten by hand?

As for wasabi, the safe way is to not have any at all. Otherwise, just try a little bit on your sushi and see if you like it

Personally, i'm a huge fan of sushi and sashimi but absolutely hate wasabi.. Strange take away sushi with the wasabi inside the roll (or in between the fish and the rice in a nigiri) makes me want to stab someone
Mar 14, 2008 at 7:57 AM Post #20 of 34
i suddenly got hungry!

i have it quite often - eating with hands is no problem. maybe taking from a plate that other people are using with your hands isn't too good though.

do try as many types as you can, just to see where your flavour is.
Mar 14, 2008 at 8:09 AM Post #21 of 34

Originally Posted by jjcha /img/forum/go_quote.gif
But back to the original poster, here are a few tips.
I know none of this is really that useful given you're eating sushi in the States. I suppose all rules are off in such a case. Seriously, if I can sum it down, relax, eat with your hands if you suck with chopsticks, and don't dunk the rice in the soy sauce. that's all, otherwise enjoy.



jjcha has most of those things right. The ones I don't agree with are really the ones you can take or leave as you see fit. For instance, I don't eat with my hands, its just a personal choice. The wasabi stuff is spot on; don't mix it with the shoyu, don't ask for extra, don't ask them to take it off (Sometimes I break that rule tho) etc. The frozen fish thing is a bit of a misnomer as some of the best sushi chefs on the planet are now using frozen tuna and fish, but I will admit it's frozen at sea and then carefully controlled all the way to the resturant. Tsukiji in Tokyo is about the only place you can still find never been frozen sushi at a good price.

At a traditional sushi-ya I try to sit at the counter. The chefs are always good for conversation. Do ask "What's good that day?" and what the chef's favorite sushi is. In my experience most sushi chefs like otoro but it's not universal. And while I take all my sushi with wasabi, if the otoro is good I order it sabanuki and no chef has ever flipped out and refused to serve it or anything, especially after I have shown them considerable knowledge and respect throughout the meal.
Mar 14, 2008 at 8:19 AM Post #22 of 34
I'm by no means as experienced as some here, but I love a trip to the sushi bar.

For one, try to sit at the bar and chat with the chef. They're always friendly and make excellent suggestions for what to try.

Try anything. I was a little squeamish the first time I went years ago, but I got over that fast. I've enjoyed everything I've tried, so I'm always up for something new. Don't be afraid - if you generally like what you've had so far, you'll probably like new things, too. Try them.
Mar 14, 2008 at 10:59 AM Post #25 of 34
It is ok to eat with your hands if you are having a problem with the chopsticks. The trick is to remember that only the top chopstick moves, the bottom one is stationary.

Do not point to anything with your chopsticks.

Dont stab the food with them or use one in each hand.

Give everything a try. Some sushi has an odd texture.

To me, it is okay to dip the sushi in a bit of shoyu (soy sauce) . Don't drown it , you will lose the flavor.

I like to eat the tamago (egg) to clean my palette between different fish.

Do not stick your chopsticks vertically in a bowl of rice and leave them there. That is considered very rude.

Some chefs have a "trust me" menu where they serve you what they want. You get some really good/odd stuff that way.

The server may bring you a moist hand towel when you are seated. It is to wash your hands.

Beer is served in small glasses. It is respectful to pour the beer for your companions- it shows you enjoy their company. Use two hands with the label facing out. Let them pour your drink for you.

Usually the youngest female at the table pours tea for everyone.

Try the natto and the uni.

Order the green tea ice cream with azuki beans if they have it.

If you have any specific questions, PM me.

Let us know how much fun you have!
Mar 14, 2008 at 3:53 PM Post #26 of 34

Originally Posted by Computerpro3 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I was just hearing all these stories about etiquette and how you will offend the chef if you dip the sushi wrong, or eat with hands vs. chopsticks, etc

Just relax and enjoy. I'd much rather have dinner with someone who might have no clue about japanese food and culture but be willing to learn and try new things and be open minded. What I find annoying is posers and try-hards that think they know everything about Japanese culture after they watched some anime or the Last Samurai, and goes on about what you should do and what you shouldn't do and what a ninja or samurai would do, honour this disrespect that blah blah without even knowing if it's right or wrong. I call that an educated ignorance :p

Just have fun and forget about these rules. No one expect you to know these rules or know how to use chopsticks. I'd rather see someone enjoying their meal using their hands than someone who clearly can't use chopsticks, dropping stuff and splashing everyone with soy sauce.

Lunch time... funny, we are actually going for sushi.
Mar 14, 2008 at 6:13 PM Post #27 of 34
It's always been my experience to not let your eyes get bigger than your stomach with sushi. I've gone many times and eaten one-too-many pieces and felt "beached" for the next few hours. It's under my assumption that rice expands in the stomach. I've never left a sushi bar remotely hungry.

Have fun. Try getting a pair of chopsticks from a local restaurant and practice eating popcorn. You should find lots of sources on the net on how to hold chopsticks (if you are so inclined). Break a leg at the competition.

Mar 14, 2008 at 6:28 PM Post #28 of 34
Jjcha has pretty much every thing right. If you're sitting at the table instead of the bar, I'd move the sushi from the platter w/ chopstick to your own small dish (not the soy sauce dish) and then use your hands from there.

Also, if the sushi already has sauce on it (eel, ponzu, lemon/lime juice, etc) don't dip it in soy sauce again.
Mar 14, 2008 at 6:34 PM Post #29 of 34

Originally Posted by jjcha /img/forum/go_quote.gif
But back to the original poster, here are a few tips.

2. Do not dunk the rice side in your soy sauce. use your fingers, dip it upside down so you just get the soy sauce on the fish. do not let your sushi sit in your soy sauce bowl.
. . .




You don't want to flip that upside down . . . trust me

Btw, the USB jack doesn't usually come with the sushi
Sorry, this is the best pic I can find on a short notice.
Mar 14, 2008 at 6:35 PM Post #30 of 34

Originally Posted by nylan8301 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I've never left a sushi bar remotely hungry.

Obviously, your pockets are far deeper than mine! Any good sushi place around Chicago is going to be $40 a person to get really full!

There is only one place I have been where I have gotten stuffed on sushi... and it is an all you can eat sushi place near Belmont. If you do not finish all of your orders, there is a $5 per piece charge! (everything is Maki rolls) and even then the price is still $16 plus drinks, tax, gratuity, etc. It is good, but for some it is a lesson in glutanny!

Correction: In San Diego there is a hole in the wall sushi bar right next to the pier. It was delicious and super cheap ~$20 a person with drinks and everything. We figured it was gong to be very good since we saw a whole bunch of japanese people going in and when inside we were among the very few non-japanese. The server was very surprised at what we ordered, mostly the more obscure things (no spicy tuna or cali rolls!), and that we knew the proper way of doing everything. It was really rather funny that she expected something totally different ( BTW: It was my dad, brother and I this past summer).

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