When you order and eat sushi, it can be pretty intimidating. This is partially due to the fact that a significant amount of the menu is listed in Japanese. Let us walk you through some best sushi practices and etiquette, so that you don't risk accidentally offending one of the chefs!
But how do you know what you're doing if you're a first timer? These tips should help you navigate the menu and enjoy a delicious meal.
Lean On Your Server
If you can, sit at the bar or close to it so that you can see the sushi chef at work. This will give you an idea of what they are doing and how much care they put into the food. It also gives you the opportunity to ask questions if you have any.
The worst thing you could do when trying to pick the perfect sushi roll would be to not ask any questions and end up with something you don't love. Don't feel embarrassed if you don't know the difference between blue and yellowfin tuna. Chances are your server didn't before he or she started working at the restaurant. If you're feeling puzzled or overwhelmed by the menu, you can order "omakase" style, which means "I'll leave it to you." Your server can make some great suggestions as he or she is familiar with the food; they are going to know things like the texture and intensity of certain sushi rolls, which can really make or break your decision on whether you like it.
Don't Go Overboard When Ordering
You also don’t want to order everything at once, especially if you're new to sushi. Take time to really enjoy the few sushi rolls you ordered and evaluate their flavor and texture. Once you know how you feel about certain rolls, your server can recommend others similar to the ones you liked and avoid ones that might have a texture you don't care for.
Also, it never hurts to ask how you are supposed to eat something. You don't want to offend the chef by loading your sushi up with soy sauce or wasabi if it has not been served to you. Using too much soy sauce can overwhelm the flavors of the sushi, and there's a good chance the chef has already given it a light dusting of it. And remember, wasabi and ginger are traditionally served as palate cleansers, not as condiments!
Start Simple and Work Your Way Up
To obtain the best experience with Asian fusion, you want to make sure you choose sushi that works for you. If you’re a sushi novice, you may want to start with a California roll. This roll doesn’t include any raw fish and allows you to get used to the textures and flavors, as well as how to handle the roll. It is important that you start off slow because if you try the wrong sushi for your first time, it can cause you to give up entirely – and sushi is too good to omit from your life. Trust us!
From there, you can ease your way into raw fish, starting with something like a Tuna roll. You can then try some of the popular sushi items, such as a nigiri roll or an unagi roll.
Once you are a sushi expert, you may want to experiment with the favorite rolls on the menu. These chef specials are ones that you are going to want to eat as they are served. This means you won’t want to add sauces because the chef has created a perfect balance of flavors within the rolls. We recommend the Drunken eel roll or the Dynamite roll, which are popular GENKI specials.
When in doubt, you can always rely on the staff to guide you through the menu and help you with a selection that is going to appeal to your senses and ensure that you are satisfied with everything that you try.