A Beginner’s Guide to Choosing the Omakase Menu

Sushi’s global popularity is growing, with over 19,600 sushi-related businesses in the United States. As diners explore the rich culinary world of sushi, their tastes only become more sophisticated in terms of the types of sushi that they’re willing to try as well as the meal’s presentation. Hence the omakase menu has become very popular with adventurous sushi fans.

You may have heard the word “omakase” in passing, but there’s some misconception over what it means. It less describes a menu and more a personalized dining experience.

To grasp the essence of omakase, let’s look at how it differs from a la carte dining and what you can expect from your meal.

Omakase vs a la Carte

When most people think of sushi, they imagine ordering a la carte off of a menu. There’s usually a set menu and patrons can order any number of individual dishes as they so desire.

Omakase is sometimes thought of as a more upscale version of the a la carte menu, but that could hardly be further from the truth.

The term omakase comes from the phrase Omakase shimasu. Roughly translated, that means “I trust you, chef.” It describes a meal where the patron leaves the evening’s offerings up to the chef’s discretion.

Hence, it’s not a great option if you’re looking for sushi for picky eaters. Even seasoned sushi aficionados should go into the meal with the knowledge that they might not love every single dish they try.

By the same token, though, dining omakase is a great way to discover new favorites.

Each chef will have dishes preferred dishes of their own, often something that skews more traditional. Omakase menus might avoid the imitation crab found in many contemporary dishes in favor of more classical ingredients, for example.

What to Expect From the Omakase Menu

It’s important to know that omakase comes with a set of rules and etiquette that patrons are expected to observe. The meal will include a lot of interaction with the chef, so it behooves oneself to show the proper respect and be a good guest.

Second, you should expect it to be a long meal. Your first course will be a dish comprised of whatever fresh ingredients are available that day. The chef will then tailor the following courses to how you respond to that initial offering.

This takes takes time, but that’s hardly a bad thing. Think of it as an opportunity to learn more about the ingredients and the craft that goes into each dish.

Third, expect omakase to be more expensive than regular sushi prices. You’re paying not only for the meal, but for the chef’s time, attention, and expertise.

Enjoy the Finest Chef’s Choice Sushi

The omakase menu is for diners who want to expand their horizons. And for admirers of the craft, it grants a rare chance to enjoy one-on-one time with the chef. That experience can often be more enlightening than the meal itself.

Arranging an omakase dining experience is a sure way to elevate any event into something truly special. M Sushi Catering can provide that experience for events of any size. Contact us today to get started planning an elegant and unique event that your guests are certain to remember.