When you visit a sushi bar, you're taking part in a tradition whose roots stretch back to 8th century Japan. Sushi's long history has led to the development of its own culture and etiquette. To make sure that you're following the rules, check in with a sushi expert. In addition to their banquet facilities and full-service catering, Natsunoya Tea House in Honolulu, HI, is home to an exceptional sushi bar, and offers the following tips for your visit.
Rules of Sushi Bar Etiquette
1. Engage with the Chef
When you come into the sushi bar, take a seat and make eye contact with the head chef or the closest junior chef. Good sushi is an art form, and the chefs work hard over many years to perfect it, so acknowledge their work. Ask what's fresh and pay attention to the process; this shows you care about what you're eating.
2. Order Matters
Get familiar with the various types of sushi so you'll know what order to eat them in. In general, sashimi (sliced fish without rice) comes first, then nigiri and maki rolls (sushi with rice), then miso soup. It's also important to use the pickled ginger appropriately; it's meant to cleanse your palate between dishes, not to be eaten with the sushi as a condiment.
3. Easy on the Sauce
Every piece of sushi is designed to be a single perfect bite that already contains all the soy and wasabi the chef intends, so give it a try first and appreciate the subtle flavors. If you must use soy sauce, use it sparingly, and dip your sushi fish-side-first to keep the rice from crumbling.
The next time you visit a sushi bar, keep these rules in mind to improve your experience and show your class. If you have questions, call Natsunoya Tea House at (808) 595-4488, or learn more about them online.