What Is An Omakase Dinner?

                by Joost Nusselder | Updated:  December 23, 2020

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First, we need to start by answering this question. What is omakase?

Omakase is a Japanese word which means leaving another to choose what is best. In Japan, omakase is a methodically crafted dinner, which is prepared by a sushi chef. There are numerous reasons why many people have a great dining experience from omakase.

a chef is preparing a japanese dish

There is one thing that makes omakase completely different. Unlike in other restaurants, you can sit at the sushi bar, and then get an opportunity to interact with the sushi chef. Seeing the sushi chef showcase his or her skills can be an unforgettable experience.

The rice reshaping skills, smooth knife skills, as well as the blowtorch skills, create a majestic cooking presentation. In addition to this, the chefs also share interesting recommendations and stories, which make the dining experience more exciting.

Trust is vital when it comes to omakase

It is important to note that the essential thing when it comes to omakase dinner is trust. However, expressing your trust doesn’t mean that you don’t care what the sushi chef gives you. Rather, it tells the chef that you trust his or her judgment about the recipes he or she will use, what the chef knows about your taste, and the best courses they would give you at the moment.

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What’s main in omakase dinner?

Generally, there is no specific menu when it comes to omakase dinner. Even though the chef might have an idea of the freshest ingredients and what will taste good when combined, you will never get a specific list. Every omakase meal is personalized, to make it special and unforgettable.

If the sushi chef knows you well, then your menu can be a mixture of new dishes and your old favorites. However, your chef must have faith that you will enjoy your meal. If you have just met the chef for the first time, then it’s an opportunity for the chef to showcase his or her talent and skills. Besides, this also allows the chef to give you a unique experience of what they have to offer.

Complimenting your chef

Some people love sitting quietly around the table as they wait for the chef to deliver different meals. However, it should never be that way. If you trust your chef, then you should engage your chef in a conversation as he or she prepares your omakase dinner. This gives the chef an opportunity to learn more about you. The more the chef knows you, the better he or she can make your meals more personalized.

When you come into an end of your omakase dinner, don’t forget to give your chef a heartfelt and sincere thank you—they will always appreciate it. In addition, you can choose to share a cup of sake with your sushi chef. Your chef will appreciate this more than leaving a tip.

What are the important things that you need to know before trying an omakase dinner?

By now, I know that you are interested in trying out an omakase dinner, and you want to have that experience.

However, there are 6 things that you need to understand before visiting that restaurant. These things include:

What are the rules of omakase dinner?

a plate of sushi

There is something that you need to understand if it’s your first time to try out omakase dinner—in case you mess up, then you are not the first person to do so. However, it is important to make a great effort to “do as the Romans do,” or what the Japanese do. However, some things shouldn’t happen during an omakase dinner. These things are:

Also read: these are different noodle types you can use

How much does an omakase dinner cost?

The cost of a high-quality omakase dinner in Japan starts at around 10,000 Japanese yen. This can be converted to around $90. Omakase is not a cheap meal, and this price doesn’t include sake, wine, or any other drink, which can make the price to go a bit higher. It’s not a surprise to spend up to 30,000 Japanese yen or $270 per person in an omakase dinner. Therefore, if you are planning for the ultimate omakase experience, you should be ready to spend.

Bottom Line

An omakase dinner gives you the opportunity to enjoy sushi and also try out new things, some of which you have probably overlooked in your life. However, you should note that this might not be your meal of choice if you don’t like trying out new things. But, it can brighten your experience, especially if you love sushi and other satisfying meals that can be served during the dinner.

Also read: the best Teppanyaki restaurants in America

Ever had trouble finding Japanese recipes that were easy to make?

We now have "cooking Japanese with ease", our full recipe book and video course with step-by-step tutorials on your favorite recipes.

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.