9 rules to follow in a Japanese restaurant
The rules of etiquette for Japanese cuisine go far beyond “not to put your elbows on the table.” What everyone is used to will look strange in a Japanese restaurant, and vice versa. This review contains the rules of behavior that you need to master,
to feel comfortable in a Japanese restaurant.
1. Do not pass food with chopsticks!
In Western and Slavic culture, it is not customary to hand each other with food, this is usually done with a fork. In Japanese, on the contrary, it is impossible to transfer food with chopsticks, since it reminds the Japanese of the rite of passing cremated bones between chopsticks at a funeral. To transfer food, you need to put a piece on a small plate and transfer it to her.
2. Do not drink alone!
In Japanese restaurants, as any sushi lover probably knows, they always offer sake and beer. But it is worth being attentive and not drinking alone. The rules of etiquette say that you must first fill all the glasses, and then one of the participants of the feast should say a toast or simply say “kanpai”, which means “we drink to the bottom” in Japanese, after which everyone drinks. There is also one piece of advice: the Japanese love to pour drinks to each other, so you should pour the interlocutor first and not be surprised if he is going to pour in response.
3. Do not rub sticks!
Many who, taking wooden disposable chopsticks out of paper packaging, break them and rub against each other to get rid of burrs. In Japan, this is considered an insult. This shows that the customer considers the chopsticks in the restaurant to be of poor quality. If suddenly there is a burr, then you just need to ask for a new pair of chopsticks.
4. Do not put chopsticks in rice!
It seems natural: if you need to “take a break from eating” to drink water or to talk with someone, you can stick chopsticks into rice. Never need to do that. Upright chopsticks in a bowl of rice in Japan can only be seen at a funeral (a bowl of rice with chopsticks stuck into it in front of the deceased’s coffin). Instead, put chopsticks directly in front of you, parallel to the edge of the table.
5. Do not put wasabi in soy sauce!
In good restaurants, the sushi chef himself puts the right amount of wasabi and soy sauce on the fish to ensure the perfect balance. However, if this is not done, then you need to dip nigiri or sushi in soy sauce (fish down so that the rice does not crumble), and then put wasabi on top.
6. Eat in the “right” order!
Probably, many do not know that there is a recommended order of use of sushi. For proper etiquette, you must first taste the white lean fish, and then go to a more saturated and fatty foods.
7. Use a wet towel properly!
In many restaurants, a wet towel is brought to the visitor immediately after he has sat down at the table. In no case can it be used to wipe the face or neck, even if it is very hot. The towel is intended exclusively for cleaning hands. Immediately after wiping hands, it should be folded and set aside. A wet towel is brought, because you are expected to eat with your hands, so you need to wipe your fingertips.
Everyone is used to chomping and smacking at the table – this is an extremely bad tone. In Japanese etiquette, the opposite is true. In fact, it is recommended to first drink the liquid miso soup from a plate (smacking it, as the Japanese believe that it helps to reveal the taste), and then eat the dressing with chopsticks. Another option is to bring the plate to your mouth, and rake the contents in your mouth with a spoon. Chefs believe that smacking is a sign of satisfaction, so do not be surprised how much noise will be in a restaurant.
9. Eat everything ordered!
If you do not finish your order and leave the food on a plate, it will look like a bad form. To be more precise, this is an insult to the chef, who did everything “perfect” and is also considered wasteful. You need to order only what you can eat. It is also assumed that while enjoying the food, the client will eat each piece of sushi.