How To Enjoy A Sophisticated Meal In A London Sushi Restaurant

How To Enjoy A Sophisticated Meal In A London Sushi Restaurant

Whilst sushi delivery in London is arguably more popular now than it has ever been, it is true to say there is nothing quite like going out for a meal at a top notch sushi restaurant. Indeed, even though delivery sushi is without doubt a very convenient and supremely tasty way to round off an evening at home, eating nigiri and sashimi in front of the telly doesn’t have quite the same air of sophistication about it as enjoying a decadent sit-down meal in a nice restaurant.

Sadly, being sophisticated diners is not something us Brits are well known for these days. To be sure, Londoners staggering home with a kebab in hand are likely to outnumber sophisticated diners taking the evening air by a fairly large proportion on any night of the week.

So how does one go about being sophisticated, in a sushi London restaurant that is, these days? 

Well, it’s actually very simple. All a patron needs to do is respect the food which has been so diligently prepared and observe some basic dining etiquette .

Respect the food

The first – and possibly most important – thing to remember with regards to respecting the food is that the rice is just as important as the fish – don’t mess with the rice! Even though a piece of sushi may be small, it is very carefully constructed. If a diner takes the fish off the rice then they’re ignoring half of the components of the dish.

Another restaurant no-no is to mix wasabi and soy sauce together. This dilutes the flavour that the sushi chef has methodically ground out of the fresh wasabi thereby it effectively wastes his carefully-sourced product.

If a sushi dish comes already dressed with soy then diners should avoid adding more soy sauce to it. The chef takes a lot of time to create the perfect balance of flavours; adding more soy is akin to saying ‘I know more about sushi than you do’.

Diners should also ensure they never put ginger on top of their sushi or add it to their soy sauce. Ginger is provided to cleanse the palate not enhance flavour.

Observe dining etiquette

Whilst most diners enjoy the novelty of playing around with chopsticks, there are some do’s and don’t’s to observe when handling them in a sushi restaurant. The most important thing diners need to remember in this respect is to fold their chopstick sleeve into a triangle and then using that to rest their chopsticks on after each course (leaving them on the plate is considered bad manners).

Patrons should avoid getting up from the table for frivolous reasons during a meal. A good omakase (sushi tasting menu) is like a symphony; diners who walk out in the middle of it won’t be able to appreciate the offering as a whole. Bathroom breaks are fine; stepping out for a cigarette or phone call every ten minutes is not.

About the author – Bo Heamyan is infatuated with all things Japanese and loves nothing more than writing about the joys of eating really good sushi for leading companies like YouMeSushi.