When you are dining at a Japanese restaurant, it is important to be aware of some mistakes that might cost you. Japanese cooking is very delicate and the slightest mistake could ruin your meal. Here are some of the most common mistakes made by people when they dine at Japanese restaurants.
Not ordering enough food
It’s a common mistake for many people who dine at Japanese restaurants. Most Japanese chefs serve their dishes in small portions so you will have to order more than you think you need. This is especially true if you order one dish such as sushi or sashimi. If you don’t feel like eating all the rice, vegetables and fish on your plate immediately, ask for extra portions from your chef. You can also ask them to bring out more servings of your favorite dish later on.
Another thing to remember when dining at a Japanese restaurant is the size of your chopsticks. Many Japanese restaurants use short chopsticks compared to the long ones used in Western countries. If you aren’t sure how big the chopsticks are, ask for assistance before you start eating. The same goes for the utensils used for serving the food. Make sure that your silverware matches the rest of your tableware.
Ordering the wrong type of food
Many people assume that the best way to eat at a Japanese restaurant is by ordering traditional Japanese food. While this may work well for those with an interest in Japanese cuisine, there are many other types of foods that you should know about and try when dining at a Japanese restaurant.
If you want to enjoy a wide variety of foods when dining at a Japanese restaurant, choose something that isn’t considered “traditional”. For example, you can try some different types of noodles and steamed buns and bread instead of rice.
Some popular choices include:
- Sushi (raw fish)
- Tempura (lightly battered seafood)
- Ramen (noodle soup)
- Udon (thick wheat noodle)
- Gyudon (beef meat served with onions)
- Zaru (mushroom stew)
- Miso soup (chunky soybean paste soup)
- Onigiri (rice ball)
- Yaki udon (steamed thick white noodles)
These items are just some of the options available at Japanese restaurants. There are literally hundreds of items that you can choose from. It is always a good idea to talk to your waiter or waitress first to make sure that you are ordering what you really want. After all, you wouldn’t want to end up with a bad taste in your mouth because you ordered the wrong item.
Making too much noise
Diners at Japanese restaurants shouldn’t expect a quiet dining experience. As soon as you sit down, you will hear the sound of knives chopping away and plates clinking together. Be prepared for the typical sounds associated with a Japanese restaurant. It is normal for diners to talk loudly while they are eating. However, it is still polite to keep your voice low at all times.
Falling asleep during dinner
You may not realize it but many Japanese restaurants offer free after-dinner coffee. While this is great for customers, it can get pretty boring for the wait staff. They would rather have customers go home happy and full than see them fall asleep during dinner.
If you are tired after a long day, it is best to leave the restaurant after you finish your meal. However, if you are hungry, you should stay until you are ready to depart. Remember that you’ll usually have to pay extra for a late check out. So, even though you may feel uncomfortable staying past closing time, it is always better to overpay than to risk ruining your appetite for the next day.
Ordering alcoholic drinks
While many people do enjoy drinking alcohol with their meals, you should avoid doing this when dining at a Japanese restaurant. Japanese cuisine is famous for its lack of heavy spices and strong flavors. If you drink alcohol with your meals, you may find that your tongue becomes irritated. Even worse, it is possible that you will develop a hangover after your meal.
Waiting too long at the bar
The last thing you want to happen when you visit a Japanese restaurant is to spend too long at the bar. You probably won’t even notice that you are waiting since there will be constant movement going on around you. In fact, many bars in Japan are open 24 hours a day.
However, it is best to only stay for 30 minutes at the most at the bar. If you order beer or sake, it is best to let it come to room temperature before you drink it. Otherwise, you run the risk of getting sick from drinking it straight from the tap.
Spending too little on food
There is nothing wrong with leaving a tip for the service staff at a Japanese restaurant, but you should make sure to leave a reasonable amount. It is customary for customers to leave 10% in tips for wait staff. But, this doesn’t mean that you have to leave 20% or more. Most service staff prefer it if customers give less money for tipping. A good rule of thumb is to always leave around 5% on average.