Translated by Lester Somera
How To Order Sushi - 6 Simple Japanese Phrases To Use At Restaurants!
Indulging in sushi is on everyone's must-do list when visiting Japan! This article teaches you handy phrases to help you order at restaurants with confidence and satisfy your cravings for this classic Japanese cuisine.
Written by Kobayashi
Let’s Enjoy Sushi!
Sushi probably comes to mind for most people when they think about Japanese cuisine. However, if you don’t know the names of sushi toppings (“neta” in Japanese) and if you don’t know how to order, going to a sushi restaurant could be stressful. This article introduces some simple Japanese phrases you can use to successfully satisfy your sushi cravings.
*For help with the pronunciation in brackets, read Japanese Pronunciation and Polite Speech.
Entering the Restaurant
1. “〇-nin desu.”
First, use this phrase tell restaurant employees how many people are in your party. Typically, you need to say this at the entrance. You can use this phrase when you go to all restaurants and cafes, so remember this!
These are the counter words for people. Note that the words for “one person” and “two people” look and sound different than other numbers.
One person - hitori [hitori]
Two people - futari [futari]
Three people - sannin [sannin]
Four people - yonin [yonin]
Five people -gonin [gonin]
“Party of one.”
“Party of two.”
“Party of four.”
Let’s Order Some Sushi
2. “〇〇〇, hitotsu kudasai.”
[〇〇〇 hitotsu kudasai]
You can place an order by filling in 〇〇〇 with your desired sushi topping.
“Maguro, hitotsu kudasai.”
[maguro hitotsu kudasai]
“One bluefin tuna, please.”
"Sa-mon, hitotsu kudasai."
[sa:mon hitotsu kudasai]
“One salmon, please.”
“Ebi, hitotsu kudasai.”
[ebi hitotsu kudasai]
“One shrimp, please.”
To learn more sushi vocabulary, see our our helpful guide.
3."Wasabi wa nuite kudasai."
“No wasabi, please.”
Wasabi is a unique condiment with a refreshing flavor and a pungent spiciness that tingles the nostrils. Adding some wasabi to sashimi or sushi is thought to eliminate fishy odors.
Sushi will often contain wasabi, but if you can’t handle the spice, ask the chef to make sushi without the wasabi.
4."Sumimasen, kore wa nan desu ka?"
[sumimasen korewa nandeska]
“Excuse me, what is this?”
If you see something on a menu or another customer eating something you don't recognize, use this phrase to ask about it.
Complimenting the Chef
Use this phrase if the sushi is to your liking! If you’re seated at the counter, the sushi chefs will be right in front of you. They’re sure to be pleased if you let them know what you think.
After Finishing Your Meal
This is the phrase you use to get the bill for your meal. This can be used at all restaurants and cafes as well, so remember it!
Here's a short review of what we've just introduced in this article. Can you remember which phrase answers the question (answers are at the end)?
Q1. What do you say to order salmon?
① "Oishii desu."
② "Sumimasen, kore wa nan desu ka?"
③ "Sa-mon, hitotsu kudasai."
Q2. What do you say to tell the staff that you’re a party of four?
① "Wasabi wa nuite kudasai."
② "Yonin desu."
③ "O-kaikei onegaishimasu."
How did you do? Be sure to use these phrases in this article and enjoy your sushi!
Answers to the quiz:
Q1: ③ Q2: ②