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Omakase (Japanese: お任せ, Hepburn: o-makase) is a Japanese phrase that means "I'll leave it up to you" (from Japanese "to entrust" (任せる, makaseru)).[1]


The Japanese antonym for "omakase" is "okonomi," which means you are choosing what to order.[2] The chef will generally present a series of plates, beginning with the lightest fare and proceeding to the heaviest dishes.[3] The phrase is not exclusive to service of raw fish with rice, and can incorporate grilling, simmering, or other cooking techniques as well.[4] In American English, the expression is used by patrons at sushi restaurants to leave the selection to the chef, as opposed to ordering à la carte.[5]


Customers ordering omakase style expect the chef to be innovative and surprising in the selection of dishes, and the meal can be likened to an artistic performance by the chef.[6] Ordering omakase can be a gamble, but the customer typically receives the highest-quality fish available at a lower cost than if it had been ordered à la carte.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "お任せの英語・英訳 - 英和辞典・和英辞典 Weblio辞書" [Omakase English Translation - English-Japanese and Japanese-English Weblio Dictionary] (in Japanese). Weblio. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
  2. ^ "Omakase or Okonomi: How to Order Your Delicious Sushi?". Japan Info.
  3. ^ Corson (2007), p. 77.
  4. ^ Corson (2007), pp. 98, 113.
  5. ^ Corson, Trevor (2007). The Zen of Fish. New York: HarperCollins. pp. 318–9. ISBN 978-0-06-088350-8.
  6. ^ Corson (2007), pp. 102, 288.
  7. ^ Issenberg, Sasha (2007). The Sushi Economy: Globalization and the Making of a Modern Delicacy. New York: Gotham Books. p. 121. ISBN 978-1-59240-294-6.