In American English, the expression is used by patrons at sushi restaurants to leave the selection to the chef. It differs from ordering à la carte. The chef will generally present a series of plates, beginning with the lightest fare and proceeding to the heaviest dishes. The phrase is not exclusive to service of raw fish with rice, and can incorporate grilling, simmering, or other cooking techniques as well.
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. 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.
- Corson, Trevor (2007). The Zen of Fish. New York: HarperCollins. pp. 318–319. ISBN 978-0-06-088350-8.
- Corson, p. 77.
- Corson, pp. 98, 113.
- Corson, pp. 102, 288.
- 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.