If you have never had the pleasure of exploring a sushi menu before, you might be overwhelmed by the number of choices available, as well as some of the terminology used on the menu. For instance, you’ll want to know that Omakase is the practice of letting the chef choose your dish for you, placing your trust in their creativity and taste. This guide will take you through the finer details of the sushi menu so you can read it like a pro.
As mentioned above, ordering Omakase basically means you are leaving your night up to the chef. He can choose whatever ingredients he wants and create something unique. It is important to note that most chain restaurants do not have this option on their menus. It is usually reserved for experienced chefs of notoriety.
Nigiri is easily spotted on any sushi plate because the colorful fish sits atop a bed of rice. Nigiri is not usually wrapped in seaweed, but is skillfully presented so that the toppings create a strong visual impact. Usually, the toppings are raw, but not always.
Sashimi refers to the fish or shellfish when served alone. When you order sashimi, you will receive just the fish without any rice, toppings or extras. This gives you a more pronounced sense of each ingredient’s flavor, which may help you discover sushi rolls and nigiri that you will enjoy.
Now that we’ve defined the major types of sushi, we can compare the various types side by side. Remember, Sashimi is simply the meat portion of the meal, without any of the extras that fill out the dish. Nigiri features the meat upon a rice bed, but usually only features a couple of ingredients. Sushi, on the other hand, can be quite a broad description of fish or shellfish that is mixed with rice, vegetables, seaweed and other ingredients to create a roll or a cone. For instance, Maki and Uramaki rolls are what we see most often in supermarket displays because they can be made quickly and sold in bulk. However, once you’ve visited real sushi restaurants in Denver, you can see how much more variety is out there.
Matsuhisa Denver hopes that this beginner’s guide to the sushi menu gives you the confidence you need to expand your horizons and try new things. We invite you to visit us any day of the week. Take a walk on the wild side by ordering omakase, or try our Spicy Tuna with Crispy Rice.