Understanding the true meaning of Omakase


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Do you know the meaning of the Japanese word Omakase spoken in restaurants of Sushi? In this article we will study in depth the history of this beautiful word and its participation in Japanese culture.

The word Omakase [お任せ] literally means “I leave it to your care”And it is a vote of confidence between the client and the chef who is responsible for choosing all the prepared recipes.

Let's say you regularly go to a local restaurant, the chef knows you and knows what you like. One day you walk in and say, “Surprise me! ”, Because you trust him.

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Entendendo o verdadeiro significado de omakase

The meaning of the word Omakase

The word Omakase comes from the verb makaseru [任せる] which means to trust. By saying that word you are entrusting your meal to the chef. The ideogram [任] gives the idea of responsibility, burden, duty, deadline, trust and task;

Saying Omakase is as if you are saying: Surprise me!

Omakase is believed to have origins in Kaiseki, which consists of meals prepared in an order and served one at a time with high class dishes. Simply put, it is basically a tasting menu.

A very popular and similar word is osusume [お勧め] which literally means recommendation, or suggestion from the house. You can ask the waiter what he recommends from the menu by saying the drink. Meanwhile Omakase is a deeper word that leaves full responsibility in the hands of the restaurant's chef.

Entendendo o verdadeiro significado de omakase

Be careful not to confuse with Omatase, which is also a word heard in restaurants, but it means sorry for making you wait. Often heard as omataseshimashita [お待たせしました].

This word can be used in any restaurant, it need not necessarily be a sushi restaurant. You can also use this word to leave your meal in the care of a friend and not necessarily to the local chef.

How to order an Omakase

Some restaurants offer the option of omakase [お任せ] with some variations in the amount of food. If you choose this option, you cannot make changes, but they will ask you what you can and cannot eat.

This does not work in fast-food restaurants or famous franchises. It is more common to order an omakase at traditional restaurants, where you meet the chef or cook. You can say: Omakase shimasu [お任せします].

Usually the cook will choose the ingredients of the season and prepare the dishes that he thinks are the best. It may not be your taste, if the chef is not aware of your personal tastes.

Entendendo o verdadeiro significado de omakase

Sometimes the Omakase it involves an extensive conversation with the chef, in which case you can expect a meal fully adapted to your taste. It can take a few hours, and sometimes it can be cheaper than the menu price.

To have a better restaurant experience, choose to choose a place at the counter near the chef to see how your meal is being prepared. Be prepared to eat things you are not used to, natto will appear in your meal.

It may be necessary to make a reservation at the restaurant. We recommend that you do not use perfumes to smell and smell the fish, and do not ask too many questions or hinder the chef. You can request a miso soup after the meal.

Where to find restaurants with Omakase

In Japan you can find restaurants that make Omakase for prices ranging from 50$ to 150$. In Brazil there are also several places and sushi restaurants that offer this tasting option.

If you search for Omakase on Google you will come across thousands of articles written by sushi restaurants. Most of the big sushi restaurants, mainly in São Paulo offer [お任せ] plans.

Entendendo o verdadeiro significado de omakase

Some popular places are Pub Kei, Kan Suke, By Koji, Jun Sakamoto, Hamatyo, Shin-zushi, Aizome, Aya Japanese Cuisine, Jiro, and Kinoshita.

If you are looking for a good Omakase, don't go to cheap restaurants or those in the wake. The art of Japan's tasting menu needs to be enjoyed at a counter with a view of the chef cutting the fish or grilling his food.

Differences between Omakase and Kaiseki

O kaiseki it has meticulous preparation and a beautiful presentation, it is considered one of the most expensive meals in Japan. kaiseki it was a simple banquet served to the monks at the tea ceremony, but it ended up becoming a sophisticated banquet.

Although we mention that Omakase originated from kaiseki, both are totally different things. While with a tasting menu, you entrust your meal to the chef, at kaiseki you make a super traditional formal dinner.

Entendendo o verdadeiro significado de omakase

Omakase is a universal and non-exclusive verb for meals, while kaiseki is a type of meal focused on local and seasonal foods with a unique way of preparing and serving customers.

[お任せ] allows you to taste almost anything the Chef wants, without worrying about ordering whole portions of certain dishes or menu.

Did you know Omakase? Have you had the opportunity to enjoy a meal made especially for you by the chef? What is your experience? If you liked the article, share and leave your comments!