Omakase (お任せ?) is a Japanese phrase that means "It's up to you" (from Japanese 任す, entrust).


The expression is used at sushi restaurants to leave the selection to the chef. It differs from ordering à la carte.[1] The chef will generally present a series of plates, beginning with the lightest fare and proceeding to heaviest, richest dishes.[2] The phrase is not exclusive to service of raw fish with rice, and can incorporate grilling and simmering as well.[3] 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.[4] Ordering omakase can be a gamble; however, the customer typically receives the highest quality fish the restaurant currently has in stock at a price cheaper than if it was ordered à la carte[citation needed]. From the restaurant's perspective, a large number of customers ordering omakase can help in planning for food costs.[5]


  1. Corson, Trevor (2007). The Zen of Fish. New York, NY: HarperCollins. pp. 318–319. ISBN 978-0-06-088350-8. 
  2. Corson, p. 77.
  3. Corson, pp. 98, 113.
  4. Corson, pp. 102, 288.
  5. Issenberg, Sasha (2007). The Sushi Economy: Globalization and the Making of a Modern Delicacy. New York, NY: Gotham Books. p. 121. ISBN 978-1-592-40294-6. 


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