Sushi Yasuda

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Traditions for Eating Sushi
There are no strict rules about how to eat sushi. However, there are a few customs that will enhance your experience. We invite you to experiment and have fun.
“Sushi Yasuda sets the standard in New York for the pure expression of sushi culture....
The restaurant takes pains to advise against overly liberal dousings of soy, wasabi or pickled ginger.
No better opportunity may exist to take, on its own terms, what sushi has to offer.”

– Anya von Bremzen, Travel + Leisure,"America's Best Sushi,” March 2001
Shoyu, Wasabi and Gari
Shoyu (soy sauce), ground wasabi (mountain-grown Japanese horseradish) and gari (pickled ginger, sharp and slightly sweet) are intended to be used in moderation. More than a touch of shoyu, for example, upsets the delicate balance of tastes. Also, avoid mixing the wasabi in the shoyu—allow the distinct flavors of the fish, rice and condiments to “meet each other” rather than blend. If you like, eat a small piece of gari to refresh your palate for the next kind of fish. Use the gari sparingly and do not put it on your sushi or sashimi, as it will wipe out the flavors of the rice and fish.

Traditionally, a sushi meal consists primarily of sushi (fish with rice). However, you may start with sashimi (fish without rice) to awaken your mouth to the pure flavors of the fish.

Begin your meal by cleaning your hands with the warm, moist oshibori (hand cloth). Pour a small amount of shoyu into your shoyu dish. If you like, take a little bit of wasabi between the tips of your chopsticks, and then pick up a single slice of fish. Dip only the edge of your sashimi into the shoyu and place the entire slice in your mouth to eat.
Between bites of sashimi, enjoy a bit of seaweed or tsuma (paper-thin ribbons of daikon—white radish). The daikon provides a refreshing, subtle peppery note.
“Yasuda's impeccable sushi is traditionally pure and pared down”
Time Out New York, Eating and Drinking 2004
When you are ready for a more rounded-out and classic taste, move on to sushi. For cleaning your fingers while eating sushi, a yubifuki (a finger-cloth made of sarashi—fine Japanese bleached cotton) will be provided.

Carefully pick up each piece of sushi with a finger and thumb (chopsticks are fine if you prefer) and place the entire piece in your mouth to eat. Place the rice side on your tongue for the best intersection of flavors, textures and aromas.

A delicate topping, such as a sheer coating of Yasuda’s special shoyu, is usually applied by the sushi chef. Therefore it is best to eat the sushi “straight” without adding extra shoyu. Maki—fish and rice rolled in nori (a thin sheet of dried seaweed, handmade in Japan exclusively for Yasuda)—will sometimes arrive without shoyu. You can dip the edge of the maki into the shoyu, applying a small amount as an accent.
Since wasabi is applied to the rice, it is usually not necessary to add more. However, if you want extra, pick up some wasabi with your fingers or chopsticks, and add it to the top of the fish.

To enjoy a sushi meal in the most relaxing and satisfying way, particularly at the sushi bar, we invite you to order omakase—which means “selected by the chef.”

You will be presented with a sequence of sushi—and sashimi if you wish—tailored to your tastes and the chef’s sense of an ideal meal based on the many varieties of fish and other ingredients at hand.

Simply tell your chef or server about your sushi preferences and appetite. Traditional omakase is not a prix fixe meal and it does not include appetizers, drinks or other dishes.

Sushi Yasuda welcomes you to try these customs and to enjoy your sushi experience!
“an initiation into the secrets of sushidom”
– Anya von Bremzen, Travel + Leisure, “America’s Best Sushi,” March 2001


204 East 43rd Street New York City 10017 tel 212.972.1001 fax 212.972.1717 tel 212.972.1001 204 East 43rd Street New York City 10017