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Sashimi or sliced raw fish/seafood (such as tuna or octopus) is best served with condiments such as shredded daikon radish or gingerroot, wasabi, and soy sauce. As it is served raw, only the freshest and highest quality fish should be used for sashimi.

Kaiseki Ryori

Kaiseki Ryori is considered the most exquisite culinary in Japan. The ingredients, preparation, setting and presentation come together to create a dining experience quite unlike any other. It started as an adjunct to the tea ceremony, mainly a vegetarian affair, and evolved to its most complex form at first-class Japanese restaurants today. Sake is drunk during the meal. Rice, on the other hand, is served at the end, as it is not customary to eat rice while drinking sake. Appetizers (sakizuke or otoshi), sashimi (sliced raw fish or tsukuri), suimono (clear soup), yakimono (grilled foods), mushimono (steamed foods), nimono (simmered foods), and aemono (dressed salad-like foods) are served first, followed by miso soup, tsukemono (pickles), rice, Japanese sweets, and fruits. Tea concludes the meal.


It is the aroma of grilled chicken that will lead one to a yakitori restaurant, most of which are located near train stations with a red lantern outside. Yakitori is a popular after-work meal, not so much of a feast but more of an accompaniment to sake or beer. The dish comprises of small pieces of chicken meat dipped in barbecue sauce, as well as liver and vegetables skewered on bamboo sticks and grilled to perfection over hot charcoals. Diners will be enticed to return for more, given the variety of yakitori to choose from.


Tonkatsu is a deep-fried breaded pork cutlet served with a special sauce. Often part of a set meal (tonkatsu teishoku), this is one dish that should not be missed. Diners also have the choice of asking for a fatter cut (rosu) or leaner cut (hire). Tonkatsu is served both at specialty restaurants and shokudo.

Soba/Udon - "Sssslurpppp…"

There are two types of Japanese noodles; soba, which are thin, brown, buckwheat noodles, and udon, thick, white, wheat noodles. These noodles are served either hot or cold. If served hot, the noodles are presented in a bowl containing a light broth. The 'cold version' comes on a bamboo screen with a cold broth for dipping the noodles. The most popular type of cold noodles is zaru soba, which is served with bits of seaweed (nori) sprinkled on top. A small plate of wasabi and sliced scallions accompany each noodle dish. These are dipped into a cup of broth followed by the noodles. At the end of the meal, hot broth is mixed with the leftover sauce, which is then drunk like a kind of tea. Last but not least, do slurp the broth as loudly as you please to signify the excellence of the meal!

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