Are you ready to conquer the all-you-can-eat sushi scene? Follow these tips, and you’ll be rolling like a pro in no time!
1. Plan ahead
Before you even step foot in the restaurant, there are a few things you can do to set yourself up for success.
First and foremost, come hungry! Don’t eat a big meal beforehand, or you’ll risk filling up before you even get a chance to try all the goodies.
Next, take a quick look at the menu online or call the restaurant to see what’s on offer. Be ready to explore many restaurants, like conveyor belt sushi, buffet-style dining, multi-cuisine and more. And the good thing is you can find AYCE sushi restaurants across the United States and worldwide. No matter where you live, there’s probably a great spot close to your home.
This way, you’ll know what to expect and can strategize your game plan. Don’t forget about your dietary restrictions; many restaurants have sushi made for dietary needs, such as vegan sushi and gluten-free options.
And before taking a seat, it’s always a good idea to inform your dietary restrictions at the restaurant beforehand. That way, they can make sure to have options available for you.
2. Pace yourself
One of the biggest mistakes people make at AYCE sushi is trying to cram onto their plate (or into their stomach) as much as possible. Not only is this a surefire way to ruin your appetite, but it’s also a waste of food (and money).
Instead, try to take it slow and steady. Start with a few pieces of sushi, then take a break to chat with your friends or grab a drink. This will help you pace yourself and enjoy the experience. Plus, it’ll allow you to try a wider variety of dishes.
Overeating, even if it is your favorite dish, can be wrong. So try to savor each bite, and you’ll be able to enjoy more dishes in the end.
3. Mix it up
You might find your new favorite dish! All-you-can-eat sushi is the perfect opportunity to try new things and expand your palate. Don’t be afraid to branch out and try something you’ve never had before.
That being said, mixing up the types of sushi you’re eating is also a good idea. Don’t just stick to rolls – try some sashimi or nigiri. And don’t forget about all the non-sushi options, like Tempura, Gyoza, Tonkatsu, and many more. Variety is the
4. Don’t be afraid to ask for recommendations
If you’re overwhelmed by all the choices, don’t hesitate to ask your server for recommendations. They’re the experts, after all! They can steer you towards some of the restaurant’s signature dishes or help you choose something based on your preferences.
5. Use your chopsticks wisely
Using chopsticks can be intimidating, especially if you’re not used to them. But don’t worry – with a bit of practice; you’ll be a pro in no time. Here are a few tips to help you out:
- Practice at home before you go out to eat. This will help you get the hang of things and boost your confidence.
- Hold the chopsticks like you would a pencil, with the bottom chopstick stationary and the top chopstick doing the moving.
- Use the pads of your fingers, not the tips, to grip the chopsticks.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for a fork if you’re struggling. No shame in that!
You can use your hand instead of chopsticks or a fork; it is the traditional way to pick up sushi in Japan. Just use your thumb and index finger to pinch the sushi, lift it a bit higher and dip it into the soy sauce.
6. Don’t over-soak your sushi
Soy sauce is essential to the sushi experience, but it’s important to use it sparingly. Soaking your sushi in soy sauce can mask the flavors of the fish and the rice and make the seaweed soggy.
Instead, try dipping the fish (not the rice) into the soy sauce, or use just a small amount on the side for dipping. This will allow you to enjoy all the flavors and textures of the sushi without overpowering them.
I recommend watching this video from VICE Asia; it will tell you how to dip your sushi. Or, if you want to taste an intimate experience of Japanese cuisine, try omakase in Edomae style; the chef will guide you through the perfect way to eat sushi.
7. Make sure to drink plenty of water
Sushi can be pretty salty, especially if you’re using a lot of soy sauce. That’s why drink plenty of water throughout your meal to stay hydrated. Not only will this help prevent bloating and discomfort, but it will also help flush out any excess sodium.
But don’t drink too much water as it will make you full faster and reduce your appetite. Moderation is key!
8. Leave room for dessert
Just because you’re stuffed full of sushi doesn’t mean the fun has to stop. Many all you can eat sushi restaurants also offer a selection of sweet treats to end your meal on a high note. Don’t fill up too much on savory items, or you’ll miss out on trying some delicious desserts.
9. Don’t overeat carbohydrate-rich items
Be aware of the types of food you’re eating, especially when it comes to carbs. Sushi usually has rice, which is carbohydrate-rich. If you’re full, don’t be tempted to keep eating; instead, focus on protein-rich items like sashimi and nigiri.
Carbohydrate is delicious, but overeating can lead to bloating and make you feel sluggish.
10. Consider the time of day
When you go out for all you can eat, sushi can make a big difference in your experience. Many restaurants offer discounted pricing for lunch or early dinner, which can be a great way to save money and still enjoy a hearty meal. Just be aware that the selection may be more limited during these times.
11. Dress comfortably
All you can eat sushi can be a bit of a marathon, especially if you’re planning on trying a wide variety of dishes. That’s why dress comfortably so you can focus on enjoying your meal.
Wear loose-fitting clothing, avoid anything too tight or constricting, and opt for shoes that are easy to slip on and off (you might need to take them off when sitting at a traditional Japanese-style table).
12. Don’t be afraid to ask for smaller portions
If you’re not a big eater or want to try a bit of everything, don’t be afraid to ask for smaller portions. Many all you can eat sushi restaurants will happily oblige and give you smaller pieces or half orders of certain items. This can be a great way to sample various dishes without overloading your plate (or your stomach).
13. You can go solo or with a group
All you can eat sushi is great for groups, but it’s also a fun activity to do solo. So don’t be afraid to try it on your own; you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy the food and take in the atmosphere.
And if you’re feeling adventurous or want to experience something new, try a sushi-making class. This can be a great way to learn more about Japanese cuisine and have a hands-on experience simultaneously.
14. Don’t forget to tip
Remember, your server is working hard to ensure you have a good time and that everything runs smoothly. A generous tip is an excellent way to show appreciation and support their hard work.
By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to conquering the all-you-can-eat sushi scene. Just remember to come hungry, pace yourself, and try new things. And most importantly, have fun!