If you are new to Jeju or have never tried sushi before, have no fear. This page will give you provide you with proper sushi etiquitte to make you feel like a pro on your first experience.
Respect the Sushi Chefs
For the full sushi experience, you should sit at our sushi bar, where you can watch the Master Chefs prepare these artful delicacies. Remember though, these chefs have spent many years perfecting their craft and they are very proud of it. If the restaurant is not too busy, feel free to start up a conversation with the chefs. They are always willing to make suggestions on what to sushi to try, and if you're lucky, they might even slip you bite or two on the house. If you like the chef's sugestion, ask for another. There is a large variety of choices and variety is the spice of life.
The sushi chef is there to prepare and serve only sushi and sashimi. It is not the sushi chef's job to take drink orders or other food orders.
To Start With
You may want to start of with some sashimi, which is raw fish without rice. The fresh fish flavor, unmasked by rice or sauce, is a delight to the tastebuds.
If you so desire, you can start with a bowl of soup to wake up your taste buds! You can use your chopsticks to eat the solid food from your soup and then drink the broth from the bowl like you would a cup of tea.
Your meal may come with daikon (shredded white raddish) or gari (sliced ginger) which are meant to be eaten between bites of sushi. This will clense your palate and prepare you for your next bite of sushi.
When your sushi arrives, you will notice that it comes in small, artistic, bite-sized beauties. Pop the whole piece in your mouth. This is not considered rude at all. If you were to nibble on it, it would have a tendancy to fall apart and loose the intended consistency. If you must eat it in bites, it is poor etiquitte to place the uneaten remainder back on your plate. Once you have picked something up, you should eat all of it.
Use chopsticks to eat sashimi, but it is okay to eat sushi with your fingers.
If you enjoy dipping your sushi in sauce, you should dip the fish and not the rice part into the sauce. Dipping with the rice side down will cause the rice to fall apart and drop all over the table and you.
To enjoy the subtle flavors of the fish, place the sushi in your mouth with the fish side on your tongue. Try not to over do it with the sauce since the chef prepared your meal with intentional flavors for you to enjoy.
While in western society it may be considered romantic to offer your date a bite of your food off of your fork, eastern society finds it rude to pass food to others using your chopsticks. Sharing is done by passing the plate so that the other person can pick from the plate instead.
If you take food from a shared plate using chopsticks, use the back end of the chopsticks instead of the end that you eat from.
When You Finish
Try not to waste any food, as this is considered quite rude. When you are finished, place your chopsticks parallel to the sushi bar on top of your soy sauce dish. This is an indication that you are finished with your meal.
Your bill will be brought by a waiter or waitress as the sushi chef will not handle money. It is good practice to leave a gratuity after your meal. If you enjoyed your experience, you should let the chef know it!