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Chatting With The Waiter

Ask questions of your ueta (oo-ehh-tahh; waiter) or uetoresu (oo-ehh-toh-reh-soo; waitress), or just chat with them about the food they served.

  • Kore wa nan desu ka. (koh-reh wah nahn deh-soo kah; What is this?)
  • Watashi wa ebi ga taberaremasen. (wah-tah-shee wah eh-bee gah tah-beh-rah-reh-mah-sehn; I can't eat shrimp.)
  • Kore wa yakete imasu ka. (koh-reh wah yah-keh-teh ee-mah-soo kah; Is it well done?)
  • Oishii desu ne. (oh-ee-sheee deh-soo neh; This is delicious, isn't it?)
  • Chotto hen na aji desu. (choh-toh hehn-nah ah-jee-deh-soo; It tastes sort of strange.)
  • Totemo oishikatta desu. (toh-teh-moh oh-ee-shee-kaht-tah deh-soo; That was very delicious!)
  • Omizu o kudasai. (oh-mee-zoo oh koo-dah-sah-ee; Water, please.)
  • Toire wa doko desu ka. (toh-ee-ree wah doh-koh deh-soo kah; Where is the bathroom?)

Paying for your meat

When you eat with your friends, do you warikan ni sum (wah-ree-kahn nee soo-roo; go Dutch), or does one person ogoru (oh-goh-roo; treat) everyone? How about when you eat with your boss? He or she probably pays, but it never hurts to say O-kanjo o onegaishi-masu (oh-kahn-johh oh oh-neh-gah-ee-shee-mah-soo; Check please), especially if you know that your boss won't let you pay.

The following phrases are handy when you pay for your meal:

You don't have to tip at any restaurant in Japan, but you still get very good service 99 percent of the time. For very expensive meals, the tip is automatically included in your bill as a sabisuryo (sahh-bee-soo-ryohh; service charge).

Most restaurants accept kurejitto kado (koo-reh-jeet-toh kahh-doh; credit cards), but many of them still only accept genkin (gehn-keen; cash). If you're not sure about a restaurant's policy, ask before you're seated.

Words to Know
okanjooh-kan-johhcheck, bill

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