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Ordering In Restaurant


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How do you order in a restaurant? Do you carefully go over the menyu (meh-nyooo; menu), or do you look to see what other people are eating? Do you ask the ueta (oo-ehh-tahh; waiter) or uetoresu (oo-ehh-toh-reh-soo; waitress) for direction as to what's good? Do you routinely order a zensai (zehn-sah-ee; appetizer), an o-nomimono (oh-noh-mee-moh-noh; beverage), and a dezato (deh-zahh-toh; dessert) in addition to your entree? In this section, I provide you with phrases and concepts that you need to order in a restaurant.

Whether you go to a four-star restaurant or the corner pub, your waiter or waitress will ask you questions like these:

  • Gochumon wa. (goh-chooo-mohn wah; Your order?)
  • Nani ni nasaimasu ka. (nah-nee nee nah-sah-ee-mah-soo kah; What will you have?)
  • O-nomimono wa. (oh-noh-mee-moh-noh wah; Anything to drink?)

Here are a few phrases that you can use when talking to the waitstaff:

  • Ramen o mittsu onegaishimasu. (rahh-mehn oh meet-tsoo oh-neh-gah-ee-shee-mah-soo; Can we have ramen noodles for three please?)
  • Sushi to sashimi to misoshiru o onegaishimasu.(soo-shee toh sah-shee-mee toh mee-soh-shee-roo oh oh-neh-gah-ee-shee-mah-soo; Can I have sushi, sashimi, and miso soup please?)
  • Wain wa arimasu ka. (wah-een wah ah-ree-mah-soo kah; Do you have wine?)
  • Osusumehin wa? (oh-soo-soo-meh-hin wah; What do you recommend?)
To list several dishes, use to (toh) between dishes to link them. (Think of to as a verbal comma or the word and?) To specify the quantity of each item you want to order, use the counter that applies to food items, -tsu:

If you can't read the menu at a Japanese restaurant, don't worry. Most restaurants in Japan have colored pictures on the menu or life-sized wax models of the food in their windows. The easiest way to order is to follow this simple formula: Point to the picture of the dish on the menu, say kore o (koh-reh oh; this one), and say onegaishimasu (oh-neh-gah-ee-shee-mah-soo; I'd like to ask you) or kudasai (koo-dah-sah-ee; please give me) at the end.

Do you see any of your favorites on this dinner menu?

Which of the following Japanese dishes would you like to try?

Setting your table

If there's anything missing on your table, ask the waiter for it. below table lists some items that might be missing.

Dining Utensils
JapanesePronunciationTranslation
fokufohh-koofork
gurasugoo-rah-sooglass
kappukahp-poocup
naifunah-ee-fooknife
napukinnah-poo-keennapkin
o-saraoh-sah-rahplate
supunsoo-pooonspoon

If you're having Japanese food, you may need some of these items:



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