When you’re new to the sushi game, any roll can be intimidating. From how to order multiple courses to roll recommendations, here is a simple guide to navigating your sushi experience.

For over 50 years, Benihana has perfected a food culture that is accessible to people of all knowledge levels. Sushi is the opening act to the full Benihana experience and our experts are on hand (and right in front of you) to guide you through each step of the way. Our menu offers high-quality sashimi and sushi rolls that even the most novice eater can enjoy.

The first order of business is the order of your business. At any level, we recommend the following steps to savor all the vast flavors sushi at Benihana has to offer:

1. Sip some sake as an aperitif.

Like beer, sake is a brewed beverage. However, its versatile pairing abilities and unique capability to be enjoyed at any temperature make it more similar to wine. Cold sake is more traditional in nature and offers a more refreshing and earthy flavor profile. When sake is warmed, the flavors mellow out for a more mild experience. Enjoy it either hot or cold; it is completely up to your preference. When it comes to sake, it’s all good.

2. Move on to miso soup.

Sake’s earthy flavors connect us directly to the first course of miso soup.  A delicious blend of miso, green onion and tofu. Served hot, miso soup opens up the senses and enables your palette to fully take in the flavors of the upcoming sashimi and sushi courses.

3. Eat sashimi first

This is key. A frequent mistake newcomers, and even the well-practiced eaters, make is beginning their course with full sushi rolls. Rice expands quickly in the stomach, filling you up faster. This often hinders a person’s ability to fully appreciate the rest of the meal. Sashimi highlights the fish and is a lighter and more traditional dish that eases you in to the full sushi experience.

4. Then, enjoy sushi rolls.

The most common misconception about sushi is that it is unsafe because is it all “just raw fish.” All sushi-intended fish must be carefully and specifically prepared in a controlled environment to be considered sushi grade. At Benihana, safety and quality are our number one priorities. We take time and serious care into sourcing and selecting our proteins to ensure the highest possible quality and safety in each product.

Not all sushi is raw, either. We offer an extensive selection of cooked rolls to enjoy. For sushi rookies, we recommend trying out rolls with either crab or shrimp. The most popular options amongst these rolls are the Spider Roll featuring soft shell crab and the Shrimp Crunchy Roll featuring tempura shrimp. As you progress, you can dive deeper into the more raw options. For this, we suggest starting with tuna because of its neutral flavor and easy texture.

5. Always eat your ginger.

Ginger plays a very important role in the sushi experience. Not only does it provide some serious health benefits, but it cleanses your palate between different kinds of sushi. Eat a bit of ginger as you switch between sushi types in order to avoid unwanted flavor-crossing.

The most important thing to remember when eating sushi is to make the experience your own. Start with what you’re comfortable with so you can build the confidence to progress into more diverse dishes. Customize your flavors by mixing and matching the different sauces and spice levels to fit your tastes. As always, we at Benihana are here to help you every step of the way.

Sense a crave? To make a reservation, visit https://www.benihana.com/reservations/