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Apr 19, 2007 12:37 PM

Etiquette on sending back sushi?

I went to a new sushi place last night and ordered the sashimi deluxe. The waitress came back with sushi deluxe. I've never heard of someone sending back sushi. I didn't want to offend the chefs, who were five feet away. And I figured had I returned it, they would just peel the fish off of the rice and send it back out to me. So I ate it, no big deal. But for future reference, is it okay to send back sushi because of the waitress's mistake?

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  1. absolutely. you're paying for it.

    sushi and sashimi are usually sliced differently for presentation, so it would have been bad form for them to just peel it off the rice.

    1. Don't think of it as sending sushi back. You're sending back something you didn't order. That is ALWAYS ok.

      1. You ordered sashimi and they delivered sushi. Just because the main ingredient is both is fish of course you can send back. If you were in an italian resto and ordered chicken piccata and they served chicken marsala would you not send it back. And i doubt they would take the chicken and throw some marsala sauce on a plate and re-serve.

        1. The sushi place nearest my home has been in business for a LOOOONG time and I think one reason is the waitresses have always been very good at triple checking orders and taking the intimadation out of sushi. If a newbie come in a starts going crazy the waitresses politely suggest simpler/smaller orders.

          The basic incredients of sushi are quite pricey and very perishable -- every resturant has some waste due to kitchen screw-up/ customer reject dishes, managing this is a multi-faceted operation that includes the wait staff. I can imagine that more than few screwed up orders of sushi are going to really sting the bottom line more than dozens of sent back chicken piccata orders.

          Another thing to keep in mind, good businesses can be judged by how infrequently they screw-up, while great businesses are judged by how they make things right when do screw-up. If you knew that you clearly did order the sashimi and you politely reminded the waitress of that a great resturant would have not only fixed it but given you something to compensate for the error. Research shows that really builds repeat business.

          4 Replies
          1. re: renov8r

            With sushi places though you often just have a problem of understanding. Same thing happened to a guy I was eating with last weekend. He thought he ordered some kind of sashimi (I forget), fatty salmon, and tuna, but somehow ended up with the $50 o toro sashimi.

            He and his fiance ate it although it put them over budget. I don't think I know anybody that would have felt comfortable sending it back. That's why you have to be careful what you order at a busy sushi place when your server isn't a great English speaker. Very careful.

            1. re: luniz

              toro sashimi is fatty tuna sashimi

              1. re: justagthing

                there are 3 grades: toro, chutoro and otoro. the last is the premium and most expensive.

          2. If a restaurant brings you the wrong order, you have every right to send it back for the correct order. It doesn't matter what the restaurant is.