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May 26, 2011 04:40 PM

Omakase tipping?

I'll be taking a convive to the "super omakase" at the counter in Kanoyama this weekend. What is the general etiquette regarding the gratuity in such a situation?

The other time I did the Kanoyama omakase (solo), I couldn't figure out what to do, so I just left the tip (a huge one, since the meal was phenomenal) on the bill. But should I have been giving some of the gratuity directly to the chef? Granted, it was Nobu-san, whom I gather owns the restaurant anyway, so in some sense it probably doesn't matter much. But how do people normally handle the tipping-at-the-sushi-counter thing?

175 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

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  1. I usually don't tip beyond what is normal, 15%-20% of the bill. And I've been a regular customer at a couple of sushi joints, pretty much only omakase. And I've never got anything but really good service and food. So ... I hope I'm not being too cheap.

    1. I always just leave the tip on the check. Besides, if you hand an extra tip to the sushi chef, after he takes your bill, he has to interrupt what he's doing to go wash his hands, which has to be annoying. Don't hand him something directly. Just leave it on the check andetthe restaurant sort if out.

      1. I also leave the tip on the check. My husband will usually offer to share some of his sake or buy a beer for the chef if he knows the chef drinks.