Omakase is a Japanese term meaning ‘I leave it up to you’. In Japanese dining, this means that the meal of the customer is left up to the chef to decide. The delight of omakase is in not knowing what to expect, and trusting the chef to present to you a personalised meal that is both seasonal and artistic.
This Japanese style of dining is an art form in itself, stemming from traditional Japanese sushi restaurants where menus were unheard of. It forms a special relationship between the chef and customer, and makes dining a whole new adventure.
After briefly understanding your dietary preferences, the chef whips up the meal guided by his individual cooking style and philosophy. Dishes are prepared in front of the customer and served course by course. This way, the chef can observe your reactions to the food and adjust the menu to better suit your preferences as the meal progresses.
However, the caveat of omakase is the bill. Similar to how the food comes as a surprise, the bill is only revealed at the end of the meal. The unexpected and sometimes sky-high prices of the meal turn many off from enjoying the omakase experience. Knowing this, some omakase restaurants today state their base price for a fixed number of courses, so that diners have an expectation of how much their meal would cost.
Omakase may have originated from sushi restaurants, but that doesn’t mean it stops at serving sushi. Today, omakase can be enjoyed for a wide range of foods. You can even hire an omakase chef to your barbeque event!
Forget your à la carte style BBQ food order. Omakase dining at private barbeque events is a unique experience where the chef is hired to cook the food for you and your guests. Don’t expect them to cook the ingredients like you would, though. The professional chefs will use their experience and knowledge to make the best pairings of ingredients and rise to the challenge of whetting everyone’s appetites.
A BBQ omakase experience is best for small, cosy gatherings, as a large number of guests will be overwhelming for even the quickest and most experienced chefs to handle. So, do check on the guest-to-chef ratio recommended by your BBQ provider before booking to ensure the best culinary experience for your guests.
It is enough of a challenge for the chefs to be cooking on the spot. They are also leaving the comfort of their familiar kitchens to cook at your venue, so do them a favour and give them a suitable working space! If you are hiring chefs to your event, remember to set aside an area for the chefs to move about and store their wares and ingredients. This will allow the chefs to cook effectively, and the rest of your guests to mingle safely.
When it comes to the bill of a BBQ omakase experience, this should be discussed prior to the actual event. Unlike the most traditional omakase experiences, most chefs today would be happy to negotiate within your budget, and let you know what varieties of food to expect for that price.
If you are game to bring on a fresh new way to enjoy your barbeque event, some Singapore barbeque catering providers do offer the option for omakase. Get ready for the culinary adventure that is BBQ omakase, and come along with an open mind and hungry tummy!