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“O-Kaikei Onegai Shimasu!”

Now that I have finished SurvivalPhrases.com Japanese‘s restaurant phrase series (numbers 12, 13, 14, and 15), I know that “o kaikei onegai shimasu” means, “check, please!”

With these lessons under my belt, paired with the earlier JapanesePod101.com Survival Phrase lesson number 3, I was feeling confident enough to test my skills out in the real world (not to mention, Peter wanted to test me some too!) So off we went for lunch into a traditional Japanese cuisine restaurant.


Sorry for the poor quality; the photo is from a cell phone, but I wanted to get a picture to show you what negitoro-don looked like! The pink part is the tuna. [Photo by Emily Carsch]

Just as mentioned in the SurvivalPhrases.com podcast, the Japanese hostess said, “irasshaimase, nan mei sama desuka?” upon our entering. Of course, I knew that meant, “welcome! How many people are in your party?” I responded with, “yon mei“, there are four people. The woman pointed to where we were to be seated while welcoming us in.

Immediately, we were given small glasses of water and a menu. So far, I have found that unlike in America where everyone receives a menu, instead, only one is given here in Tokyo and the table shares it. We ordered a dish called “negitoro-don“.

Only minutes later, each of us received two trays. On the first was a dish of cold, thin noodles with a small dish of wasabi and onion, and a small bowl of soy-tasting, cold broth. We put the wasabi and onion in the broth and mixed it. Then I was told to put mouthfuls of noodles into the broth at a time and slurp them up.

When I slurp, I really mean it! At first, I sucked the noodles up with pursed lips and tried to keep the broth from splattering everywhere. Little noise was made. Peter laughed and said that was NOT good enough. He offered the advice of opening the mouth more and sucking in a lot of air while slurping. Once I did, the slurp was loud and obnoxious by American standards. In Japan, slurping is totally allowed and welcomed.

Once I got my slurp down, I was able to also slurp my soup, which is eaten by holding the bowl to your lips with your hands and drinking it like a beverage. Taking in air while slurping allows you to drink the soup even though it’s hot.

Next to these dishes was the negitoro-don. It was a bowl filled with white, steamed rice, and what looked like a bright pink patty sprinkled with small, green chives over a bed of seaweed leaves commonly seen in sushi.

The pink patty was raw tuna meat. It was my first raw fish-eating experience and it tasted great! It was not “fishy”-tasting at all, and with the other ingredients in the bowl, it tickled the taste buds!

Once the meal was over, we all said “oishikatta desu“, or that it was delicious, and took the kaikei, or check, to the cash register at the front of the restaurant. We told the hostess “gochisousama deshita“, or thank you for the wonderful meal, and bid her “shitsurei shimasu“, or a formal goodbye.

It was a great experience and I would have not known what to do had it not been for my SurvivalPhrases.com Japanese and JapanesePod101.com survival phrase lessons. I did it and know you can too! Don’t be afraid to give it a go by speaking Japanese. You’ll realize how much you already know by this point!

Keep checking back for more and don’t forget to post.