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29th April, 2016

On the 22nd of May 2016, Clever Polly’s became an Omakase restaurant. This is a Japanese phrase that translates as “I’ll leave it up to you.” The idea is that you entrust our chefs to feed you, rather than ordering from a menu. They create a range of Japanese-style dishes depending on what’s good on the day and what’s inspired them.

It enables them to be more creative and innovative as we can then offer dishes that would never normally appear on our menu. As we know how many people to expect and what we’ll be feeding them, we can order the most beautiful fresh fish in and know that we will serve it fresh on the day at it’s most optimal.

And, since we choose for you, you’re able to sit back and take in the experience, with all the thinking done by us.

This is how I like to eat. When I go to a restaurant and I know the wait staff or the chef, I usually just let them choose. If not, I’ll ask for recommendations, with a little bit of guidance about what I feel like eating. I pretty much eat anything and everything so there’s never any need to ask for any changes, although if I know there’s something I really like on the menu, I’ll mention it. Apart from that, I’ll leave it up to them. Because in this way, I show them that I trust them and am open to the experience. In return, often, I’ll get things that perhaps aren’t on the menu or a more complete experience than if I’d just ordered myself.

I believe that being a good chef is not just about creating tasty dishes. And being a good waiter is about more than just talking to customers and running food and drinks. The best of the best will be able to read a person, understand their likes and dislikes, how much or how little they like to eat, and what the balance of the meal should be. Ordering this way also gives them a chance to show off, sending out special dishes that they’ve been working on or are not on the menu. If something’s particularly good that day, they should know it and include it in order to heighten the experience. If they feel that two dishes compliment each other, they can send them out together or in succession.

It’s all about placing your trust in someone, letting go a little so that you can live in the experience more. This is the way that I love to eat- as do all of us at Clever Polly’s. Our chefs delight in the pleasure that they give through food. Even for staff meal, there’s always something interesting and new, which they eagerly ask for feedback about.

Omakase is about more than just food though. Really, it’s about building a relationship based on the trust between the chef and the diner. The diner trusts that the chef will feed them something that will delight their senses. The chef trusts that the customer is appreciative of their artistry at understanding their needs and the produce that they’re working with. Every now and then it might go wrong. But the amount of positive experiences I’ve had by dining omakase far outweighs the negative, and there are so many food discoveries I never would’ve made if I hadn’t made the choice to dine in this way.

So we hope that you’ll join us sometime for Omakase. It would be our pleasure to feed you.

By Lou

Omakase_soba salad