While individual and pairs of sushi
pieces have their own traditional styles of wrapping depending on the kind of fish
being served, the presentation of multiple pairs or slices of sushi on the same plate is an art of presentation
all on its own.
Most often sushi is presented on a flat or ever so
slightly curved wooden block with two horizontal legs. More elaborate and larger meals are presented on a more ornate
The chef takes great care that the sushi is presented to maximize the impact of the individual species' colours, textures, and tastes to the diner. He does so by carefully arranging the fish in an ad-hoc rainbow and leaving an aesthetically pleasing amount of space between the slices of fish.
Usually the fish are arranged on the plate so that the nigiri are placed closest to the diner at a slight angle around 20 degrees to the left. This is to make it easy for the majority of diners to pick up the sushi. Gunkan-maki and rolls are usually placed in a second row further away from the viewer. An ample amount of gari and wasabi are placed to the very right of the plate.
Depending on how fancy the restaurant is, the chef will have also placed plastic leaves cut into flowery or animal shapes to separate some of the items, most often inside out maki rolls, from the rest. The wasabi ("the green stuff") is usually just mounded into a smooth mountain, but will sometimes be formed into the shape of a leaf or even a fish. The gari is almost always dyed a light pink to complement the colour of the wasabi, but is seldomly left a blanched white
For circular platters used for takeout and large banquets, the chef employs more three dimensional style of arranging the sushi. Again, ample space is left between the slices to enhance their visual presentation. By first placing a set of maki rolls at the centre of the platter, sushi can be added in a radial pattern. Each semi-circle of the platter usually mirrors the other half. The chef can save on space by angling sushi on top of the sushi that were previously placed, giving the platter a more intricate 3D appearance.