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Moritsuke: The Japanese Art of Food Plating

Relish in the exquisite and complex beauty of moritsuke where food becomes art.

The Japanese art of food arrangement, moritsuke, is a beloved practice that has been passed down from generation to generation. It is the interplay of tradition and the present moment, space and possibility, intrigue and calmness. Focusing on seasonality, servingware, empty space, and arrangement, moritsuke is a delicate art with the goal to achieve harmony on every plate.


In Japanese cuisine, emphasis is placed on the season and the food it brings. From the details on the servingware to the colour schemes, every aspect of a dish reflects the allure of each season. For example, find pinks, greens, and cherry blossoms on your plate during the spring, and pine, bamboo, and plums in the winter. For autumn, reds, golds, and maple leaves will make an appearance alongside mushrooms and daikon radish.


When serving traditional Japanese food, every plate and bowl is carefully considered to accentuate the qualities of the dish it serves. The artistry of Japanese servingware is that no two dishes have to be alike. Each dish can be a different shape, size, colour, and material with various decorative patterns. Despite the asymmetry, the result is a stunning and unique masterpiece.

a piece of food on a table

A close-up of our Nama sushi dish topped with colourful and delicious garnishes.

Empty space

From minimalist interior designs to traditional paintings, the Japanese concept of empty space, ma, can be found throughout Japanese culture. In dining, plates are never piled high with food or fully covered. The empty space helps the eye focus on the meal in front of them, creating a sense of intrigue and possibility.


Japanese food arrangement is guided by a set of key principles and rules to ensure every dish is as beautiful as it is delicious. Some of the most common arrangements include yama no katachi, which is to arrange food in a mountain-like display, and sugimori, to shape food like a conical cedar tree. The most difficult technique to master is chirashimori, which is to place food in a scattered arrangement while still achieving balance and refinement.

a plate of food on a table

Our Lobster Platter is arranged delicately to showcase the various colours and textures of the sashimi.

At JaBistro, our sushi and sashimi is plated with intention and care to enhance the harmony of flavours and colours. Book your table today to experience authentic Japanese sushi and sashimi.