A restaurant in Japan wants customers to empty their plates. According to a Feb. 14 Yahoo News report, seafood restaurant Hachikyo in Sapporo, Japan levies a fine on customers who don’t finish their meals.
Customers who order the tsukko meshi, a bowl of rice and salmon roe, are reportedly warned ahead of time that, “It is forbidden to leave even one grain of rice in your bowl. Customers who don't finish their tsukko meshi must give a donation.”
Discovery News’ Tracy Staedter calls the $25 fine a form of portion control, writing, in pertinent part, “It’s called portion control. But it’s lost on many Americans. Just go into any chain restaurant, chain big-box store or convenience store and you’ll see super-sized portions of food stuff just waiting to be wolfed down.”
“If only restaurants in the United States would adopt the policy from this Japanese restaurant in Sapporo. Failure to consume a signature dish — a bowl of rice topped with all-you-can-eat salmon roe — results in a surcharge of 1,890 yen or about US $25.”
A blogger explains the $25 fine as a good cause, honoring the fishermen who brave dangerous conditions, writing, “According to the explanation in the menu, the working conditions for fishermen are harsh and so dangerous that it’s not unknown for lives to be lost. To show our gratitude and appreciation for the food they provide, it is forbidden to leave even one grain of rice in your bowl. Customers who do not finish their tsukko meshi must give a donation.”
Whether or not one disagrees with the fine, or agrees that fishermen should be honored for toiling in dangerous conditions, one must think twice before ordering the “tsukko meshi.” As for portion control, the right to take one's leftover food home after dining at a restaurant may leave a better taste in the mouth than a $25 levy.
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