As children, many of us remember being told to finish the meals on our plates by our parents. Often we’d hear the line about “poor, starving children” in other parts of the world. Our callous whining about and rejected of that steamed cabbage that was so lovingly prepared was an insult to their suffering.
I never understood that last part, though. If there was a hungry child out there being updated on my eating habits, I sincerely doubt he or she would be cheering me on from the sidelines. Mostly, I imagine anyone who was being forced to watch me eat when they themselves didn’t have any food probably had bigger problems to deal with. Such as, who was holding them hostage and inflicting this form of starvation torture on them.
But I digress. When we were urged by out caregivers to “finish every last bite” (usually followed up by the additional motivation of “or else”) we knew we had to empty that plate. That’s when shit got real. Now punishment would be involved if that plate wasn’t clean at the end of the meal. For some of us this is where the family dog usually stepped in to help us out. Luckily dogs aren’t as picky. Who knows? Maybe Fido has poor, starving puppies in the world to be concerned with too.
Anyway, the Hachikyo seafood restaurant in the city of Sapporo, Japan is tired of having to slave over a hot stove all day only to have those whiny customer brats not have the decency of finishing their meals. Especially their famous dish called tsukko meshi. That’s why they’ve now imposed a fee on anyone who doesn’t the dish.
DOWN TO THE LAST GRAIN OF RICE.
Tsukko meshi is rice, covered in lots and lots of ikura (salmon roe). As I said the meal it’s one of their specialties and one of the more popular items on the menu, especially for tourists.
While charging a fee for not finishing your plate might be a good idea for the home (I’m already taking a note of this plan for future reference), the idea of a restaurant penalizing its customers in the same way could raise an eyebrow or two. But, just like a frustrated parent, the management at the restaurant feel their tsukko meshi deserves some more appreciation for the time and effort put into getting the meal onto their plates. There’s even an element of danger and risk of human life involved on making sure customers can have it.
The normal charge for a bowl is $20, but if you can’t get it all in, you better Fido’s hiding under the table because anyone who doesn’t finish their meal is asked to donation, as the restaurant’s menu is said to explain. The menu further states that this is because the fishermen face such dangerous conditions when they go out to sea to get those salmon eggs, they put their very lives at risk. As such, the restaurant’s management thinks it only fair that customers show a little freakin’ appreciation for their effort and finish the damn meal.
The fishermen who supply Hachikyo are not taken for granted by the restaurant. So much so, wait staff are sent out on a tour of duty on the boats to see what it’s like. I wonder if that affects how much appreciation you have to show them when you leave a tip. They are putting their lives on the line too after all.
There’s also a stipulation that you can’t touch the rise until all the roe is eaten but I think that’s just the power going to their heads at this point