In this restaurant, everyone cleans their plates.
An eatery in Sapporo, Japan, has announced it will fine restaurant patrons if they don’t finish every last morsel — every tiny grain of rice — on their plate. The Hachikyo seafood restaurant is known for its tsukko meshi, a dish of salmon roe piled sky-high on a bed of rice — for anyone who can finish it.
Though the fine may seem ridiculous for a dish that costs about $20, there’s a reason for the surcharge. As Midori Yokoyama, a Japanese blogger, wrote after a visit to the eatery:
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.
Which, given the circumstances, might be even kind of justified. Although the restaurant has another rule up its sleeve: patrons aren’t allowed to touch their rice until the salmon roe is dished out. And Hachikyo’s owner is known to have a penchant for sending his waitstaff to work on a fishing boat just so they can understand the harsh realities of being a fisherman.
Fortunately, according to one waitress at the restaurant, “hardly anyone leaves their tsukko meshi unfinished” — mostly because it’s delicious.