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Otooshi in Japanese-style Bar

In this article, I answer one of the maximum question of the foreigner who stays in Japan. The question that I answer is Otooshi. I think that this Otooshi isn't published in the dictionary and the guide book too. And the foreigner who faces this Otooshi might be surprised, and the foreigner will say that I was cheated by the Japanese. hahaha
I will clear up the misunderstanding in this article today.

At first, I say that Otooshi is a custom of Japan in complete, and this custom doesn't specially treat the foreigner, because here is Japan. So please enjoy it as one of the difference culture when you face this Otooshi.

Well, you have already noticed that this Otooshi is food by photo above. Yes, Otooshi is one of menu in Japanese-style bar that is called "Izakaya" in Japanese language, and Japanese-style restaurant.

Izakaya is a kind of a restaurant and bar. People enjoy the dish with alchol here. The Japanese who hates alcohol is few. Therefore, a lot of Izakaya is in Japan, and there are not a town or a village without Izakaya.
The feature of Izakaya is available for enjoy dish and alchol by anyone, and the taste shows the region well. Izakaya is this one of the big food cultures in Japan. To my regret, Michelin is overlooking this Izakaya of Japan though the guide book of the restaurant of Michelin is wonderful.

Well, Otooshi is a menu of the Izakaya or Japanese food restaurant such as sushi.

However, Otooshi appears without the customer's order. Therefore, if the customer is a foreigner, the customer might be surprised!
"What is this dish? Is it free?"
and after check, the customer will be angry!
"Why do I pay the Otooshi fee? I didn't order it!"

Do you have such an experience?

I explain the system of Otooshi at Izakaya or restaurant in Japan.

1: The customer enters Izakaya, and the customer orders only alcohol first. (It is a Japanese custom to order only alcohol first.)

2: The customer thinks about the order for the dish until the first alcohol and Otooshi come.

3: Alcohol appears with Otooshi soon.

4: The customer orders the dish to the clerk who brought alcohol and Otooshi.

5: And, "Cheers!", and drink with eating Otooshi.

Otooshi is offered to the customer who ordered alcohol without fail, and, Otooshi is only the first order for alcohol. And Otooshi gives the customer enjoying food until the main dish comes.

The price of Otooshi is 500 yen on the average. If you order one beer first, beer and Otooshi come soon, and total price of their is 1000yen (500yen of beer and 500yen of Otooshi). The price of beer is 500 yen on the average at standard restaurant in Japan.

Otooshi in a high restaurant is 1000 yen or more, and on the other hand, Otooshi of a cheap restaurant might be 300 yen. However, there is no Japanese customer who is the worry about the price of this Otooshi. The Japanese is leaving all of this Otooshi to the manager in the restaurant. And Otooshi is this big income source of the restaurant, because Otooshi is small dish though I introduce some Otooshi to the following. A Japanese customer knows this. It is important for the customer and also manager that the restaurant prosper. A Japanese customer worries about the taste rather than the price.

I introduce some Otooshi. The customer doesn't know what Otooshi offered first. Moreover, Otooshi changes by the day. Therefore, Otooshi is one enjoyment for the customer. Otooshi in the photograph above is composed of 3 things. In most exclusive restaurants, Otooshi decorated with 2 or 3 things is offered. Of course, the price might be high. A Japanese food culture values the taste and externals.

In popular Izakaya, this Otooshi is offered with the first beer. People enjoy this Otooshi until the main dish comes. Moreover, the taste of this Otooshi is not simple. The Japanese worries about the taste very much. The customer doesn't come to a restaurant of Otooshi not delicious. The taste of Otooshi is very important for the restaurant. The Japanese says, "As for a delicious restaurant of Otooshi, the dish is delicious."

How is Otooshi? You learnt Otooshi of Japan today, and you will be not perplexed in the restaurant in Japan. I do not understand why such a custom is in Japan. However, I like this custom, because I can wait for the main dish by Otooshi, and I can check the level of the cook in the restaurant, etc.

The amount of Otooshi is a little, please eat little by little with alcohol, and enjoy with the taste. It's how to eat Japanese food.

Generally, the restaurant where Otooshi is offered is Izakaya, Sushi restaurant, Soba restaurant, Udon restaurant, Tempura restaurant, etc. Ramen restaurant doesn't offer an Otooshi if you order a alchol.

Please enjoy Japan!

Thank you.

Comment List

Konstantin 2010/08/03 (Tue) 16:58 Edit/Delete

both looks nice =) yummy