Have you ever been to Izakaya?
Izakaya is a place you can eat and drink casualy and cheaper than "restaurants".
Some people go there to drink, some people go there to eat.They go there with their lover, colleagues, or family.
Let's talk about "Otoshi"
When you arrived a Izakaya and had a seat, you might be surprised and embarassed because you are served a dish that they didn’t order—and then are charged for it too.
In Japan, this dish is called “Otoshi”,or“Tsukidashi”, and it’s a sort of indirect cover charge , similar to the “coperto”in Italy.
Otoshi is actually accepted custom in Japan and Japanese law allowed to do it. If you’re planning a trip to Japan, here’s some answers to questions you may have about this Japanese custom.
Where you'll have "Otoshi"
Otoshi are commonly found at bars or something like that serve alcohol, particularly "Izakaya", a type of Japanese bistro serving food along with beer and other alcoholic beverages. Otoshi is a bit similar to Chinese food appetizers or French hors d'oeuvres, the first small bite for the dinner, isn't it?
By the way Izakaya food has enough quality but Izakayas are considered a casual bar in Japan rather than a restaurant.
What are we served as"Otoshi"?
Yes, now a days every Izakayas are trying to be original and serve you a various type of small dishes as Otoshi. Sometimes it might be a soup too!
Common Otoshi is nimono, a dish of simmered meat or vegetables, pickles, and salads like "Potato Salad" etc. I went a new Izakaya near my house yesterday and ate some Umeboshi and fish Otoshi!
How much is it, "Otoshi"?
In Okayama, it might be 300yen to 800yen. It's depends on Izakayas.
First fo all, Why is "Otoshi" served?
Because Japanese are not so strong for alcohol, theyw eat and drink in the same time.
For some short-temper customers, Izakayas started to serve you something very quicky. In the same time, they charge for it and they can make money.
In Japan, there is no tipping culture apart from Ryokan so you can see it as a sort of built-in tip or table charge.
Then later, Otoshi became a standard custom for bars and Izakayas.
Anyway Otoshi is also delicious. I hope that you accept this custom and enjoy it. But don't drink too much!