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Feb 18, 2009 01:17 PM

Splitting a set course meal in Tokyo

There are a bunch of restaurants my girlfriend and I would like to sample in the Tokyo area and we were curious as to the etiquette regarding splitting a course meal. The pictures on the various websites make it appear that there are large servings that would prove to be more and adequate to fill both of us.

Would it be wrong to split these meals?

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  1. I don't know if I would say "wrong", but I would guess most restaurants would not allow you to do this, particularly the higher-end (may or may not be Michelin-starred) restaurants.

    1. Sounds kind of ketchi, and in general I don't think there is much of a danger of getting an overwhelming amount of food in course meals. Would you try splitting a a course menu back home, or say somewhere like New York?

      1. I agree with both of you in that it really would depend on the caliber of restaurant. I wouldn't even consider this at a highly-rated establishment, but I'm thinking that it may not be an issue at lesser known places.

        3 Replies
        1. re: tenkai

          In terms of etiquette (which is what you originally asked), I'd disagree with prasantrin and say that yes, it would be the wrong thing to do. One doesn't haggle with the server over the price of one's meal either - if you can't afford a particular restaurant, there are thousands of other places you can go to instead.

          In practical terms I don't think any restaurant would let you do it anyway. Certainly no restaurant would be happy about it, which is where your etiquette question comes in.

          What you can do more easily at some restaurants in Tokyo is order a la carte and split a main dish between two people.

          1. re: Robb S

            I actually thought it would be incredibly forward to ask for such a thing, but I was trying to be diplomatic for a change. :-)

            1. re: prasantrin

              Ha, you're going to ruin your reputation that way!

        2. If you are worried about the portion size, I recommend to ask if they have "half portion". Have you ever had a problem finishing a full course in 2 hours? It would be wrong to split the meals.