Eating out? Go to all-you-can-eat and/or drink places!

2019-01-09 LIFE

This post is also available in 日本語

What is all-you-can-eat and all-you-can-drink restaurant? Sure to liven up the gathering!

There are eateries you don’t want to miss if you love eating and drinking. You may have noticed in a menu saying “all-you-can-eat” and/or “all-you-can-drink.”
“All-you-can-eat” lets you eat certain selected items and deserts as much as you want with a fixed charge.  This is commonly offered at restaurants, Korean grilled meat places, Chinese places and other cuisines and very popular for big gatherings and family events.
“All-you-can-drink” also let you drink as much as you want at a fixed price. This is offered as a self-service drink bar at family restaurants or a made to order by attendants.
Here we introduce you to “all-you-can-eat” and “all-you-can-drink” systems which will make your eating-out surely more enjoyable one.

“All-you-can-eat” place. It’s a place to fill you up!

How “All-you-can-eat” works

As mentioned above, you can eat as much as you want from certain variety of dishes at a fixed price when you choose “All-you-can-eat” course. Some restaurants set a time limit of one or two hours for a quick turnover and others  have no time limit. You may want to check this beforehand.
There is one thing you don’t want to do at a “All-you-can-eat” restaurant. It won’t be a good manner to pile up your plate with food more that you can finish.
You may have to pay an additional charge if too much food is left over.

What is “Viking”?

You may see “Viking” in the all-you-can-eat menu.
“Viking” is an English word invented in Japan which is only used in Japan to mean “all-you-can-eat”. This was originally coined by The Imperial Hotel as a “ImperialViking”, new service depicting a traditional Swedish cuisine “Smorgasbord” which lets you eat your likings as much as you want.
Many kinds of dishes are placed at certain spaces in a room where you bring your plate, take your choice, and go back to your table to eat. This looks like a buffet service and some restaurant use a Viking and a buffet interchangeably, but in Japan, only a Viking means all-you-can-eat.

Served to order—Order Viking

There is another type of Viking for you to order certain dishes from a menu. This type is employed for sushi and Chinese which have relatively short cooking time, or barbecue meat and shabushabu which you cook yourself.
Pick what you want from an “All-you-can-eat” menu and place an order.
Also, some places serve both a buffet Viking and an order Viking. For an example, you serve yourself staple foods, appetizer, and desert from a Viking table and order the main dish.
Please check the restaurant information for your pleasure.

“All-you-can-drink”, place to enjoy your favorite drinks

How “All-you-can-drink” works?

“All-you-can-drink” let you drink at a fixed price certain drinks including soft drinks and alcohol as much as you want.
It is either offered as a self-service drink bar like at a family restaurant or as made-to-order way at a Japanese pub.

A drink bar-Enjoy the selections!

A drink bar corner is set at a place in a restaurant with many selections of drinks where yourself pour your favorite drink and bring it to your table. Many family restaurants have this service but you can find it also at net-café, karaoke box and Japanese pub.
Most of selections are soft drinks such as juice, coffee, tea and green tea but increasing number of places offer alcohol drinks, too.

Served to order style is favored at a banquet and a party

Generally speaking, you don’t see the drink bar at restaurants or pubs but you order what you want from a special drink menu.
This style of all-you-can-drink often comes with a course menu and can’t be ordered by itself only. The drinks offered in the special drink menu vary from one place to another. Therefore, it’s advisable to check with a restaurant beforehand.

Let’s make your table cheerful with “All-you-can-eat/drink”!

Are you ready to try? You must be surprised by the wide variety of this service which is peculiar to Japan.
Some eating places offer this service at lunch time, too. Each eatery has it’s specialty. Please check the menu for “All-you-can-eat” and “All-you-can-drink” when you go to a Japanese restaurant.