FOOD GUIDE: Teishoku (定食)
Teishoku (定食) is the Japanese interpretation of a meal set which consists of rice, miso soup, a main dish and a side dish of pickles, tofu or salad. Whereas O-Bento is a cooked meal takeout, Teishoku is a set menu which may offer different options of dishes depending on the season, chef’s choice or the region.All the components are served at the same time on a tray. Restaurants that specialize in meal sets are called “teishoku-ya” (tey-show-koo-yah).
Every set is named according to the main dish served which can either be chicken, pork or fish in most cases. This concept of serving a meal set originated from traditions of Zen Temples but now it is popular in many parts of the country.
It is an ideal choice for any cafeteria style restaurants that want to serve variety of food to its customers without compromising on cost. Hence, such places are preferred by students and working class as well.
Sometimes, you might notice some Japanese Teishoku-ya selling only limited choice of food. And some might specialize in only one type of dish. But their reason is simple, because they want to provide the BEST or their SPECIALTY dish to their customers. So, if that ever happens, enjoy the limited selection. Reason: because the restaurant owners would only serve food that they are proud of.