I didn’t go to restaurant much in Japan for obvious reason. There are hardly any menu that I can eat for I can only eat halal menu. Therefore, I don’t have any position to write this articles. However, as far for my experience visiting any restaurant in Japan, Japanese – Italian – whatever, halal friendly or not, all you can drink or not, they have very bland drink menu.
One should note that, for one who able to drink alcoholic menu, it maybe a heaven. I don’t know for other country, but here is the “standard” menu for drink in any Japanese restaurant. They provide many kind of alcohol. There are chuhai, beer, wine, cocktail, sake, western, and eastern and much more alcohol categories. I don’t even know what they mean or how they differentiate.
One of the categories is soft drink, a small category on the corner of the menu. Usually it has only five or so menus. It includes oolong tea, orange juice, cola, and kalpis.
Sometimes it has a non-alcohol category besides soft drink. However, it is suspicious because it has similar names to some alcoholic menu. I guess it just a alcohol-has-been-extracted version of the original alcoholic menu. Whether it is still have the mind-altering and “take-away-your-composure&consciousness” effects like a normal version does and thus not halal, remains to be seen.
Even in the drink bar section of some family restaurant or karaoke which provide many varieties of soft drinks, they didn’t seems any different in my eyes. It just some varieties of branded teas and sodas. That’s all. You can buy that in vending machine!
So boooring… At least for non-alcohol drinker, like me.
Comparing this to the norm in Indonesia is just like comparing the west and the east. This phenomenon make me think that drinking cultures takes away imagination from normal non-alcoholic drink. At least, menu that is being provided in restaurant.
Let me show you from some random picture of Indonesian drink menu I grabbed from internet. No mention in these menus about alcoholic drink. All menu is “normal”.
These kind of menu can be found in many establishment, mind you… Not just certain fancy restaurant. Maybe even the street vendor have more normal drink-menus than any restaurant in Japan.
If you are wondering, I can assure you that coffee in this menu is cheaper but a lot more delicious than starb*cks.
Now, that is what you call an imagination. It is very norma in Indonesia to have that many drinks menu. Normal drinks menu, okay. We have many categories for it and many varieties. That is a heaven.
I guess it is a matter of culture difference. For them, maybe it’s me that do not have any imagination about what an alcoholic drinks mean. However, shouldn’t the non-alcoholic one be the norm? I mean, everyone everywhere in every culture know alcohol is bad for health. Not to mention that kids are forbidden from it.
What do you think?