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Not everything on the menu at Chinatown’s new ramen shop Daikaya goes from the kitchen to the diners. For $10, diners can buy a six-pack of beer for the kitchen.
The option is listed on the laminated menu as “an ode to Alla Spina.” For those scratching their heads, Alla Spina is an Italian gastropub in Philadelphia whose owners, Marc Vetri and Jeff Michaud, are close friends with Daikaya chef and partner Katsuya Fukushima. While Daikaya was under construction, Fukushima spent some time with them making ravioli and panettone at Alla Spina. If you buy the kitchen crew beer there, a bell at the bar rings.
The idea is to give customers a way to recognize the kitchen staff. While servers walk out with a big tip at the end of the night, that’s not the case for the cooks.
Since Daikaya added the option to the menu last weekend, about three to four people have bought the six-packs each day. The type of beer? Sapporo—the only brand Daikaya stocks right now.
“It’s very well appreciated,” Fukushima says. “At the end of the night, after cooking for 300, 400 people, a nice cold beer is fantastic.”
Photo by Jessica Sidman