Image: Pair of chopsticks, close-up -- Sergei Kozak, Photographer
The American idiom for over-ordering at restaurants is that an eater's eyes were bigger than their stomach. When that same person orders more than they can eat at one restaurant in Sapporo, Japan, their eyes may be bigger than their wallet as well.

Seafood restaurant Hachikyo makes explicitly clear on its menu that diners who fail to finish their signature dish -- the "tsukko meshi" bowl of rice topped with all-you-can-eat salmon roe -- must pay a surcharge, according to Singapore Press food site

The restaurant asks diners who don't finish every roe and grain of rice for a donation to help fishermen who risk their lives to harvest "ikura" salty salmon roe in harsh conditions.

“But what if I'm full?” Then get a friend to help, force the issue or pay the fine. “But what if that's the only size and it's more than I can eat?” Then don't order that particular $25 dish. “But human beings can only eat so much and overeating leads to obesity!” Again, if diners are going to be this cheap and whiny about it, maybe they should consider something else on the menu.

The food reviewers at RocketNews24 were a bit taken aback by Hachikyo's “grain of rice” edict, but here in the U.S. an over-ordering surcharge isn't a completely uncommon practice. Chinese buffets, Korean barbecues and all-you-can-eat sushi restaurants will often tack a few extra bucks onto the bill for diners who loaded up on more than they can chew.

Say what you will about sunk cost, but wasted seafood is becoming an expensive problem for restaurants like Hachikyo. The documentary “Jiro Dreams Of Sushi,” which debuted last year and detailed sushi master Jiro Ono and his Michelin three-star restaurant in the Tokyo subway, dedicated a chunk of time to the effects of overfishing on not only high-end restaurants like Jiro's, but on conveyor-belt all-you-can eat sushi places and other seafood establishments as well.

Darden's (DRI) Red Lobster seafood chain, for example, recently began introducing more poultry items to its menu and cutting back its all-you-can-eat shrimp specials in partial deference to rising costs. That hasn't been well received by Red Lobster customers, who have been turning away from the chain and decreasing sales, but it also revealed that a price war on huge seafood portions was unsustainable and detrimental to everybody involved.

As Hachikyo is trying to point out, wasting roe wastes both the efforts of fishermen and future supplies. By adding a surcharge now, the restaurant's owners may help stave off a price hike for all diners down the road.

More on moneyNOW