Meaning: A container for leftover food to be carried home from a meal eaten at a restaurant. The leftovers are intended for a pet dog, but mostly the people eat them themselves the following day.
Doggie bag may come in a paperbag, plastic bag, carton box, or aluminum box.
Doggy bags are part of eating out in the US. But many British diners struggle with the idea of asking to take their leftovers home. In the UK, it is a rarely heard request. And if one does have the audacity to ask for a doggy bag, it will probably be uttered under one’s breath or behind one’s hand. Britons are reluctant to ask for one regardless of how much is left on their plate.
However, there is no such shame attached to doggy bags in the US, where they are overtly offered on a menu or freely handed out by the waiting staff as part of the service.
It’s pretty the same here in Indonesia. We often bring our leftovers home and eat them the next day. There’s nothing embarrassing about asking for a doggy bag. We don’t want to see waste. There’s a sense of working hard for your money and wanting value for the money you spent because most of the population in Indonesia is from the low to middle class.
My parents are from the working class and I remember my mother used to make an omelette or nasi goreng (fried rice) with the remains of meals she cooked the other day.
In Indonesia, if we want to have a doggie bag in a restaurant, we usually say “Bisa minta dibungkus?” to mean we’d like to have our leftovers in a doggie bag. The waiter/waitress will usually bring the food from our table to the back and come back to our table with all the leftovers packed in a doggie bag.