Try Ochazuke at Dashi Chazuke En in Shinjuku!
Dec 27, 2018
Ochazuke is a Japanese dish that is not well-known in the west despite being very simple – it’s basically just tea (or dashi (soup stock)) over rice, with various ingredients added. This dish is a staple of the average Japanese diet, and is known as a light, home-cooked meal.
In this article, we will be trying ochazuke at Dashi Chazuke En, Japanese restaurant that specializes in ochazuke. This restaurant uses high-quality dashi while still retaining the “homemade” taste that people know and love.
Let's Go to Dashi Chazuke En!
Dashi Chazuke En is located in the underground shopping mall around Shinjuku Station’s West Exit, close to the West Exit Police Box. The wooden exterior looks very traditionally Japanese, so you’re sure to spot it. The tickets you buy from the food ticket vending machine (seen on the left in the picture above) to order and the menu have been translated into English, so you can order with ease.
When you go to Dashi Chazuke En, you can expect the dashi used in the ochazuke to be at the perfect temperature, with the umami of the kelp and dried sardines drawn out. The dried bonito adds a wonderful fragrance to this Japanese soup stock. Chicken broth, sake, sweet rice wine, white soy sauce and roasted salt are added for flavor. All of these ingredients mixed together make the high-quality dashi (soup stock) used at this restaurant. As the word dashi is in the restaurant name, you know that this is something they take pride in!
There are a wide variety of dishes to match the needs of their customers, from light meals to hearty offerings. Some of their dishes include authentic Tai Dashi Chazuke (Red Sea Bream Ochazuke) made with fresh red sea bream, as well as Hiyajiru (Cold Miso Soup), a regional specialty of Miyazaki that is typically eaten during the summer. Dashi Chazuke En also serves other seasonal offerings that you can look forward to.
The previously mentioned Tai Dashi Chazuke (Red Sea Bream Ochazuke - 960 yen including tax) is a light meal that will warm you up! It’s perfect for when you don’t have much of an appetite in the summer, or when you want to warm up in the winter. Fresh Japanese sea bream is the main ingredient, and there are nuts and a rich sesame dressing included for flavor. The flavor of the tasty sea bream comes out in this dish, and you can understand just how much care this restaurant puts into their selection.
Time to Order!
This time, we ordered the Koebi Kobashira Isoten Dashi Chazuke (Shrimp, Scallop and Isobe-age Tempura Soup Stock Ochazuke - 800 yen with tax) and the Half and Half (1,080 yen with tax). The Koebi Kobashira Isoten Dashi Chazuke comes with isobe-age, a type of tempura that is made with chikuwa (minced fish stick) and seaweed, as well as shrimp and small scallops. The fragrance of the isobe-age was wonderful – we ate everything up right away! All of the meals offered at this restaurant include side dishes – typically two traditional side dishes and a pickled side dish to go along with the ochazuke. The main dish is already quite large, so the entire meal should leave you satisfied!
The Half and Half is a meal where you can choose two different types of ochazuke, each at half the size of a regular one. This time we went with the standard Tai Dashi Chazuke (Red Sea Bream Ochazuke) and the seasonal Madai Goma Shoyu Kouji (Japanese Sea Bream in Sesame and Soy Sauce with Malted Rice). The fish was fresh, and the sesame dressing went really well with the sea bream!
You can also get Hiyajiru (Cold Miso Soup - 730 yen with tax) that comes with mashed grilled fish. This Miyazaki specialty has dried sardines and sesame added to the miso dashi base. Plenty of fresh vegetables are also included for the perfect light meal!
If you find yourself in Japan in the winter, then have some ochazuke to heat up your body and soul!
Dashi Ochazuke En (Odakyu Ace Branch)
Address – Odakyu Ace North Building, West Exit Underground 1-1, Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku
Telephone Number - 03-6279-4196
Website - http://byo.co.jp/
Weekdays and Saturdays – 8:00AM-11:00PM (Last Order – 10:30PM)
Sundays and National Holidays – 8:00AM-10:00PM (Last Order – 9:30PM)
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