The restaurant Dashi-chazuke En serves “Dashi-chazuke” topped with various ingredients and condiments such as fish, seaweed, pickles vegetables, chicken and other variations.
It’s one of Japan’s most comforting of comfort foods... a bowl of rice with a hot pot of tea poured on top. Ochazuke, literally “steeped in tea”, is typically served at the end of meal or a night out, but it can also make for a quick and light Japanese breakfast.
The dish can be traced back to the Heian Period -794-1185-, when it took the form of hot water poured over cold rice. Tea replaced hot water during the Edo Period -1603-1868-, and the dish evolved again in the 1950s when Nagatanien started selling “instant” ochazuke packets containing powdered tea and kombu -kelp-.
My favorite version is made by Dashi-chazuke En. Its dashi is made from several types of fish — soda-gatsuo -frigate tuna-, saba -Pacific mackerel-, katsuo -bonito, or skipjack tuna- and iriko -dried sardines- — with konbu, salt and chicken stock rounding out the broth.
The morning set, served from 8-10 a.m., is around ¥500... Dashi-chazuke En’s branch in Shinjuku Station is easy to find: Exit the station’s west exit, pass the kōban (police box) and you’ll see the chain on your right...