DSCF0823

Aroma of Japan: Chazuke and Tempura

August 13, 2013 / by / 0 Comment

Hi, I hope you are all okay and surviving through this raging storm/rain/wind in Hong Kong. Signal 8, aye? Guard at my apartment didn’t let me go out via the ground floor entrance because apparently it’s crazy out there; but I did get out anyways, and now I’m writing up here sipping a glass of Sauvignon Blanc at Sashay. (Oh yeah, I forgot to mention but Sashay does have Wifi so if by any chance you’d like to do your own work with drinks, then it could totally be THE place.)

Anyways, I was roaming around Hollwood road like a beast looking for her prey(dinner) and I saw these narrow stairs leading up to a cozy little Japanese diner. After starving for 15hours, my stomach wasn’t ready for pasta/risotto or watever – I am such an Asian when it comes to food – I walked in, expecting typical Japanese food you can find wherever in Hong Kong and I was soon in a blogger mode, meaning that I fell in love with this place.

DSCF0825

DSCF0826

 

“Ozawa” is not so easy to spot but walk straight down from JASPAS and look for the hidden stairs on your left. You’ll see. I felt as if I was disturbing the chef and people who were resting on the couch a second before I walked in since I was the only one from the beginning till the end of my supper (probably because of this Typhoon bitching out on us all) and a waitress wasn’t so friendly enough except checking my tea cup once in a while to refill it… :S But oh wells, good enough food compensated everything else.

There were a lot on the menu, sushi, sashimi, grilled dishes, salad, soba(noodles), rice, and more and surprisingly enough, they were not in the standard Soho price range; starting at $30 from a small dish ~ around $150 for sashimi.

I myself have spent some time in Japan and I was very happy to see “Chazuke” on the menu. Chazuke (, ちゃづけ) or ochazuke (, from o + cha tea + tsuke submerge) is a simple Japanese dish made by pouring green teadashi, or hot water over cooked rice roughly in the same proportion as milk over cereal, usually with savoury toppings. Common toppings include tsukemonoumeboshi (both types of pickles), nori (seaweed), furikakesesameseedstarako and mentaiko (salted and marinated Alaska pollock roe), salted salmonshiokara (pickled seafood) and wasabi.

DSCF0824

 

The Chazuke I got at Ozawa was with cooked salmon and seaweed on top. It might sound a little weird to imagine having rice inside your tea but it actually tastes like congee; the only difference would be that it’s not a sticky rice and the soup is clear. Ozawa was very close at mimicking the very standard and traditional Japanese cooking and serving style. I must say, that I was absolutely impressed and satisfied since I could feel that it was carefully cooked even though I was just a single customer. Yet, serving size was very Chinese. haha, this might be a good thing but I couldn’t even finish half a portion and my stomach was about to pop like an over-sized balloon.

DSCF0822

 

Vegetable tempura (deep-fried vegetables) also came out in a moment and there you go, boom, second surprise. I was wowing for thousand times in my mind. When you order vegetable tempuras, nine out of ten restaurants would give you sweet potato, potato, onion, or perhaps yellow pumpkin. But Ozawa gave me a plate of HUGE pieces of egg plant, mushroom, potato, cucumber, turnip, and pumpkin. and a bowl of sweet soy sauce with grinded pear, onion, and wasabi on the side. If there was a definition of “quality fries”, this was it. Crispy on the outside, hot, soft, and juicy inside, where vegetables were still  fresh and haven’t lost its original flavor yet.

Guess how much I spent? A huge plate of tempura which of course I couldn’t finish the half of it was $60, VERY reasonable according to its portion size, and Chazuke was only $45. So again, if you are up for something legit Japanese, and somewhere quiet in Soho, it’s OZAWA everyone.

Now I’m going to finish my wine and go back home for some good night sleep.

- BYE -




COMMENTS