Katanashi An「型無庵」 is a hole-in-the-wall Japanese izakaya located nestled between some old shophouses. I had heard that they serve reasonably-priced ochazuke lunch sets only on weekdays and thus went to check them out.
At the very moment that I stepped in, I was greeted in Japanese by a Japanese wait staff and ushered to one of the few remaining empty tables in the pub restaurant. Lunch hour can be quite packed, so do try to arrive before 12pm to get a table.
The lunch menu is limited and revolves around the theme of ochazuke, with different variations available, including some monthly specials. In this instance here, the “tea” is actually dashi broth and thus referred to as dashi-chazuke.
I was amused by the drawings on the disposal wet tissues that were provided at the table. When I looked around, I could see different designs on every table. Hmm…I wonder how much time the staff spend daily to draw them?
According to the information given at the table (see photo above), the food can be eaten in two ways, but I prefer to follow the Nagoya-style for eating unagi hitsumabushi and thus eat this in three different ways!:
(1) Scoop the rice and its toppings into a bowl and eat it as it is.
(2) Do the same as (1), but eat it together with pickles.
(3) Pour the dashi broth over the rice before eating. It will be like having rice porridge (but with firmer rice).
You will find a marked contrast in the flavours, especially between (1) and (3).
The lunch sets typically come with two side dishes of seasoned seaweed and tofu, plus a teapot containing dashi broth. Some roasted rice pops, pickles and wasabi are also provided as additional toppings. My preference is to use the roasted rice pops as a topping for my “porridge”.
Tori Sansai「鶏山菜」– $12
Roasted Chicken and Japanese edible wild plant
This was surprisingly good! The chunky pieces of chicken were tender and had a nice flavour.
All 3 methods of eating go well with this set.
Salmon & Maguro「サーモンと鮪」– $15
Fresh Salmon Sashimi & Fresh Tuna Sashimi
My friend ordered this and she liked it, but didn’t use that much of the soup broth, as she preferred just eating it chirashi don style.
These were the monthly lunch specials for March:
Buta Soboro Set「担々豚そぼろ」– $12
Spicy Minced Pork & Takana (Japanese pickled vegetables)
Mmm…this reminded me of a Chinese dish (i.e. 梅菜扣肉). It was extremeful flavourful and the combination of ingredients tasted better without the soup stock, so I decided to consume them separately.
Hokkaido Set「北海道丼set」– $20
Fresh Salmon, Scallop, Boiled Kani (Crab) & Ikura (Salmon Roe)
The seafood was fresh and I felt that just eating the main dish by itself was extremely satisfying (i.e. without the dashi stock).
If you still want to try it with the “tea”, then my advice is to leave out the salmon and the scallop, as those taste much better when eaten raw (i.e. after you pour the soup stock over, the sashimi will be cooked and thus leave a different feeling and taste in your mouth!), but at the end of the day it is down to personal preference on how you wish to eat it.
Regardless of which method was used to consume the food, it was value for money as the prices were nett, the ingredients were fresh and the service was friendly. Simple fare and yet satisfying.
Telephone: 6221 5101
Nearest MRT Station: