Bio Ojiyan Cafe+ (Ojiya), Shimokitazawa

"Bio Ojiyan Cafe+" looks like a cool cafe/restaurant like a lot of other cafes in the area but it has something in its menu that stands out from the other ones, that is their specialty fares, the "Ojiya".

The Ojiya is a widely popular dish consisting of rice cooked in dashijiru (stock usually made of dry seaweed and dry fish; please refer to this extensive article on the Dashi if you're interested), miso sauce or soy sauce or both, with a selection of cooked vegetables, meat, fish. Most of the time people will add beaten egg in the rice right before serving, for the taste and texture.

The etymology of the word is uncertain, but specialist tend to agree on the interesting possibility that the word derives from the Spanish "Olla" (pronounced like oja in English), a ceramic jar used for cooking stews and soup that Spanish missionaries may have brought with them to Japan from around the end of the 16th century.

Ojiyan serves a great, though slightly too salty, ojiya which comes in 2 sizes. I have ordered the regular size which might be a little small should you be very hungry. The bigger portion is only ¥150 more so you might want to supersize from the beginning.
As you can see on the pictures, the ojiya here comes with sugar-brushed fried bread (upper left) , which happens to go amazingly well with the otherwise salty dish, dry seaweed Nori, chopped leak and an octopus-shaped sausage (lower left)

The purple thing you see at the bottom of the picture is some Neri-Ume (pasty pickled plum) that I ordered as a topping (¥150). You can choose from several other toppings like Cheese (¥300), Fried Chicken (¥350), Tarako (¥300) and many others. The Fried Chicken seems to be a favorite.

Once again, Ojiyan looks like one of those cool cafes and do indeed serve western dishes like Pastas, but you should really try either the house favorite Ojiya (which will get to your table in about 5mn when they're not busy) or their relatively copious Japanese lunch which are varied and good. All lunches come with Natto (fermented soy beans) as one of the side dishes, so be ready for the challenge if you have never tried it yet. You'll see, it doesn't taste as bad as what it smells like!

Bio Ojiyan Cafe+ is opened everyday from 11:30am to 11pm
click here for a MAP


Takomushi said...

si, monsieur, je vois la pieuvre ici