Umami-rich dashi dishes – the taste of time and patience
Odashi to Obanzai musubu offers authentic dashi-filled Japanese cuisine in a welcoming at-home environment.
The obanzai part of this restaurant’s name refers to the word people in Kyoto use for small everyday side dishes. Obanzai dishes are characterized by the umami flavors they get from the kombu and bonito flake dashi stock used, and use of seasonal vegetables. Additionally, the word musubu was chosen to signify the way the restaurant fuses the new with the old. At musubu, they endeavor to bring back the old by utilizing ancient cooking techniques and seasonings.
Head chef Ogata-san is one of great passion. When we talked to him he told us, “If I’m ever told that I don’t have to put so much time into my food, then I’ll quit being a chef.”
An example of the time and patience that is put in at this restaurant is their dashi stock.
As bonito flakes are the decider of a good dashi stock, musubu has decided to ue their own special blend of them. The bonito flake blend used is the result of much trial and error and numerous trips to a certain dashi company, whom they buy the blend wholesale from.
Something else that should be noted is the traditional Japanese shimenawa rope that features prominently on the counter of musubu. Shimenawa represent the borders between those deemed to be sacred and this world. Originally, these ropes were placed at Shinto shrines as objects to ward off vengeful spirits. Seeing them as such symbols, Ogata-san says he uses them to focus his mind and become more passionate and motivated toward his cooking.
As a result, each and every single one of his very time-consuming dishes are brilliant and treat you to the absolute pinnacle of dashi flavors.
We highly recommend anyone who wants to try traditional Kyoto soul food made with a hardy amount of dashi stock to visit musubu.
Tsukidashi no Otsuimono – Soup Appatizer
/ ¥500 (to cover the table charge) (Inc. Tax)
Tsukidashi no Otsuimono is a soup served as an appetizer. The Japanese word tsukidashi refers to appetizers which are first served to you and that you don’t specifically need to order. Tsukidashi also cover the cost of the table charge as well.
Additionally, osuimono is a traditional Japanese soup made with vegetables and seafood in a dashi based soup seasoned with salt, soy sauce, and miso.
The osuimono soup served at Odashi to obanzai musubu contains, grilled eggplant, eel, and wax gourd. The dashi soup is full of delicate flavors which come from the different aromas and flavors of its ingredients. Make sure to take your time with this soup and not rush to slurp it down too fast.
Taking your time with this soup will allow you to enjoy and really appreciate its delicate and nuanced flavors.
*depending on what is available, the ingredients included in the soup may change.
Otsukuri no Moriawase – Sashimi Platter
/ ￥2,409 (Inc. Tax)
The Otsukuri no Moriawase is a platter containing five different types of sashimi. The sashimi used varies depending on what is available at the time. This platter contained white trevally, squid, threeline grunt, young Pacific Bluefin tuna, and sea bream. Usually sashimi is eaten with soy sauce; however, at musubu, the only sashimi that’s to be eaten with soy sauce is the white trevally. The other sashimi have each been seasoned with different things. The squid is sprinkled with a mix of salt and bonito flake powder, while the threeline grunt cooked and seasoned in a Japanese sake called irizake.
The aburi flame torched young Pacific Bluefin tuna was seasoned with salt and the Sea bream with vinegared miso.
The pursuit of delicious flavors doesn’t start at seasoning, it starts at preparation. That’s why when prepping the fish, musubu specifically use dashi stock instead of water. They say that this helps remove orders from the fat, while also drawing out flavors from the meat.
Such considerations have even gone into their knife techniques as well. For example, when cutting squid, in order for the sweetest part of the meat to contact the tongue, the knife slices deep the center of the meat.
Each sashimi can be ordered on its own; however, if you have made your way here, then we recommend you order the entire platter and try the different flavors of different varieties of sashimi.
Dashimake-tamago – Japanese Rolled Omelet
/ ￥759 (Inc. Tax)
This classic Japanese rolled omelet is a signature dish at musubu. The name, dashimaki-tamago is derived from the recipe for this omelet – rolled egg infused dashi. In order for the omelet to achieve the thickness pictured above, the chefs use a small square frying pan in which they pour a small amount of the egg/dashi mixture. After spreading the mixture to each corner of the pan, they then begin to fold the thin omelet onto itself. Repeating this many times over creates what you see before you, an absolutely stacked omelet.
While the ingredients and recipe may be simple, this classic dish is packed with umami flavors from the egg and dashi stock.
Don’t forget to try a bit of the finely grated daikon radish with your omelet either.
You’ll find that the fluffy, creamy flavors of the egg are completely contrasted by the crisp, slushy textures and fresh flavors of the radish. You’ll never get sick of this combination no matter how many times you try it.
Aigamo no Sumibi-yaki – Chargrilled Duck
/ ￥1,419 (Inc. Tax)
The Grilled Duck is one of the most recommended items out of the range of grilled dishes.
Serving the duck rare is a testament to the freshness of the meat, wish is freshly cut every morning. The first thing you’ll taste when you try the meat is the distinctive flavor of charcoal. The meat’s smokey aromas make their way around your mouth before cutting straight through your sinuses and out your nose.
The meat itself remains rare on the inside, giving it a distinctively chewy, yet tender texture. As you chew the tender bird, your mouth begins to gradually fill with fat from the duck and eventually you’ll have a mouth full of umami-packed duck fat.
Additionally, add the accompanying bonito flakes and Japanese scallions to enjoy entirely new and different flavors as well.
If you have never tried duck meat before, we highly recommend giving musubu’s Chargrilled Duck a try.