There’s plenty of standing ramen bars in Japan, but this may be the first standing dashi bar. For those who are unfamiliar with the term, dashi is a soup stock that makes up the base of many delicious Japanese dishes such as miso soup and ramen. Typically made of shaved katsuo bushi (preserved bonito fish), dashi is the lifeblood of traditional Japanese food, adding plenty of umami to even the humblest of dishes. Let’s take a closer look at Nihonbashi Dashi Bar, a shop that specializes in serving hot dashi by the cupful.
- A well-established shop offering genuine dashi
This standing bar is run by katsuo bushi specialty shop, Ninben. With over three hundred years of experience behind the tiny shop, Nihonbashi Dashi Bar serves up an authentic and traditional dashi.
- The most popular dish is the “katsuo bushi/katsuo・konbu combo dashi“
Our reporter decided to order the house specialty, which came in a 120ml paper cup for 100 yen (US$1). The soup stock looked extremely plain perched on the counter top, but the fragrant scent wafting up from his cup convinced our reporter that this was in fact a very sophisticated dish.
- Adding seasonings
According to the guide on the table, one spoonful of salt and soy sauce would be plenty, so our reporter decided to follow the shop’s advice and only add this small amount. Our reporter took his first sip and was overcome with a flood of emotion from the warmth and familiarity of the broth. The simplicity of the katsuo, soy sauce and salt mingled together in perfect harmony. The taste was pure, traditional Japan and made our reporter glad to be born in a land of such wonderful flavors.
- The full menu
In addition, the menu includes western style creamy dashi as well as tomato dashi. They also change menu items every month with selections such as katsuobushi rice and tai meshi (rice with minced sea bream). For those who don’t want to stand, Nihonbashi Dashi Bar also offers take-out.
- It’s a katsuo bushi theme park!
Next to the standing bar is the Ninben factory where you can watch masters demonstrate the proper way to shave off flakes of katsuo bushi and even try it yourself. There are also plenty of souvenirs to buy and exhibits to see…it’s like a katsuo bushi theme park! If you’re looking for a taste of traditional Japan, you must visit Nihonbashi Dashi Bar, and Ninben right next door, to try this wonderful dashi made by katsuo bushi masters.
Nihonbashi Dashi Bar
Address: 2-2-1 Nihonbashi muromachi, Chūō-ku, Tōkyō-to 103-0027
Hours: 10:00～20:00, 7 days a week
[ Read in Japanese ]