We went for lunch today at a restaurant called お茶漬け膳 (Ochazuke Zen). As the name suggests, this restaurant specializes in ochazuke (お茶請け). What this basically means, is boiled rice over which you pour hot tea. It’s really good winter food, as it can really warm you up. Maybe this is why the restaurant’s aircon was set at such a cold temperature (it’s rainy season in Japan now, which means a warm and sticky climate - not ideal for this kind of food).
On this occasion, I ordered a lunch set for 1,020 yen.
The pictures below are of the complete set (the jug of tea is out of shot) and then the moment you pour the tea onto the rice. You put your rice in white bowl and then pour the tea into that.
Side dish of egg plant covered in a kind of minced pork.
Miso soup served with ice (due to the season).
Help yourself to shredded nori/seaweed (right) and katsuobushi/bonito flakes (left) and put them on your ochazuke.
The bright pink and yellow is pickled radish (tsukemono in Japan)
I’m not aware of any other food cultures that make a meal out of pouring tea onto rice, but I’d love to know if there is anything similar to ochazuke in other countries!