Joining the ranks of unagi specialty restaurants in Singapore is Unagiya Ichinoji. This restaurant is the first overseas outlet by Miyagawa Honten, a 125-year-old unagi specialty restaurant in Tsukiji, Tokyo, Japan.
Just like Uya and Man Man, Unagiya serves unagi (freshwater eel). Chargrilled using skewers to hold the unagi over charcoal, this is the traditional way of cooking unagi since the beginning of Japanese civilization. Of course, there might have been other methods but this one is the most popular way of cooking it. What makes the eel taste even better is that it’s fresh from the water. Just like in Man Man and Uya, the fish are kept in fresh cold water before being prepared and grilled to serve.
The unagi is prepared by first being cut and gutted up. With skilled Japanese craftsmanship, the eel is properly cleaned and gutted, after which they are skewed over hot coal. The fire is properly fanned, like how they do it with satay, to regulate the heat from the coal. Through the process, the unagi is glazed beautifully with a special sweet sauce. Once done, the unagi is served on a bowl of hot Japanese rice with some more sauce poured on the rice.
Hitsumabushi style involves 3 ways of eating this meal. Unagiya Ichinoji provides instructions on the three ways.
First Way: Eat it just as it is.
Second Way: Eat with the condiments (spring onions + freshly grated wasabi + seaweed)
Third Way: Eat it with the dashi stock provided.
Whatever way you choose to consume this delicious meal, I advise you to add in some shichimi and sansho pepper. Makes it even more WOW!
You could also choose a fourth method which some people do, including myself. Just mix it all together like ochazuke. The trick is to do it in portions of three in the empty bowl provided and not using too much dashi each time.
What was the highlight of this dish in terms of taste? First of all, I could really taste the freshness of the eel just by biting into it. The portion of unagi is satisfyingly thick. It is not too brittle, and the texture really doesn’t make you feel like you are eating cheap processed unagi of thawed dead unagi from some long-gang (drain). It has that tongue warming feel of a chargrilled piece of meat should be. Depending on the way you choose to eat the meal, the combination of flavors vary. I liked the light pouring of dashi mixed with the condiments and seasoned with shichimi and sansho pepper. It was umami BAM!
How can I forget the unagi tamagoyaki (eel omelette roll)? The blend of it with the grated daikon was nice. What I liked about it was the softness of the egg and the unagi going together. With the grated daikon, it was relaxing to chew on.
After all is said and eaten, what was the damage? I ordered the medium sized one cause I was hungry. The medium sized wasn’t too filling, neither was it too little. It was just nice. I would love to go back for the XL. Medium sized Hitsumabushi is priced at S$26.80, with small priced at S$19.80. There are L and XL sizes as well. Large is priced at S$32.80 and XL is priced at S$77.80, which is a serving for 2-3 persons. If you are up to the challenge, do a food eating video with the XL portion. Unagi Tamagoyaki sells for S$9.80.
There are other sets and side dishes available on the menu, including unagi chawanmushi, unagi liver, and unagi bone cracker. Head on down to Unagiya Ichinoji at Robertson Quay to enjoy fresh grilled unagi.
30 Robertson Quay
Lunch (1130am – 3pm)