Summer in Japan: Unamei うな明

by - 15:51

Hidden away from the main street is where you'll find this little restaurant selling one the best unagi you can find in Sapporo. It took us a while to find this place while driving around the street on a rainy evening, and we were lucky enough to get a table for four. The place only has eight tables, and I would recommend getting a reservation if you are keen to visit this place since there were quite a few reserve signs on the tables. 

The menu is very simple, engraved on a wooden plank with only freshwater eel on the menu. An English menu is available with pictures too. Ordering is very simple here, they offer unagi either kabayaki and shirayaki style, with some side dishes such as kimoyaki. They also provide hone senbei for each order of sake to compliment the drink. 

We got two orders of kimoyaki, grilled eel liver, to share. It's not my favourite thing in the world but it's always good to try something at least once! While it has a slightly bitter taste to it, it's tastes pretty clean which meant that it was super fresh.  

We also got a serving of shiroyaki unagi to share, which is unagi deboned and butterflied, skewered and grilled over charcoal with only salt. This brings out the natural taste of the fish, which is very clean and fresh. Wasabi and soy sauce are provided as the fish might be quite bland to some. The quality of the eel is extremely fresh here, where there is no muddy taste that some people associate with some of the unagi found in Singapore. Also, shiroyaki is quite rare in Singapore so do try it if you have the chance!

Each of us got the kabayaki style for our main dish, with different sizes of course. The kabayaki style unagi is served as unadon here, over a bed of rice in lacquerware with a side of pickles and kimosui, a clear soup with boiled eel livers. Kabayaki is the same as shiroyaki, except it is brushed with a special soy sauce instead of salt. I prefer this over shiroyaki, as the flavours were much stronger and appeal to me more. It might also be because it is the only type that I have tried since this is the most common cooking method in Singapore. I also prefer the eel livers in soup compared to the grilled one we had earlier. 

The unadon comes in four sizes, S, M, L and XL. My mom and I got the smallest size while my dad and brother got the medium. We were not very hungry as we had a large crab for lunch, but we did finish everything because it was just that good. The rice was cooked perfectly with the amount of stickiness, the fish was amazingly tender and uber fresh. This is truly one of the best unagi I had and something that I would never find back home (unless I'm craving this so much that I would queue for a few hours at a certain unagi shop). Do try this place if you're in Sapporo! Oh and did I mention, this place was mentioned in the Michelin's Big Gourmet?

〒064-0821 Hokkaidō, Sapporo-shi, Chūō-ku, Kita 1 Jōnishi, 27 Chome−3−1

Opening Hours: 1130 - 1500, 1700 - 2100

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