Having opened quite recently two months ago in October, Man Man Unagi Restaurant has had many outstanding reviews. Yesterday, it was my turn to give this Unagi specialty restaurant a try.
Situated behind The Working Capitol, it is impossible to miss the beeline that stretched across the garden pathway even before its operating hours.
My friend and I arrived 15 minutes early and already there was a short queue forming. Fortunately, we were eighth in line. There was a lot of anticipation and excitement. Needless to say, I did not have lunch and was famished.
So nothing beats having the waitress, whom I presume to be Japanese, opening the restaurant’s door in a reindeer onesie. In fact, most of the staff had these onesies and they looked adorable. Stepping through the doors, we were immediately greeted by the smell of charcoal-grilled Unagi. (It is noteworthy that the restaurant only allows entry when everybody is present.)
Thanking the lucky stars, we managed to secure 2 seats by the bar counter, where you can view the chef and cooks at work. By work, I mean gutting fresh Unagi, skewering Unagi and setting them on the charcoal grill. The thing about these freshwater eels is that they are slippery, strong and stubbornly defiant which makes them a near impossible task to gut. But not for the chef here, who fluidly slice the eels from the belly. If you can stomach the gory craft, these bar counter seats are for you. Unfortunately, there are only 8 seats available, so you need to be quick.
The Unagi served are from Mikawa Isshiki region, flown directly from Japan. It really cannot get any fresher.
We took a quick glance of the menu and decided on getting the Large Una Don ($32.80++), which arrived 15 minutes later, instead of the more popular Hitsumaboshi ($35.80++). Why? We were simply too famished to appreciate the 3-steps approach (first, Unagi with rice; second, Unagi with seasonings; third, Unagi with dashi) to eat it.
The dish is served with a soup, cold tamagoyaki and pickles. And I fell in love on the first bite and even more so in the many more that came. THIS IS REALLY WORTH THE MONEY.
The freshly grilled aroma that hit us was great. But what really stood out was how tender the inside of the fish was, which by the way complements superbly with the crispy,charred and glazed skin. The tamagoyaki while less sweet and spongy still lacks the punch.
Our meal here in this cosy little restaurant was undoubtedly great. We left profoundly satisfied and greeted by another throng of famished souls.
Man Man Unagi Restaurant
1 Keong Saik Rd
Mon – Sat 11.30am-3pm, 6-10.30pm
Closed on Sundays and Public Holidays
Nearest MRT: Outram Park
(Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post.)