I genuinely find it hard to love eels. Long and slimy, who would love them,right? But this is definitely not the case for unagi, a well loved Japanese dish made using eels. From the same folks behind Teppei Japanese Restaurant, a new unagi specialty shop, Man Man Japanese Unagi Restaurant will be opening at Keong Saik Road! Is this the place where we can find really good unagi that are basted with sweet tare sauce and grilled to perfection? I have ditched my diet, braved the hot sun (today very hot right?) and chiong down to Man Man Japanese Unagi Restaurant to find out more!
Perhaps the idea of hidden find always intrigue people, be prepare to search for Man Man Japanese Unagi Restaurant. Although the address is at 1 Keong Saik Road, the entrance is actually at the back of The Working Capitol building, along Duxton Plain Park.
Man Man Japanese Unagi Restaurant is a relatively small restaurant with 50 table seating and 8 counter seating where you can watch the chefs in action!
I have often heard people saying that they dislike unagi as the dish can be quite fishy if they are not fresh! Dear friends, you can now be rest assured that those fishy unagi days are history. The eels are specially imported from Mikawa Isshiki region, which is famous for supplying high quality eels. The live eels are first fished out from the big fishing tubs (at the entrance), slaughtered and skinned alive (sounds very cruel hor but the skillful Japanese chef, Chef Nakagawa, did it in such swift movement that he took barely a minute to skin an eel!) before they are skewered.
The grilling process (grilled over hot charcoal,then seasoned with tare sauce and grilled again) repeats until the eel has this beautiful brown charred skin.
Besides Kabayaki (grilled with tare sauce) Unagi ($27.80), Man Man Japanese Unagi Restaurant also served Shirayaki (grilled with salt) Unagi ($27.80) to appease to the diehard unagi purists.
For restaurant to be called an unagi specialty shop, it is not uncommon to find that no part of the eel goes to waste. Besides serving Kimoyaki (eel livers, $9.80), Yahatamaki (burdock wrapped with unagi, $14.80) and Unagi Bone Cracker ($6), egg lovers like me can also enjoy Umaki ($15.80), unagi omelette.
If you are in the mood for having Unagi bowl multiple ways, try Hitsumabushi ($26.80).
First you scoop some rice and unagi into a smaller bowl, have it as a unagi bowl.
Or add in some chopped green onions, wasabi, and nori seaweed to enjoy it.
Lastly, pour in some soup stock to relish it.
If you like more flavours, there are 3 sauces for you to choose from, sweet, normal or spicy (mildly spicy for people like me who enjoy really spicy food).
There are 3 sizes for the Una Don (Unagi Rice Bowl) and each comes with a tamagoyaki (egg omelette), soup and pickles. We ordered an Unatama ($18.60, on the right of the picture above) and a Medium Una Don ($25.80, on the left of the picture above). For those who prefer to have more unagi, the Large Una Don ($32.80) would be a divine bowl to have. The difference between the different bowl sizes are MORE unagi.
Although the rice is not the main highlight of a Una Don, I like how it is cooked just right, fluffed and steamy in the bowl. The unagi has a lovely crisp on the outside but succulent and tender on the inside. Not to forget the lingering charred aroma that had me polished the bowl clean! The tamago at the side is so good that I heard my dining partner “oiishi”ing through out the whole meal!
With such a great dining experience, I am very sure I will be back again soon. Long queue? I am not so worried. Just slap on more sunblock, bring an umbrella and my portable fan along! Can’t wait for Man Man Japanese Unagi Restaurant to be opened on 12th October!
Man Man Japanese Unagi Restaurant
1 Keong Siak Road #01-01 Singapore 089109
Tel: +65 6222 0678
Operating Hours: Mon – Sat (Close on Sun / Open on Public Holiday)
Lunch 11:30am-3:00pm (Last order 2:30pm)
Dinner 6:00pm – 10:30pm (Last order 10:00pm)