So, the thought of queuing for 30 minutes under the mid-day sun certainly didn’t sound appealing to me, and when I arrived at Man Man Unagi, my first comment was to ask my friend if she wanted to head elsewhere.
After all, we were at the Keong Saik area and plenty other options are available there.
It didn’t help that there were a couple of “aunties” in front of us saying that they had been waiting forever.
Luckily, my friend isn’t as lazy as I am, and so we stuck it out, not for too long, just about 15 minutes on a Wednesday at around 12.30pm.
(I guess the “aunties” had a warped sense of time)
Anyway, once in, you’re greeted by the sight of Japan’s best freshwater eels swimming merrily in large tanks.
Merrily, before they meet their fate, which, for the faint-hearted, you might want to skip the next paragraph and the video.
The chef picks the eels up, and then proceed to hold the squirming body down while he splits them right down the middle, and then digs out the innards. It’s not exactly the nicest sight to witness especially when you can still see movement from the eel while he is splitting it open!
The house specialty at Man Man Unagi is the Hitsumabushi set ($26.80). Now, we all know good unagi is expensive, so frankly, with the amount and quality of what we were served, this is a really good price to pay. Plus there is no service charge, so you’ll end up paying around $28 only.
Charcoal-grilled kansai-style means the eel is cut open at the belly and grilled without steaming, so that the eel retains as much of its fat as possible. This results in a plump and perfectly charred unagi. Sitting atop a bed of rice, you’re given instructions on how to eat it.
- Divide the rice into 4 sections.
- Eat the first section as it is.
- Eat the second section with freshly grated wasabi, spring onions and seaweed.
- Eat the 3rd section by pouring the unagi bone dashi stock over some rice and eel to make it like a loose “porridge”.
- Eat the last section any way you want it. Which in my case means as it is with lots of wasabi.
My friend wanted to try the Kimo Don ($24.80) which is with the eel liver, but unfortunately they had run out.
Another idea is to go for the Unatama ($18.60), which is the lowest priced option at Man Man Unagi and order some sides so that you can try a variety. The Unatama comes with a smaller portion of eel on rice, with tamagoyaki (Japanese rolled omelette).
And if you’re a fan of the fluffy egg that is tamagoyaki, might as well order the Umaki ($15.80) which sees the egg slices sandwiching a piece of unagi.
Well, because our Hitsumabushi portion was so big, we didn’t have any room for additional sides, so that will be for the next visit then. Definitely happy that Chef Teppei Yamashita has opened Man Man Unagi!
Man Man Unagi Restaurant
Address: 1 Keong Saik Road #01-01 S (089109)
Contact: Tel: 6222 0678
Mon – Sat: 11 30am – 3pm; 6pm – 10 30pm