Man Man Japanese Unagi Restaurant by TEPPEI Group @ 1 Keong Saik Road
The TEPPEI group is no stranger to our Singapore food scene and has made waves for the affordable Omakase sets they offer in their hole-in-the-wall space in Orchid Hotel, which by the way has a three month long waiting list. Apart from that, they are also known for their Chirashi Dons that are brimming with thick slices of fresh raw fish at Hanare, a few doors down.
Fast forward a few years later, Chef Teppei Yamashita will be creating long queues again with his new venture- an Unagi speciality restaurant that will be opening its doors today, 12 Oct 16, along Keong Saik Road, walking distance from the original Teppei Japanese Restaurant in Tanjong Pagar.
The eel served here is imported directly from Japan, from the Mikawa Isshiki region. They are so fresh that they are still swimming in the makeshift tanks at the corner of the restaurant before being slaughtered live in front of diners who choose to sit at the open concept kitchen. Not for the faint-hearted because it gets bloody, real bloody but no worries about any oil or splatter because there is a glass screen between you and the Chefs. However, I would personally not recommend that you sit there unless you really need to catch some live action and watching your dinner prepared in its rawest form.
Moving on to the food, no surprises here but most of the dishes offered here revolve around Unagi, so if you are a fan of this freshwater elongated finless fish, you will definitely not be disappointed. If you are not however, then you might be better off eating elsewhere.
Prices of the Unagi sets here range from $18.60++ to $26.80++, comes with soup and pickles for all, and tamagoyaki (Japanese rolled omelette) for some. Judging from the portions of the Unagi especially, it is probably one of the more affordable options around. We all know that quality Unagi does not come cheap in Singapore.
For ala carte options, there is also the Unagi Kabayaki and Unagi Shirayaki, $27.80++ each. Both are unique in character with the former being smothered in a light sweet sauce which forms a layer of caramelization over the fillet after being grilled, for a charred crisp finish. The latter however, is seasoned only with salt, grilled and unglazed, highlighting the natural flavour of the eel.
The vote was split on this one with some of us preferring the clean taste in the Shirayaki, while others like me were sold by the sweetness and richness of the Kabayaki.
We also ordered the Hitsumabushi $26.80++ and Unagi Don (Large) $32.80++, both sets were served with tamagoyaki and each in a traditional bento tray for completeness.
It was agreed unanimously that the Hitsumabushi was the best of all. The glossy short grain Japanese rice was doused in sweet sauce while the Unagi itself was nicely glazed with that characteristic smokiness. The interesting thing here is that the Unagi served here is charcoal grilled whole before they are filleted which means that the flavour and juices are all nicely captured in the meat without drying out. You would definitely be able to experience the difference at the first bite. Altogether a very satisfying meal packed into a wooden lacquer bowl.
To conclude, I must say that the TEPPEI group has done it again and this time, with their mouthwatering grilled Unagi. The space here is relatively small though so once word gets around, the queues would probably be snaking out the door so if you do not mind queuing, the food is really worth a try! As for me, I am sure that I will be back for another visit very soon.
1 Keong Saik Road #01-01
Tel: +65 6222 0678
Lunch 11:30am – 3:00pm
Dinner 6:00pm – 10:30pm (Mon – Sat)
Closed Sundays and PH