Tag Archives: unagi

Unagiya Ichinoji, Robertson Quay and Suntec City

[Edited on 31 October 2018] Skip Robertson Quay and head straight for Suntec City.

I’m a huge unagi fan. I highly raved Man Man Unagi at Keong Saik so when I heard that another unagi specialty restaurant with a long list of credentials (125 years of history, Bib Gourmand 2018 awardee, Tokyo’s famous unagi Restaurant with 20 outlets across Japan) opened it’s first overseas outlet in none other than sunny Singapore, I was stoked.

Expecting a super long queue like Man Man, I was there slightly before 530pm for its dinner hours. Not much people, and I was seated rather quickly.

The layout is similar to Man Man’s. There’s a tank of live eels swimming around and a counter overseeing the kitchen via glass panels. If you want to see the chef in action, pick the counter seats. It can be a little hot though.

Chef starting to grill the eels. I read that they steam their eels before grilling them to give that crispy texture.

Hitsumabushi (small), $19.80.

Hitsumabushi (medium), $26.80.

The Hitsumabushis can go up to $77.80 for the XL size. While that makes for a good family size, I prefer having my own set to indulge in. For those who need a refresher, you can eat the Hitsumabushi in three ways: Plain old unagi and rice, unagi and rice with the side condiments, and unagi and rice with dashi (provided in a little jar). My favourite is the one with side condiments because it gives the unagi an added layer of taste.

Close up shot of the unagi.

On to the taste of the unagi, the reason for this post. The unagi was horrible. Although it was grilled, there wasn’t any char taste, not to mention any decent crispy texture. The meat itself was rather tough and it felt like I was eating a gummy candy. I dreaded eating piece after piece. Thankfully I ordered the small portion. I also drenched my meal in the separate unagi sauce provided to give it more taste.

I just noticed that the difference between a small and medium is just two slices of unagi and more rice. Not sure if this justifies a $7 difference.

The Suntec City one was so much better.

Hitsumabushi (M), $32.80.

No idea why the difference in price for the medium portion. Perhaps it’s because the Suntec eatery is a “dining” concept with a bigger space and better ambience.

The unagi standards at the Suntec outlet were so much better. They were not as rubbery and definitely more flavourful. The portions were generous as well; I finished my mixed grain rice (good choice, go for it) before I was done with my unagi! That said, I still prefer Man Man because the unagi texture at Man Man is really quite unique and hard to replicate.

30 Robertson Quay, Riverside Village Residences, #01-05, S(238251)

+65 6732 1970

Daily: 1130am to 3pm, 530pm to 10pm

3 Temasek Boulevard, Suntec City #03-307, S(038983)

+65 6268 8043

Daily: Same as above

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Filed under Food, Japan, Japanese, review

Man Man Japanese Unagi Restaurant, Keong Saik Road


The queue 10 minutes before Man Man was open for lunch at 1130am on a Tuesday!

Man Man is not easy to get to if you’re not familiar with the Outram/ Chinatown district. Do study your route the night before (okay la, morning study also can. I was just too excited.) so you won’t get lost and end up not making the first batch because Man Man requires all guests to arrive before they will seat you. The seating capacity is small (30 odd?), don’t say I never warn you.

Live eels in da house!

Sitting by the counter gets you full view of unagi happiness. The well fed eels are grilled over charcoal! 

Egg Unagi (can’t remember the price).

Fluffy egg roll! I really liked the soft and light texture of the egg, but I think they precooked a lot of these beforehand so by the time it was served, it wasn’t piping hot anymore. 😦 The unagi embedded within wasn’t outstanding as well. You may want to skip this dish.

Hitsumabushi Set (S$26.80)

Best. Unagi. Ever. The closest in taste I got to this unagi were the ones I ate at an unagi specialty store in Japan. It’s not your usual dull and flat tasting eel. The meat is chunky, the skin is slightly charred, and the sauce not too overwhelming (you must eat it with the white rice, which in itself isn’t soaked with the sauce). Mm smokey. This is real unagi for you.

For this particular set, you get to eat your unagi 4 ways. Plain, with seaweed and spring onions, with freshly grated wasabi, or with the soup stock that they provided (forgot to snap a picture, bugger. The soup is in the little black pot at the top left hand corner of the tray).

They also do provide a range of unagi sauces – sweet, normal, spicy as well as Japanese pepper so do play around as much as you like.

Just as we were about to leave we got to catch the staff in action! The eels are so active they kept squirming out of the wooden bucket just like the one you see over there.

Definitely a must go. I don’t think I’ve eaten a better unagi in Singapore.

Man Man Japanese Unagi Restaurant 

1 Keong Saik Road #01-01, S089109 

Mon to Sat, PH: 11.30am to 3pm, 6pm to 10.30pm 

Sun: Closed 

+65 6222 0678

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