Sunday, January 30, 2011

Nagoya Style Grilled Eel (Hitsumabushi) @ Hitsumabushi Nagoya Bincho, Ginza-Tokyo

My cousin is not a fan of Eel but whenever he is in Tokyo he would ask Fukuda-san to take him to Hitsumabushi Nagoya Bincho, in Ginza that serves Nagoya-Style Unagi Kabayaki that is known as Hitsumabushi.

Hitsumabushi differs from the usual Unagi Don has to do with the way it is eaten. It is served in a set that includes the Unagi over Rice, Wasabi, Finely Sliced Scallions, Seaweed, Dashi Broth, Pickled Vegetables, a clear soup and an empty Bowl.

Nagoya Style Unagi (aka Hitsumabushi)

Diners are required to divide the Unagi into Four Quadrants and place each Quadrant into the empty bowl eating it in the following manner:

Nagoya-Style Unagi

1st Serving: Unagi with Rice
1st Style: Unagi on Rice
The Eel was had a nice smoky flavor from the use of high quality Bincho Charcoals (White Charcoal). The skin was crisp but less meatier than the usual Tokyo Style Unagi-Don. The Eel had a lovely Caramelized Flavor from the Basting Sauce and did not have a hint of muddy flavor

2nd Serving: Unagi with Rice,Spring Onions, Wasabi and Nori (Seaweed)
2nd Style: Unagi with Spring Onion and Wasabi
This was probably my favorite way of eating it. The Spring Onions and Wasabi help cut the fattiness of the Eel and gave it an added Zing which complemented the flavor of the Eel.

3rd Serving: Unagi with Rice, Spring Onions, Wasabi, Nori and Dashi Broth
3rd Style: Unagi with Seaweed and Tea
The Dashi Broth caused the Eel to be soggy and mellowed down the flavor of the Eel. This was my least favorite of the three ways of eating.

The 4th Serving allows us to choose whichever way we would like to eat the Eel. My favorite was having the Eel and Rice with Green Onions, Wasabi and Nori.

Deep Fried Eel Bones
Deep Fried Eel Bones
Prior to our Hitsumabushi we were served a bowl of Deep Fried Eel Bones. The Bones were really crunchy and seasoned well with Salt.

Overall the Unagi in Japan is definitely much better than what I've had everywhere else in the world. The Eel was grilled perfectly with the Skin Crisp and the pleasantly Charred Flavor of the Bincho imparted on the Eel.

Food: 4.3/5
Ambiance: 4.3/5
Service: 4.6/5
Price: $$$$ (Approximately USD $50 per person)

Contact Information:
Address :Ginza 2-2-14, Marronnier Gate 12F.
Hours: 11am-3, 5-10pm
Tel: +81-5159-0231

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