Tokyo Table Trip

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根據我自己的用餐經驗及多年來對最美味鰻魚的不斷追尋,我認為「かぶと(Kabuto)」、「尾花(Obana)」、「鰻禅(Unazen)」以及 「魚政(Uomasa)」這四間,是關東地區提供鰻魚料理餐廳中最棒的幾間。這四間餐廳都很受歡同時也各自有其獨到之處。

「かぶと (Kabuto)」這間餐廳很適合那些喜好古雅風格,追尋昔日街坊小餐館風情的人士到此用餐。在「かぶと(Kabuto)」,店家會直接在你面前處理魚隻,你會看到活生生的鰻魚依然跳動的心臟被開膛破肚後取出。因此,建議膽小人士迴避為妙。饕客一定要來品嚐鰻魚的各種不同部位。在此處用過晚餐後,我得禁食一天好從享用鰻魚美味的欣快感中恢復過來。餐點非常豐盛,我建議您來吃晚餐當天的中午少少地吃一點就好。

由於「尾花 (Obana)」根本不接受預訂,對於那些想直接到店用餐的人士來說是很好的選擇。因為這裡已成為觀光景點之一的緣故,所以您可以看到許多飢腸轆轆且帶著行李的觀光客,在排隊等待用餐。儘管店內供客人席地用餐的空間還不算小,卻依然可見排隊候位的長長人龍。總之,這裡的午餐賣相絕佳,醬汁也很棒。雖說少了現場演出的鰻魚開腸剖肚秀可欣賞。

「鰻禅 (Unazen)」鄰近東京晴空塔,是由一對可愛的老夫婦經營的小店。客人點餐後才會進行活鰻剖殺及燒烤作業,因此備餐時間較長。您可不經預直接到店,我自己的小技巧是等到沒什麼人用餐的離峰時刻再去。這裡的鰻魚和醬汁都深得我心。

「魚政(Uomasa)」給我一種身處箱子中用餐的感覺。用餐室的裝飾很簡單,但上等的鰻魚搭配迷人的醬汁香氣,彌補了這裡在格調氣氛上的乏善可陳。這家店不難預約,但要來前一定要先預訂,否則您可能會像許多直接來店的饕客一樣,被店門前宣告餐點售罄的牌子拒於門外。

雖然我有自信關東一帶所有供應上等鰻魚料理的餐廳,大部分我都去過了,但多虧了我在東京的長官,帶我去了靜岡。位於靜岡縣的這家「瞬(SHUN)」鰻魚餐廳開在離靜岡車站有段距離的一個華麗前衛社區內。可說是隱藏版的絕品店家!我一走進店內,就忍不住愛上了環繞著餐廳的優美庭園。「瞬」以一吧檯搭配一大桌方式營造出絕佳的氣氛。使人無比放鬆!午餐採單點形式,晚餐則是由主廚全權配菜的套餐。吧檯區的客人在欣賞主廚現場燒烤香氣無與倫比的鰻魚的同時,也能窺見後面廚房宰殺鰻魚的情景。這對心臟不夠強的人來說或許不會那麼驚悚,只是欣賞時得小心不要靠烤架太近。醬汁有著深厚複雜的鮮味,呈現出不會讓人覺得口味過重的絕佳平衡。烤鰻魚肝及鰻魚湯也很棒。店內設的大張桌子,很適合讓團體在此用餐。

「瞬」所使用的高檔食材,其品質之佳令人印象深刻。這要歸功於餐廳所在的位置鄰近以鰻魚及鋼琴工廠這兩大特色而聞名的濱松市。濱松製造的鋼琴品質也是最上等的。我來自濱松的日本朋友說過,他不會在東京品嚐鰻魚,我想我現在了解其中的道理了。

雖然「瞬」僅靠一對夫婦攜手經營,但店裡的服務可是一流的。老闆娘既親切又十分有效率。我去的時候店內沒有其它外國人,所以老闆夫婦和另一名用餐客人看到我這個洋面孔時顯得有些驚訝。儘管如此,他們的友善與好客卻讓我十分感動。

鰻魚被我列在「盡量避免的食物名單」上,過去幾年我吃鰻魚料理的次數大幅減少,倒不是擔憂這種油脂豐厚的魚類身上很容易累積的重金屬,而是憂心日益減少的鰻魚數量。除了日本及其它仿效日本的國際饕客外,在其它文化中,例如西班牙人,也深愛他們稱做「Angulas(英文為 elvers )」的幼鰻料理,導致過去幾年鰻魚價格高漲及供應量銳減的狀況。照這種速度惡化下去,未來十年內,我們可能很難再看到鰻魚了。即使有海洋生物學上的進展,以及最新的科技,但在養殖鰻魚上,並未獲得真正的成功。所有在養殖場培育的鰻魚都需要從野生饅魚中先取得魚苗。但是野生捕獲的鰻魚數量已減少,而且供應也不甚穩定。就我所知可能僅有「かぶと(Kabuto)」、「天本(Amamoto)」及「照寿司 」(供應巨無霸野生鰻魚堡)三家餐廳有能力定期採購野生鰻魚。

午餐時段店家雖然也接受直接上門的客人,但建議您還是事先預約為宜。考慮到從東京來此的路途遙遠,除非您是個十足鰻魚極客,我不建議您舟車勞頓地前來。但對於那些將大老遠從東京出發、將耗時一整天尋找美食視若公園散步般輕鬆的硬派饕客,「瞬」應該要被列入必訪名單。除此之外,您也可以將一餐安排在「瞬」,另一餐則轉戰「てんぷら 成生(Tempura Naruse )」,好讓這趟靜岡之旅不虛此行。
至於想品嚐鰻魚料理的一般客人,我會建議您偶一為之就好,找一家很棒的鰻魚餐廳,細細品味鰻魚的絕妙滋味。這麼一來,我們的後世子孫或許還有機會也能嚐到美味的鰻魚。

◆瞬(SHUN)
地址:静岡県静岡市葵区有永町260-1
電話:054-294-7178
營業時間:
[午餐] 11:30-14:30
[晚餐] 17:30~21:00
預算:6,000~7,999JPY (午餐) / 15,000~20,000JPY (晚餐)
公休日:星期日

Writer:Localtaste

「Local taste 」早在社群媒體出現之前,就開啟了尋找美食的漫長旅程,從一個城市漫遊至另一個城市,從遠東地區到西方,走過四大洲 160 個以上的城市,在過去 37 年,跋涉超過 400,000 英里的距離。
他在數千個不同的餐廳用過餐,從亞洲的一處牆洞內,一直到巴黎所有獲得米其林3星榮譽的十家餐廳,還花了幾十年的時間在追尋完美的小籠包。
由於他並非從事餐飲相關行業,也不是美食作家,因此您在別處看不到他的文章,tokyotabletrip.com 是唯一獨家刊登 Leo Saito 文章的媒體,以藉此感謝他在幫助各國旅客發掘日本料理之美所做出的無私貢獻。

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guest

Hi, I went to Unagi Shun last week for lunch and got the grilled eel liver and the unaju and I just wanted to give a bit of my personal thoughts on it.

The eel liver I really enjoyed. The unaju however I found not to be exactly my type as I found the unagi less soft or less "melting" compared to some other places. For example one of my favourite unaju is at Tomoei in Odawara (which I don't see mentioned much in this website at all) and unagi is much softer. I have also been to Uomasa and I preferred it to the unagi at Shun. This is not to say it wasn't good of course, I still quite enjoyed the meal at Shun however I'm not sure it is the best for me. Does anyone that have been to Shun share same thoughts as me for their unaju? Is it generally less softer unagi than some other places (because of chef technique?) or could it be just that day.

Thank you

9 天 ago

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User default d6f8776075bbcbf91b3886fd7b0aeb86c94956e290bd9b9223466618a8cd47a2

guest

And by saying the unagi at Shun is not as soft I mean it doesn’t melt in your mouth when you eat it, it doesn’t fall apart or break as easy when using chopsticks to cut it to eat, and harder texture in general.

9 天 ago
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localtaste

@guest thank u for sharing your experience. I’m sorry that u traveled a long way and it wasn’t your best Unagi experience.

I’ll also mention Tomoei as one of my recommendation if you are in the area. Tomoei got great eel maintained in controlled temperature.

It’s the cooking method. So it might not be a bad day. In Kanto, they got Kanto style. I also liked Uomasa. Have u tried eel in Kansei, Kyushu or Aichi? In my next article, I will unveil my Japan list.

But if u look for tomoei kind of experience, tomoei should be your top choice. Even at Kabuto, their eel isn’t soft like tomoei.

9 天 ago
User default d6f8776075bbcbf91b3886fd7b0aeb86c94956e290bd9b9223466618a8cd47a2

guest

@localtaste thank you for your reply. These are the unagi restaurants that I have been to in Japan in order of my personal preference.

1) Tomoei
2) Uomasa
3) Shun
4) Ishibashi
5) Obana
6) Hirokawa Kyoto
7) Nodaiwa Ginza

I am not expert on unagi though so I don’t know anything about their difference in cooking techniques etc.

9 天 ago
User default d6f8776075bbcbf91b3886fd7b0aeb86c94956e290bd9b9223466618a8cd47a2

guest

And from that list I have to say that Shun probably had the least “soft” unagi compared to other places. Would be great to hear your thoughts on this localtaste and others as well.

9 天 ago
Mastermind noir eyes black eyeglasses 1

Menchikatsu

@localtaste
Thanks for this helpful piece of information. I never really knew there was a clear difference between unagi preparation in different regions, Kanto, Kansai, etc...

Unagi served in North America is so bad comparatively to how it's cooked in Japan, that I just feel lucky I get to eat it at all. I always thought a delicate, fluffy consistency showed greater care in cooking. I have sometimes noted the difference between wild caught and farm raised eel.

Thanks to Saito-san's previous advice, I've also been distinguishing between places that use sweet sauce vs. a more savory natural taste. And charcoal vs. electric/gas grill.

8 天 ago
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localtaste

@Menchikatsu they not only cook busy also cut it differently. You can look at the different cut and how they place unagi in each area. Different cutting method also affects the mouth feel when you eat it.

Hakata
https://www.instagram.com/p/B5ZQ5DZpU8S/?igshid=11i6ndzj9znkv

Yanagawa
https://www.instagram.com/p/B44uicojkjp/?igshid=hiyk95fk1l97

Kitakyushu
https://www.instagram.com/p/BoyBsH9gBWr/?igshid=1od2f94g4h1bj

Nagoya
https://www.instagram.com/p/Bqg0eS7jK04/?igshid=nncjrgrn0x54

Seto
https://www.instagram.com/p/B5esonqghwR/?igshid=le55wxjxankv

Tokyo
https://www.instagram.com/p/B1oPYXxgxjJ/?igshid=2z86n59zvseu

8 天 ago
Mastermind noir eyes black eyeglasses 1

Menchikatsu

@localtaste
Interesting how these 3 areas around Fukuoka all have a different cutting style. Seems like a battleground of unagi. I will try to sample them all, but it may take a while, haha.
I would also like to hear your opinion. How do you like sansho leaves as a topping on unagi? I've only encountered this recently at kappo/kaiseki restaurants.

I'm pretty interested in hearing @guest here, as he/she forms new thoughts on the merits of melt in your mouth vs. firmly cooked unagi.
Perhaps you might be interested in referring to what's called Shinkeinuki 神経抜き or Ikejime 活け締め. The technique fish merchants use, to thread a thin wire down the spine of a fish, in order to halt rigor mortis. It prevents the tensing of muscle, and keeps the fish in a more ideal state. Seems it can mean the difference between tough or tender fish.
I was wondering if this is ever applied to eel... As some restaurants prep and filet their eels early, so it sits there for a long time, before cooking. I noted that restaurants like Kabuto kill the eel shortly before you eat it, though I have not been.

Here's a reference video. Forward to the 5'30" minute mark. Very educational!
www.youtube.com/watch?v=4dJ5BahPX2o

8 天 ago
Eab8dbbd 6732 4948 b852 ca447c818547

localtaste

@menchikatsu ikejime isn’t used to execute Unagi. It’s for keeping other fish fresh longer. Blood makes fish deteriorate sooner.

Eel is usually kept alive and executed just before grilling. It’s too tricky to insert the metal along the spine of any eel as it’s long and so slippery.

7 天 ago
Mastermind noir eyes black eyeglasses 1

Menchikatsu

@localtaste
Thank you for clarifying that for me. I'm very interested in Japanese cooking techniques. Shimozukuri 霜作り (to purposely tense fish up) is another one I'm fascinated with. I guess... none of these apply to unagi.

I'm curious, what factors lead to the tenderness of unagi, being too tough or mushy. If I didn't know better, I'd assume the firm unagi that @guest ate, was a result of high heat. Or the muscle fibres are too tight still, and it's not cooked long enough slowly. But that's just theory, based on cooking other things.

More interesting, is that you mention, they possibly cook it this way on purpose. I think the general consensus would be that softer, melt in your mouth is 'cooked better'. But this is definitely a good chance to become more open minded to styles.

@guest
Thank you both. I will keep these things in mind, when I eat different regional styles of unagi.

6 天 ago
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Shi

Localtaste those examples of the different cutting styles from different regions is incredibly interesting - thank you for the enlightenment!

5 天 ago
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localtaste

@Menchikatsu sorry for the late responding on sansho leaves as topping on Unagi. I like both eating on as is and with sansho leaves. Between the two, I inclined toward without sancho. However, there’s another combination, Hanasancho on top of Grilled Unagi. This is rare as hanasancho is very seasonable.

In the Kanto region, the eel is grilled, then steamed, then grilled again, resulting into soft and fluffy mouthfeel. In Kansai, it’s grilled longer, resulting in crispier and you can feel when it into the meat. 

And here’s an example of Unagi and hanasansho.
https://www.instagram.com/p/BytyYzLps2x/?igshid=d4puynjc6u6p

4 天 ago
Eab8dbbd 6732 4948 b852 ca447c818547

localtaste

@shi thank u for your kind words. I hope my info is helpful.

4 天 ago
Mastermind noir eyes black eyeglasses 1

Menchikatsu

Thank you @localtaste for the reply. I have only seen glimpses of hanasansho, in tv shows, pictures, and such. It has a very striking green appearance. It seems very popular as a topping for beef in kaiseki restaurants. I would like to try it this year, as I'm slated to be there during the season.

I will try and keep in mind, this difference in cooking unagi (with/without steaming, the next time I get a chance to compare.
If a chef had time as a luxury to spare, I would be interested in seeing how they would control the temperature of unagi and charcoal, without overcooking it. Even if it took a much longer time. For example, I've always been interested in Quintessence's chef Kishida's method, of taking a fish in and out of an oven, to let it cook and then rest, 30 times over 3 hours. Wondering if this philosophy could be applied to other things.

3 天 ago
Eab8dbbd 6732 4948 b852 ca447c818547

localtaste

@menchikatsu I think my photo shows another example of grilled Unagi sansho leaves and Hanasansho. It was so delicious and considered luxurious.

Some of the chefs use hybrid approach so they might slit the eel kansai style and grill it kanto style.

Resting is common technique. Leo mentioned it in his Young chef / Tempura Naruse, Shizuoka article. U should read it if u haven’t.

Resting is used to cook steak in many countries. Also, tonkatsu shimizu in Kyoto does resting after frying his thick tonkatsu. I wrote an article about a tonkatsu store in Yao which I mentioned the effect of resting to prevent the leaking of myoglobin. Maybe that article might elaborate more if u find this topic interesting.

You can look at the recipes of both Beef Wellington and duck pethivier.

大约 23 小时 ago

Menchikatsu

Can someone give a comparison to Tsugumian and Ishibashi?

I too like Obana quite a bit.

My favorite is Hirokawa, in Arashiyama Kyoto.

大约 2 个月 ago

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Leo Saito

chief editor, TokyoTableTrip

Ishibashi's “Una-juu Tokujo" Extra Special Eel Box (6800 yen)
The eel is steamed then grilled and has a very distinctive charcoal aroma. The outside of the eel is fragrant and the inside is soft and plump. The sauce is less sweet and has a sharp soy sauce taste.

Tsugumian's“Una-juu Eel Box (part of the Omakase course)”
Gas is used as the cooking source, not charcoal.
It is evenly grilled and has a beautiful finish.
It has a moist and refined texture and is characterized by its moist skin texture. While the sauce is slightly sweet it doesn't feel heavy.

大约 2 个月 ago
Mastermind noir eyes black eyeglasses 1

Menchikatsu

Ooh! Thank you Saito-san, for being very descriptive.
Ishibashi sounds savory and smells nice, less sweet can bee good too.
Tsugumian's cooking seems rather interesting. I take it for granted that unagi is ever cooked without charcoal.
I will take note of these differences when I go looking.

大约 2 个月 ago
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Shi

My wife and I are hoping to visit Hirokawa in late winter (February) - do you have any advice as far as what you would recommend we order?

大约一个月 ago
Mastermind noir eyes black eyeglasses 1

Menchikatsu

@Shi
Reserve the private room upstairs, with a view of the roofed houses and hill. Very nice place, especially after the sun sets. Really... you cannot go wrong with the ambiance, if you do this. Entrance floor seating is not nearly as impressive. I also recommend taking a walk before/after, to the moon bridge and the surrounding neighborhood. It's really a nice place, Arashiyama, unforgettable.
I believe their unagi is sourced depending on season, wild river eel. It's not too difficult an order, but somehow, I prefer it kabayaki without the rice. Not that getting it on top of rice is wrong either. Just order a variety of stuff to compare, including the side dishes, soups, etc...

大约一个月 ago
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Shi

@Menchikatsu Thanks really appreciate the tips - we love the Arashiyama area so happy to be returning! Sounds like we can't go wrong with any order which is reassuring

大约一个月 ago

guest

I'm interested in going to Shun (Shizuoka) in late November for dinner, but they only allow 2 pax minimum for dinner. Would anyone be interested in coming with me?

Message me on IG at "ericyu_"

3 个月 ago

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guest

@localtaste Any feedback or thoughts? Thanks!

4 个月 ago

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Eab8dbbd 6732 4948 b852 ca447c818547

localtaste

@guest please see my answer in the original thread.

4 个月 ago

guest

Hi localtaste,

Can you tell me abit about the dinner omakase menu? ie

- What is on the omakase menu?
- Would you recommend lunch or dinner? (which experience do you like more)
- Can you get the omakase at lunch?

Thanks!

4 个月 ago

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Eab8dbbd 6732 4948 b852 ca447c818547

localtaste

I never tried their dinner yet as there are so many great restaurants opening only at dinner time. For lunch, they offer a la carte like Unagi dishes including delicacies like grilled Unagi kimo, omelette with Unagi, etc.

It really depends on the rest of your schedule, the focal points of your trip, and other restaurants u wanna visit. I can share my thought if u tell me more about your trip.

In that area if dining out is your thing,, there’s only Tempura naruse but it’s tough to get in due to its simulated seats.

4 个月 ago
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guest

@localtaste

Thanks for the reply.

I'm essentially looking to have the best experience I can at Shun, so I was curious whether the highlight of Shun is the unagi or it's full dinner omakase. I'm worried that if I go for just lunch, it'll be good but I'm missing out on something even more special for dinner.

4 个月 ago
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localtaste

@guest I don’t think u could do Omakaze during lunch although I didn’t attempt to request so. I saw the chef so busy grilling for other guests.

If u don’t want to miss out, if u are more than one in your party, would recommend u got not only grilled ell with sauce, Shiroyaki (no sauce), Yaki kimo or grilled eel liver (a must request order as many restaurants always got this item sold out) as well as umaki (unagi stuff in egg omelet). If just u, pick sauce or without sauce and yaki kimon.

I think their dinner would be good too and I wished to try when I got a chance. Having said that, there are so many good Kappo, kaiseki, etc out there if you want Kappo / Kaiseki. If u got a chance, why not. But if u don’t, I think you got a good grasp already after ordering what I recommended.


4 个月 ago
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guest

Thanks for the advice localtaste!

4 个月 ago

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