Uya Unagi

February 9, 2018

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Shop/Food Review

Mr Good Says:

If you are a fan of fresh charcoal-grilled eels but dislike long queues (think Man Man), rejoice! Because Uya Unagi is here to the rescue!

Like Man Man, Uya is an eel specialty eatery where live eels are charcoal grilled on demand (till their skin are crispy) at an affordable price (not cheap but less atas compared to places like Chikuyotei). Yet, Uya allows reservations! So with some planning, you will be able to satisfy your eel cravings without queuing for hours!

 
Uya Unagi's Open Kitchen
Uya Unagi's Open Kitchen (Close-up)

At first glance, Uya does appear to lose out a little compared to Man Man's main branch; Uya's decor is a tad modern with a notably more discreet kitchen so you will see less eel slaughtering and grilling in action. Additionally, the eels at Uya are also slightly dearer in price. However, at a closer look, Uya has some strengths that provides its own draw.

Firstly, at Uya, queuing (if any) can be done comfortably within a sheltered and air-conditioned space (although why queue when you can make reservations?).

Uya's Private Room (exterior view)
Uya's Private Room (interior view)

They also feature a large seating capacity (further reducing the queuing time), some private rooms (reservations required) and sufficient space between diners.

Secondly, their service! The first time I went, I was received warmly at the entrance by a polite and smiling Japanese waitress who blew me away when she took my order while squatting down (so that she spoke to me at eye level instead of looking down at me)! This gesture made me feel very pampered and reminded me of the unparalleled service one can only find in Japan. Pity that not all the staff at Uya Unagi are trained to provide the same service.

Thirdly, Uya serves both eels and a small selection of salads, tempura, wagyu, sides and desserts. Don't underestimate this seemingly unimportant provision- this was how I persuaded my friend, who dislikes eels (he found eels to be soft, mushy, slimy and full of inedible bones) to accompany me for dinner at Uya. Although, after dining here, he is now a convert. Why?

Uya Unagi's Crispy Eel

Because the eels at Uya are sufficiently charred (but not overly) so we get eels that have zero sliminess plus smoky and crispy skin minus the bitterness. Some commented that Uya's eels are a little dry but both Mr. Good and I found ours to be just the right texture- flaky, firm and moist. And the bones? They are the "you see them but you don't taste them" kind of bones! Unlike at Chikuyotei.

However, before you go running to Uya, I need to caution you that overall, the flavours at Uya are more subtle. For example, their Shirayaki is served with salt at the side (instead of being grilled with salt on) and the tare used for their unagi is less salty, less sweet and of thinner consistency. While I appreciate that all these are done so that the natural taste of fresh eel can shine through, if you are one who prefer stronger flavours, Man Man might work better for you. In addition, if you are big fans of having freshly grated wasabi with your eels, you will be disappointed at Uya. For me though, I can't care less about wasabi for my eels so I am more than happy with Uya.

 

Food Photos

See photos of food that My Food Story has tasted. Recommended food are marked with ().
Unagi Rice Bowl, Small (S$25++)
So delicious! Small portion not enough! Get the Medium!
Shirayaki - Grilled eel with salt, Small (S$23++) with Gohan (+S$2++)
Taste the natural flavour of fresh eel with this unadulterated version! Salt served separately!
Shirayaki - Grilled eel with salt, Small (S$23++) with Gohan (+S$2++)
Bones spotted but they are so fine, I promise it won't bother you!
Hitsumabushi - Eel to be eaten 3 ways: on its own/with condiments/with dashi, Medium (S$35++)
My preferred way for eating the unagi- on its own. Unagi has firm fresh with crisp skin & coated in a tare that complements the eel without being overpowering.
Hitsumabushi - Eel to be eaten 3 ways: on its own/with condiments/with dashi, Medium (S$35++)
Condiments (spring onion, wasabi, seaweed) for your unagi.
Hitsumabushi - Eel to be eaten 3 ways: on its own/with condiments/with dashi, Medium (S$35++)
Unagi eaten with dashi.
Renkon Chippu - Lotus Root Chips (S$9++)
Not oily/salty but too thick. I prefer lotus root crisps.
Salmon Skin Salad (S$9++)
Refreshing Salad in Japanese sesame dressing with super thin and crispy fish skin!
From Left: Cold Wheat Tea (S$2++), Hot Sencha (S$2++)
Pretty good tea for this price.

Outlets

Uya Unagi @Wheelock Place

501 Orchard Road, Wheelock Place #02-15/16, S238880
Map     Directions     +65 6732 1096     Website     WhatsApp Share
MRT Stations (within 800 metres)

Orchard

Opening Hours

Daily:
Lunch- 11.30am to 3pm (LO 2.30pm)
Dinner- 6pm to 10pm (LO 9.30pm)

Value Added Service(s)

Free Iced Water

Payment Terms

Prices Subjected to Service Charge and GST (Cash/Nets/Credit Card)



Shop/Food Review

Mr Good Says:

If you are a fan of fresh charcoal-grilled eels but dislike long queues (think Man Man), rejoice! Because Uya Unagi is here to the rescue!

Like Man Man, Uya is an eel specialty eatery where live eels are charcoal grilled on demand (till their skin are crispy) at an affordable price (not cheap but less atas compared to places like Chikuyotei). Yet, Uya allows reservations! So with some planning, you will be able to satisfy your eel cravings without queuing for hours!

Uya Unagi's Open Kitchen
Uya Unagi's Open Kitchen (Close-up)

At first glance, Uya does appear to lose out a little compared to Man Man's main branch; Uya's decor is a tad modern with a notably more discreet kitchen so you will see less eel slaughtering and grilling in action. Additionally, the eels at Uya are also slightly dearer in price. However, at a closer look, Uya has some strengths that provides its own draw.

Firstly, at Uya, queuing (if any) can be done comfortably within a sheltered and air-conditioned space (although why queue when you can make reservations?).

Uya's Private Room (exterior view)
Uya's Private Room (interior view)

They also feature a large seating capacity (further reducing the queuing time), some private rooms (reservations required) and sufficient space between diners.

Secondly, their service! The first time I went, I was received warmly at the entrance by a polite and smiling Japanese waitress who blew me away when she took my order while squatting down (so that she spoke to me at eye level instead of looking down at me)! This gesture made me feel very pampered and reminded me of the unparalleled service one can only find in Japan. Pity that not all the staff at Uya Unagi are trained to provide the same service.

Thirdly, Uya serves both eels and a small selection of salads, tempura, wagyu, sides and desserts. Don't underestimate this seemingly unimportant provision- this was how I persuaded my friend, who dislikes eels (he found eels to be soft, mushy, slimy and full of inedible bones) to accompany me for dinner at Uya. Although, after dining here, he is now a convert. Why?

Uya Unagi's Crispy Eel

Because the eels at Uya are sufficiently charred (but not overly) so we get eels that have zero sliminess plus smoky and crispy skin minus the bitterness. Some commented that Uya's eels are a little dry but both Mr. Good and I found ours to be just the right texture- flaky, firm and moist. And the bones? They are the "you see them but you don't taste them" kind of bones! Unlike at Chikuyotei.

However, before you go running to Uya, I need to caution you that overall, the flavours at Uya are more subtle. For example, their Shirayaki is served with salt at the side (instead of being grilled with salt on) and the tare used for their unagi is less salty, less sweet and of thinner consistency. While I appreciate that all these are done so that the natural taste of fresh eel can shine through, if you are one who prefer stronger flavours, Man Man might work better for you. In addition, if you are big fans of having freshly grated wasabi with your eels, you will be disappointed at Uya. For me though, I can't care less about wasabi for my eels so I am more than happy with Uya.


Food Photos

See photos of food that My Food Story has tasted. Recommended food are marked with ().
Unagi Rice Bowl, Small (S$25++)
So delicious! Small portion not enough! Get the Medium!
Shirayaki - Grilled eel with salt, Small (S$23++) with Gohan (+S$2++)
Taste the natural flavour of fresh eel with this unadulterated version! Salt served separately!
Shirayaki - Grilled eel with salt, Small (S$23++) with Gohan (+S$2++)
Bones spotted but they are so fine, I promise it won't bother you!
Hitsumabushi - Eel to be eaten 3 ways: on its own/with condiments/with dashi, Medium (S$35++)
My preferred way for eating the unagi- on its own. Unagi has firm fresh with crisp skin & coated in a tare that complements the eel without being overpowering.
Hitsumabushi - Eel to be eaten 3 ways: on its own/with condiments/with dashi, Medium (S$35++)
Condiments (spring onion, wasabi, seaweed) for your unagi.
Hitsumabushi - Eel to be eaten 3 ways: on its own/with condiments/with dashi, Medium (S$35++)
Unagi eaten with dashi.
Renkon Chippu - Lotus Root Chips (S$9++)
Not oily/salty but too thick. I prefer lotus root crisps.
Salmon Skin Salad (S$9++)
Refreshing Salad in Japanese sesame dressing with super thin and crispy fish skin!
From Left: Cold Wheat Tea (S$2++), Hot Sencha (S$2++)
Pretty good tea for this price.

Outlets

Uya Unagi @Wheelock Place

501 Orchard Road, Wheelock Place #02-15/16, S238880
Map     Directions     +65 6732 1096     Website
MRT Stations (within 800 metres)

Orchard

Opening Hours

Daily:
Lunch- 11.30am to 3pm (LO 2.30pm)
Dinner- 6pm to 10pm (LO 9.30pm)

Value Added Service(s)

Free Iced Water

Payment Terms

Prices Subjected to Service Charge and GST (Cash/Nets/Credit Card)



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