The Weekly Glutton (04/9 – 10/9)
The Weekly Glutton features dining delights that have impressed us one way or another (or not) and are places we highly recommend you patronize.
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Man Man Japanese Unagi Restaurant
To add to renowned Chef Teppei Yamashita’s ever growing chain of Japanese restaurants, comes Man Man Japanese Unagi Restaurant. This restaurant specializes in unagi (freshwater eel) grilled over a charcoal flame and a generous coat of BBQ marinade.
They’ve recently been awarded a Michelin star and I’ve heard that the queue can get pretty crazy at times. Being Singaporean, I was prepared to wait to get a seat at Man Man Unagi but I wasn’t prepared for a three hour long wait! Was it worth it though? Personally, I feel the juice isn’t worth the squeeze (no it wasn’t worth it).
Turn up the heat
At some point during my arduous wait to step into the establishment, probably mid-way, one of the waiters came out to inform the throngs of people in line that the AC had given up on them and wasn’t working. The thought of eating in the sweltering heat apparently did not faze anyone. I was perspiring buckets when I ate my meal though.
You get to see live eels being gutted, skewered and cooked on the spot. It cannot get fresher than this. But then again, it’s pretty sadistic if you think about it. They’re still moving when you skewer them! If you’re a little squirmish and they happen to point you to the counter seats, you may want to turn them down politely.
No matter what you order, the constant in each dish will be the unagi. The texture and flavour of the unagi is pretty sublime. That rich and crispy skin meets with the tender and sweet flesh of the eel to give a pretty explosive burst of flavours in your mouth. It’s pretty good unagi BUT in all honesty, not that great to the point where I’ll queue up another three hours for.
The Unatama is the lowest priced offering at Man Man and they serve it with two huge slices of tamagoyaki. The tamagoyaki was honestly sub-par at best. With that in mind, before you order anything there, if it ain’t unagi, you might want to be weary?
If you’re in for something novel, you might want to select the Hitsumabushi. You’ll have three different and unique methods of enjoying your unagi.
- Unagi with spring onions and seaweed
- Freshly grated wasabi (there’s a mini grater and wasabi plant for you to play with!) to garnish your unagi
- Unagi with dashi stock
My one little gripe with the establishment is they expect you to know what to do with everything when they serve you. They don’t even bother explaining to you the different elements of the dish and how to eat it. I had to google it on my own.
It was really fun to grate the wasabi though. Even with the heat from lack of air-conditioning and all that.
If you find yourself with a lot of spare time, then yeah sure, go for it. But if not, I wouldn’t recommend the three hour long wait. I think the negative implications of waiting so long affect your overall experience of the food as a whole.
You’re welcome to check them out though! Charge those phones and install those games. It’s going to be a long wait.
Man Man Unagi
Address: 1 Keong Saik Road, #01-01
Tel: 6222 0678
Opening Hours: Mon – Sat: 11.30am – 3pm, 6pm – 10.30pm, closed on Sundays
*The Mbassadors paid for their own meal (ouch!) unless otherwise stated.
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