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Honest Review & Menu of Unaemon Unagi @ Gochi Church Street Japan Kitchen


Unaemon, a little unagiya tucked in a quiet nook of Capital Square in the heart of Singapore's Central Business District is a good hangout for traditional Japanese eel dishes.

Restaurant name: Unaemon うな衛門 (part of Gochi Church Street Japan Kitchen)

Address: Capital Square, 23 Church Street, #01-08, Singapore 049481 (5 minutes walk from Raffles MRT or Telok Ayer MRT)

Tel: +65 6226 1296

Hours: 11:30am - 3:00pm | 6:00pm - 10:00pm (Thurs & Sun off)


Checking in with makan kakis after my appointment at the National Heart Centre, I was summoned to Unaemon for lunch. Finding Unaemon takes a little bit of focus as it is a little eatery located inside Capital Square at a short corridor leading to a closed exit. (Unaemon unagiya is part of 
Gochi Church Street Japan Kitchen which has 6 different Japanese F & B concepts - never tried the others before.)


Makan kaki comes here often - Unaemon has a good range of sake, their unagi dishes are nice and it is so accessible for CBD folks (once you know where it is).


I like this obligatory chawanmushi starter (which comes with the unagi sets). The soupy egg custard is softer, smoother than tau huay (soya bean curd) and tastes delicately umami savoury eggy.


My first encounter with Umaki, grilled eel in an egg roll. Eggy savoury sweet roll enveloping a smokey savoury piece of grilled eel with that characteristic good kind of eel sweet earthy taste.


Four of us, we shared all our respective orders.

This is the signature Unaju set. It is a deep bento box with two layers of binchotan (Japanese oak charcoal) grilled unagi slices - one layer embedded between the rice and another on top.


The eel is grilled Edo style (Edo is the old name of Tokyo). Also referred to as the Kanto style as Tokyo is in the Kanto region of Japan.

The eel is first par grilled without marination, then steamed, and then dipped in a special sauce and grilled three more times till the outside has a charred layer. The process is really tedious, time consuming and a throwback to old Japan.

The eel tastes smokey outside while inside it was soft and juicy with its natural sweet earthly taste overlaid with sweet savouriness from the sauce. There was no issue with tiny eel bones as the chefs carefully picked them all out before cooking.

The sauce is a secret blend by the 150 year old Unagiya Taga (founded in 1872). Unaemon is co-founded in 1950 by Unagiya Taga of Morioka and Unagiya Kiyoizumi of Yokohama. This restaurant in Singapore is Unaemon's only overseas outpost.


Helming Unaemon's kitchen is chef Lucien Liu who was unagi chef of Restaurant Suntory in Paris before coming to Singapore.


I love the Hokkaido Nanatsuboshi rice served with the grilled unagi. The stubby fat grains were tenderly chewy nutty in texture and tasted sweet which went perfectly with the sweet savoury grilled eel. In fact, the rice is quite addictive.


Next, we had the Hitumabushi set.

Hitumabushi is enjoyed three ways, starting as unadon which is simply grilled eel over rice. Second with condiments for added umami or spicy flavour.


Last but not least, ochazuke style which pour delicately umami savoury bonito and kelp soup over the rice, eel and condiments. 


Personally, I enjoyed all the styles with ochazuke style my favourite because it has the most flavours.


Eel grilled till golden brown outside without basting in sauce so it is a more unadulterated eel taste. Simply eaten with lime, cucumber, sea salt, radish and fresh wasabi, this is for the seasoned unagi connoisseur. 
(Note: This is not a menu item but you can request for it.)


This novice (me lah) love it.


Chef Special Don, it has unagi, salmon, fish roe and lots of other things over the addictive Nanatsuboshi rice. Chef Special Don is full of flavours and textures - get this don when you come into Unaemon 👍


You can get good unagi at Unaemon without putting up with queues and long wait at say, in Man Man.

More unagi in Singapore 👉

Man Man @ Keong Saik Road 👈 click

Uya @ Wheelock Place 👈 click

Ichinoya @ Robertson Quay 👈 click

Which is your fav?

Written by Tony Boey on 5 Feb 2021

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