Hey, why do you look so down? Are you getting tired? You need some Unagi! Unagi, ya know, Eel? What? Isn’t eel expensive you say? Ah, don’t worry about that, there is a restaurant in Kamata where you can eat it for cheap.
You see that restaurant with the red lantern that says Unagi-ya (うなぎ家)? What’s that? You’re afraid to go in? Don’t say that! Come on, let’s go in. Doesn’t it smell good? You can eat eel here for just 300 Yen!
When people think of eel they think of “Unajyu” bento boxes, but those cost a pretty penny, and they’re too heavy during a night out drinking. Wouldn’t it be cool to slowly snack on some eel while you drink?
If you wanna know my recommendation, I’d say go with the Unagi Kushiyaku Skewers. Imagine it. The eel is cut into perfect bite size pieces, dipped in soy sauce, and grilled directly on the skewers. At 300 Yen, you can’t beat this deal. If you want something a bit more crunchy, you can order the Unagi Kimoyaki, or eel liver. This is just 300 yen too.
That’s not only eel you’re smelling, though. If it’s cold outside, you can’t miss this place’s Oden. Its boiling right there behind the counter. Just looking at the warm steam rising off the pot makes you feel happier, doesn’t it?
The tough-looking boss behind the counter is supposedly to be from Miyagi prefecture. He looks scary, but he’s actually pretty charming when he smiles. When it’s the right season, you can also try Miyagi’s famous Hoya, or sea pineapple. They’re the real deal...they just melt in your mouth! Once you try it, you are gonna get addicted! No doubt about it!
The Hoppy and Sour Drinks are made with the ever popular Kinmiya Shochu. Do you know about the “Kingyo High?” In English it’s called a “Goldfish High.” It’s a chu-hai with one tougarashi pepper floating inside it. It looks like a goldfish floating in a fishbowl right? The sting of the spice tastes great with the Unagi.
The regular sake on the menu is Fukushima prefecture’s “AIZU HOMARE” (300 Yen) and the cold sake is “ICHINOKURA” and “URAKASUMI”(500 Yen). Both of these are from the owner’s home town. It’s great because the clear, refreshing flavors of these two sake from Tohoku don’t interfere with the flavor of the unagi at all. There’s also special sake on the menu as well. Take the winter sake, Kikusui’s “GOROHACHI” (500 Yen), for example. They are sold directly from the distilleries with only a few bottles of each available, so if you get to try them, it’s definitely special.
Lately, this place is overflowing with standing only bars, but when the owner opened this place ten years ago there were only 5 bars like this. As most of the older shops continue to disappear, the reason Unagi-ya has been able to stay afloat is probably because they use Unagi as their main dish, instead of plain ol’ yakitori or kushiage. I hope they stay in business forever!
Hours of Operations: Sat-Mon 15:00-23:00
Sun: 15:00-21:00, Closed on the 1st and Third Sunday of the Month.
Phone Number: 03-3734-0228
Address: 7-64-6 Nishi Kamata, Ota-ku, Tokyo-to
Unagi Kushiyaki: 300 Yen
Grilled Unagi Liver: 300 Yen
“Ii-ne” Set (Three drinks and 2 Appetizers [Chef’s Choice]: 1280 Yen
Kingyo Hai: 350 Yen
Shikuwasa Sour: 350 Yen
Draft Beer (Medium): 380 Yen
Japanese Sake: 300 Yen
Hoppy: 350 Yen