|Category||Seafood / Sushi / Tempura / Unagi(Eel)|
Summer is all about eel. Eating eel is very popular in Japan in the summer months. There are many explanations as to why, but the idea that eel is nutritious and that it helps beat the heat are the most common.
Umenoi is near Kyoto City Hall, and has been operating as a specialist eel restaurant for over 80 years. The flavor of the carefully selected Japanese eel hasn't changed since then. When people think of eel, "Kabayaki"(grilled eel a with sweet soy sauce-base sauce) is probably the first thing that springs to mind, but you can also enjoy dishes such as eel sushi and eel hot pot.
Inside the shop the right hand side has table and chair seating, and the left has raised platform seating, perfect for those who want to take their shoes off and make themselves at home.
On the day I went I ordered the "Unaju(*1) '松'(matsu)". For Umenoi, the order of quality of the set dishes goes '松'(matsu) - '竹'(take) - '梅'(ume) - '特上'(tokujo). (It's normally '梅'(ume) - '竹'(take) - '松'(matsu)).
*1 rice in a lacquered box topped with grilled eel
We opened the lid with bated breath..
And inside, the steaming broiled eel. The sauce was glistening, and it really stimulates your appetite. The restaurant only deals with a certain amount of eel every day, and after an order is placed they're steamed and then broiled. Because of this it takes a little bit of time, but they offer eel dishes of the very finest quality.
The sauce, which you could call the life and soul of the "Kabayaki", hasn't changed since the restaurant first opened, and has been added to since then. “Kabayaki” really is amazing with this sauce. It's a perfect match for the thickness of the softly grilled fish. The photo on the right is of some complementary eel bone sembei(crackers). They were fragrant and pretty good.
This is a compact little restaurant, but because of its long history serves delicious food.
In the center of Kyoto, it's easy to get to, so please do go and give it a look.
74-2 Yanagihachimancho, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto city, Kyoto
|Open||11:30a.m. - 2:00p.m. 4:30p.m. - 8:00p.m.(LO7:30p.m.) Closed - Tuesday|
|Access||5 minute walk from Subway Kyotoshiyakushomae 5 minute walk from Subway Karasumaoike|