Posted August 11, 2011on:
Yuigahama is a popular beach in the seaside town of Kamakura and along the road that follows the beach, there’s a little unagi kabayaki restaurant called Tsuruya.
Kabayaki is a Japanese style of cooking where fish fillets are covered with a sweet soy sauce and then grilled, and Tsuruya has earned 1 Michelin star for being damn good at cooking unagi kabayaki for a long long time, since they opened in 1929.
They do provide an English menu but luckily this elderly couple at the next table could speak English and helped to explain the different combinations of their unagi dons. It was quite funny since the old man told me we had come to the best place for unagi in Kamakura and kept showing me the thumbs-up.
They only start grilling once you make your order so there’s a wait of at least 30-45 mins. That leaves you with a lot of time to look around the interior, which doesn’t look like it has changed since 1929 – tatami mats on the floor, old teak tables and rice paper sliding windows.
The unagi comes in a large traditional lacquer box, probably because I ordered the largest one! Sets like these are also colloquially called unadon, short for unagi don.
Removing the cover reveals 2 huge fillets of glistening grilled unagi. I’m practically drooling at this point and my first bite into them exceeds expectations.
The unagi’s flesh is so tender and fatty, there’s almost no resistance at all! The sauce is so savoury as well with a hint of sweetness and smokiness from the charcoal grill. And the rice is actually quite tasty, they seasoned it somewhat like sushi rice.
This is truly complete unagi harmony in a box!
3-3-27 Yuigahama, Kamakura, Kanagawa
Open: Daily 1130-1900 except Jan 1st