Posted August 21, 2013on:
Tamai Anago is a small restaurant in the backstreets of Nihonbashi, very out of place with its old-fashioned and traditional storefront sandwiched between modern concrete monoliths.
There usually a queue at lunchtime but somehow I was lucky enough to reach there without anyone in the queue.
As their name suggests, they specialise in anago, a sea eel, instead of the usual unagi specialists that I’ve tried in the past.
One of their signature sets is the hakomeshi, which serves their anago in the traditional lacquer boxes used way back in the 1600’s to store and transport food.
Tamai offers 2 main styles of anago: simmered in sweet sauce (soft and juicy inside and out), and grilled (charred on the outside but smooth on the inside).
For those who want to try both styles, Tamai offers one piece in each style if you order a medium or large size.
They also explain how best to enjoy the anago: first, savour a portion au naturel to enjoy it as is. Then try it with a bit of wasabi, and finally you can try sprinkling either negi or yuzu on it for a mild onion or fresh citrus flavour.
Besides that, you can top up for a hone chazuke, which is a small bowl of rice topped with fried anago bones.
You save a bit of the anago and put it on top as well, then you can pour in some anago broth and mix it together.