For me, it’s a must to have unagi in Japan.
I went to the branch of Nodaiwa at Ginza for lunch, though the main branch in Higashi-Azabu is near Tokyo Tower I was too lazy to go there. Nodaiwa is an eel restaurant with two hundred years of history and it uses natural eels, no wonder why it got a Michelin star. We were unable to make a reservation through phone so we arrived there early and we were lucky to have seats immediately.
We ordered the sets, the sets are quite similar and the difference in prices indicates the difference in the proportion of eel served. I had the small set (around ¥5000) which includes eel jelly as a starter, Shirayaki, Unaju, and fruit to end the meal. We also ordered the large set which is over ¥10000, the proportion of eel was a lot more and it got some other small eel dishes, but the small set was already enough for me.
The Shirayaki is a signature dish at Nodaiwa which is steamed first and then grilled unagi without sauce, and the Unaju is charcoal-broiled unagi on white rice. The unagi in both Shirayaki and Unaju style was grilled in slightly golden colour and the texture was really tender. I prefer Shirayaki more because it was just simple and delicious. For the Unaju the sauce was lighter than the usual ones, but it was fine for me.
Really not going to try unagi in Japan?