[Food Review] Unagi (eel rice) at Hanaoka Restaurant, Nagoya

Hi guys, this is Christine Doan and this is my first essay on Odigo. Today I'm gonna review one of the most well-known Japanese dishes beside sushi and sashimi, which is eel rice. This is also the first time I've ever tasted this amazing food in my entire life, at Hanaoka Restaurant, Nagoya.
Hanaoka Restaurant - photo by Christine Doan

First of all, this is quite a small restaurant,which I think is a Japanese traditional one, based on both its exterior outlook and interior design. Inside the restaurant, it can be observed that the tables and cushions are neatly outlaid, and that reminds me of the traditional Japanese movies that I have watched previously.  Each small, square table is accompanied by four soft cushions and if you come in a group of 8-10 people, you may ask the owner to join the tables altogether. That day in Nagoya was a rainy day, so eating in this lovely restaurant actually gave me a special cosy feeling, which was a total difference from the cold and rainy city outside.

In the second place, let's get into the food taste. The eel was a little bit too sweet and salty, but was carefully chopped and laid inside a bowl of rice. The rice was a little over-cooked and was quite soft,  partly because of the special Japanese rice that the cooks had used. My Mom gave it lots of compliments though I was not really wholeheartedly fond of it. And if you are used to Thai or Vietnamese rice, which is a little more sticky than Japanese one, you may find this rice difficult to eat.  Still, the combination of rice, eel and sauce made the whole bowl taste awesome, as the sauce was equally spread all over the rice. Even though its color was dark brown and might give you the feeling that it was salty, it was actually fine and contributed greatly to the overall layout and taste of the whole dish.
My eel rice bowl - photo by Christine Doan

Oh, and after you have finished your meal, the owners would give each table a warm teapot with some small cups, which I believe is a similar cultural point between Japan and Vietnam.
Tea pot - photo by Christine Doan

The price was not written on the Menu, but I guess it was around 200 yen per bowl (about 2 US dollars, 40.000 VND). The only drawback is that it took a little bit too long to wait, around 30 minutes. For this dish, it is an 8 out of 10.

I hope that after reading this post, you guys can have a more subjective point of view towards eel rice, one of the most Japanese re-owned dishes in the world. Thanks so much for reading. And if you find this article helpful, please follow me for more articles like this. Thank you for your attention!

Christine Doan