Wednesday, May 07, 2008

unagi dokoro kishi

Monday night we had some of Satoshi's friends and their families over for dinner. (We always get together with these families for Christmas.)

Usually when we have parties, we like to start them around lunch time, so that the children have time to run around outside while the adults chatter away, but this time, the party started late because everyone had things during the day, on top of that, Satoshi had to work until 18:30. By the time we started eating it was 19:30.

I made bulgogi, szechuan salt & pepper shrimp, spicy poke and apple crisp.

The other wives brought cake, and pork wrapped around bainiku (ume paste) and shiso (perilla leaves)--The recipe is easy so I'll be making this soon and share it with you!

It was a loud gathering (6 adults and 5 children) filled with lots of chatting, laughing, drinking and eating. I hope we didn't bother the neighbors too much.

Yesterday was the last day of the Golden Week. For lunch, we went to Hibarigaoka Hanayashiki, this is 3 stops from where we live. In Japan, there are many guide books for finding eating places, dessert places, just about all topics not just food--if you can be featured in one of these guide books you are almost guaranteed a boost in business. We have a book that is filled with all kinds of eating places around our area. As Satoshi was flipping through it to get an idea of where to go for lunch, he came across an unagi (eel) restaurant. This restaurant has a 230 year history dating back to the Edo period (actually we realized that the owner's family's restaurant in Wakayama, has the history).

The restaurant is very tiny, only 10 seats at the counter and 6 in back in a little room. The place was almost to capacity when we got there, but we were able to get seats at the counter, we looked over the menu and the owner explained the size differences of the unagi don (eel bowl).

Satoshi ordered the unagi teishoku (2940 yen about US$29.40) this comes with an unagi don (eel bowl), unagi cream croquette, kimo sui (broth with the liver of the eel), tsukemono, unagi jelly (terrine of unagi, yuzu (citron) and other herbs).

I don't really like unagi, but will eat it, so I ordered the small order of unagi don (1470 yen about $14.70).

After Satoshi ate his terrine and some broiled eel liver (both quite teeny), our orders of donburi came.

The eel was very tender and the sauce was light tasting. I love sauce on my rice, but to tell you the truth, my chopsticks skills suck and for me to eat rice that has sauce on it is hard because the rice doesn't stick together, so I "balance" rice onto the chopsticks and scoop it into my mouth...disgrace being of Japanese ancestry, but true. I think when I was staying with my host-family, my host-mom felt sorry for my chopstick skills because she would almost immediately bring out a fork or spoon for me during meals.

Still, the una don (short for unagi donburi) was delicious!

By the time I had "balanced" all my rice onto my chopsticks, Satoshi was finished.

Then I asked him, "aren't you supposed to get a croquette too?" He said, "it must be coming soon." Then he asked the owner, "doesn't the teishoku come with a croquette?" She replied, "I thought I mentioned that we aren't serving croquette today." So then Satoshi said, "uh, so what about the liver broth and tsukemono?" The owner's face turned white as a ghost and she began apologizing profusely.

She/her staff had forgotten to give us the tsukemono and broth to eat with our meal.

We ate our tsukemono and drank the broth. I didn't care for the broth, it was quite fishy and bitter too.

I thought they would comp our meal or at least discount it, but they didn't. Satoshi was upset that they didn't explain the menu clearer and do more to change the bad feelings. Still, the price he paid was too expensive for the amount that was served.

We both decided that even though it was delicious, we won't be going back.


Lori said...

Shucks, I had such high hopes at the beginning of the post. We both love unagi! Too bad it wasn't a better experience. :(

OkiHwn said...

Yah, expensive!

I love unagi!

K & S said...

Sad, yeah, Lori??

Eat and learn, Nate!

Take care you two.

The Chocolate Nerd said...

OMG, that eel looks amazing!

K & S said...

It was good, Imani, but the service wasn't. :(

Take care.