15 Top Places to Indulge in Unagi in Singapore

In Japanese cuisine, unagi refers to freshwater eel, a popular ingredient enjoyed in various dishes. Unagi is often prepared by grilling or broiling the eel and then coating it with a sweet and savoury sauce that imparts a caramelised glaze on the surface. In the last decade or so, several unagi speciality restaurants have popped up and made their way here from Japan, recreating an authentic experience from importing fresh eels and grilling fillets over charcoal. And it’s not just in restaurant where you can enjoy the delicacy – you can also find them in coffeeshops and hawker centres too! Without further ado, here are the best places to indulge in unagi in Singapore.

#1 Unatoto

Unatoto is an affordable fast food unagi chain hailing from Japan. Their unagi offerings are extensive, and not just limited to rice bowls. Think different portions and tiers of Unajyu, Unagi Tempura and Unamaki, a tamagoyaki with eel. The Hitsumabushi is also another popular item. It is served with a side broth, which you can drink on its own or pour over the rice.

Address: 7 Wallich St, #B1-03, Singapore 078884
Opening Hours: 11 am–3 pm, 5–10 pm Mon to Sat. Closed on Sun

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#2 Unagiya Ichinoji

Having been in business for over a century, and having recently received a Bib Gourmand, Unagiya Ichinoji knows their stuff. Famed for their expert grilling techniques and secret in-house sauces, this unagi restaurant is a must-visit for diners who love fine Japanese dining. The Unagi here is served in three different styles: Hitsumabushi, where the eel is placed over a bed of rice and served with three condiments, Seiro Mushi, which is served with Hokkaido rice, egg, and a sweet sauce, and Mamushi Donburi, which is served with Japanese yam, mentaiko, kinshi eggs and onsen egg.

Address: 30 Robertson Quay, #01-05, Singapore 238251
Opening Hours: 11:30 am–3 pm, 5:30–10 pm

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#3 Man Man Japanese Unagi Restaurant

Helmed by the renowned Chef Teppei Yamashita, Man Man Japanese Unagi Restaurant is another Michelin Bib Gourmand joint and Singapore’s first unagi specialty restaurant. It specialises in Nagoya-style charcoal-grilled Japanese unagi and prides itself on its high-quality unagi from Aichi in Japan. The Histumabushi is one of their bestsellers, and the restaurant also does not let any part of the eel go to waste. Instead, they are used as sides like kimoyaki (grilled eel liver) and deep-fried bone crackers!

Address: Multiple outlets

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#4 UYA

UYA is a specialty eel Japanese restaurant that offers farm-to-table authentic Kansai-style live eel cuisine, grilled to perfection over traditional binchotan charcoal. Indulge in the signature dish, Hitsumabushi, which is marinated in a tare sauce that’s a secret recipe that’s been in owner Yuhei Kikukawa’s family for generations. You can also order one of their eel set menus which comes with unagi, rice, soup, and an appetiser.

Address: Multiple outlets

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#5 Una Una

Bringing lip-smacking charcoal grilled Unagi, Una Una brings the best catches of Japan’s ocean to diners. Unagi Uni Don is one of the restaurant's exclusive dishes, which combines soft, melt-in-your-mouth unagi with sweet, briny uni. Or, go for the Unagi Hitsumabushi which features fresh unagi that’s been coated with a special sweet and savoury sauce that’s been flown in from Japan.

Address: Multiple outlets

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#6 Chikuyotei Japanese Restaurant

Chikuyotei has its beginnings as an unagi restaurant in 1992, but has since evolved into a fine dining spot with kaiseki dishes crafted by Chef Kishio Watanabe and perfectly complemented with a wide selection of premium Japanese sake. You’ll find a number of unagi dishes on its lunch menu, and also on dinner omakase alongside sushi and wagyu dons The unagi is prepared in two different ways here: simply grilled for more bite or steamed and grilled for softer and more tender flesh.

Address: Multiple outlets

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#7 Tsukiji Unagi Shokudo

If you're looking for a delicious piece of Tokyo-style grilled unagi, Tsukiji Unagi Shokudo is the place for you. At Tsukiji Unagi Shokudo, the unagi is steamed first to trap all the moisture and flavour, then it's grilled to perfection. With premium ingredients and delicious cooking techniques, each bowl is generously coated in sauce, and topped with thick slabs of unagi that simply melt in the mouth.

Address: 1 Tras Link, #01-13 Orchid Hotel Singapore, Singapore 078867
Opening Hours: 11 am–3 pm, 5–9 pm daily

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#8 Kazan Japanese Cuisine

Nowadays you can find many “premium” dishes in hawker centres, including unagi don! Affordable and generously portioned, the unagi at Kazan Japanese Cuisine is glazed with a savoury-sweet sauce, complete with a crispy grilled skin. It is then served on a bed of shredded lettuce, with pickles, Japanese rice and a side of miso soup. Apart from Unagi Don, you’ll also find many yummy dishes such as Yuzu Chicken Rice, Chicken Katsu Curry Rice and Katsuo Boshi Chicken Set.

Address: 335 Smith St, #02-01, Singapore 050335
Opening Hours: 12–3 pm, 5:30–8:30 pm Sun to Fri. Closed on Sat

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#9 Unazen

Located in the basement of Takashimaya, Unazen has a nondescript entrance that you’re sure to miss if you’re not looking for it. Prices here are on the higher end of Unagi speciality restaurants, with dishes such as the signature Hitsumabushi that’s made with unagi from Japan that’s less than a year old, alongside Unagi Shirayaki, Unagi Kabayaki, Unazen Special Unadon and many more.

Address: 391 Orchard Rd, #B2-33 Takashimaya Shopping Centre, (beside Tampopo Basement 2, 238872
Opening Hours: 11 am–3 pm, 5–8:30 pm daily

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#10 SBCD Korean Tofu House

While most of the options on this list are of Japanese restaurants, this Korean joint serves an unagi rice bowl and a grilled unagi dish that has won loyal fan. Freshwater eels are imported from Korea and are served sliced and grilled on a sizzling hot plate, accompanied by a sticky-sweet sauce. The same eel can also be had in a bibimbap-like stone bowl with rice and strips of omelette. Unlike Japanese unagi, the sauce here is sweeter and more viscous. 

Address: Multiple outlets

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#11 Katanashi An

Located along Boon Tat Street and just a few minutes away from Telok Ayer MRT Station, Katanashi An offers some of the best Japanese cuisine. Their lunch menu features a Unatama Don which comes in a sweet, sticky sauce, and is served with an omelette atop a bed of Japanese rice. Another unagi dish is the Unagi Omelette, which features amazingly fluffy omelette with grilled unagi filling. 

Address: 1 Boon Tat St, Singapore 069611
Opening Hours: 11:30 am–2:30 pm, 5–10:30 pm Mon to Fri, 5–10:30 pm Sat. Closed on Sun

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#12 Keyaki

The zen-like confines of Pan Pacific's Keyaki make it a luxurious lunchtime getaway. Enjoy the Unajyu Sashimi Gozen for lunch, where you can expect a portion of grilled eel on rice, where the tender, flaky unagi is brushed with the sticky-sweet tare sauce and served alongside a selection of sashimi, simmered vegetables, simmered prawn coated with egg yolk, miso soup, pickles and dessert. Unagi is also served whole-grilled, kabayaki style and as sushi for dinner.

Address: 7 Raffles Blvd, Singapore 039595
Opening Hours: 11.30 am–2.30 pm, 6.00–10.00 pm daily

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#13 Unagi VS Salmon

Unagi VS Salmon is a Japanese-fusion restaurant located in Tanjong Pagar serving affordable grilled unagi and freshly sliced salmon. It’s a popular haunt for among the working crowd as its grain bowls are healthy, filling and affordable. You can either customise your own bowl, or go for the Unagi VS Salmon which comes with the best of both fishes. Grilled unagi is glazed with a homemade sauce and served with salmon sashimi, salad, cold soba noodles, avocado and onsen egg! Talk about a well-balanced meal.

Address: 12 Gopeng St, #01-46/47 Icon Village, Singapore 078877
Opening Hours: 11 am–9 pm Mon to Fri, 11:30 am–8 pm Sat & Sun

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#14 Omote

Omote is best known for its indulgent chirashi bowls, but it also dishes out many yummy unagi options. This includes the Unagi Sushi, or the Unagi Kabayaki Don that features a chargrilled unagi fillet with a sweet teriyaki sauce, the Unatama Don that’s served with egg, as well as the Grilled Unagi Chirashi that pairs the beautifully chargrilled unagi with an assortment of raw fish atop Japanese rice. 

Address: Multiple outlets

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#15 Donburi Maruya

Donburi Maruya is another spot for affordable Japanese dishes with generous portions, with several outlets in Singapore all typically in coffeeshops. While they’re known for their katsu dishes, the brand also has a Unaji Toji Don and Deluxe Unagi Toji Don that’s served with half an unagi fillet, caramelised onions and an egg served with rice. 

Address: Multiple outlets

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