Una Una: S$9.80 Unagi Hitsumabushi That Tastes As Good As It Looks At Bugis+

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Ever since Man Man Unagi opened a couple of years ago, we were introduced to hitsumabushi. This Nagoya speciality dish allowed us to enjoy unagi in a whole new way and I have never looked back since.

It wasn’t long before other unagi restaurants such as  Unagiya Ichinoji and UYA 四代目菊川 Japanese Unagi Restaurant made their way to Singapore as well. The competition was so intense, we even wrote a separate article comparing all three different unagi restaurants.

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Enter Una Una, the newest unagi speciality restaurant to join the legion of unagi restaurants in Singapore. Una Una is located on the fourth floor of the bustling Bugis+, prettily adorned with glowy Japanese lanterns and light wood panelling.

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The interior of Una Una was spacious and inviting, a place that is perfect if you want to share the joys of unagi with your friends and family.

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If you really want to get into it, Una Una comes equipped with a delightful row of tatami seats where you can truly immerse yourself.

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There is nothing more fun than watching chefs prepare your meal right in front of you; here at Una Una you can watch as the chef grills your unagi to perfection.

They also have a unique double dipping technique where the unagi is first basted with a special in-house sauce and grilled over charcoal for ten minutes.

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This unagi is then dipped again in that signature sauce before being grilled for another ten minutes. The result: unagi that’s crispy on the outside while remaining being soft and flaky on the inside.

There is just something so innately satisfying about seeing the skilled chefs at Una Una control the heat to create that tantalising melt-in-your-mouth goodness.

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We begin with the classic the Unagi Hitsumabushi Regular (S$14.80), which is pretty competitive if you ask me. Una Una also has a set that is only valued at S$9.80 and you get pretty much the same thing with a smaller portion of unagi.

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For all the hitsumabashi regulars, I’m sure the way to enjoy this Nagoya speciality needs no introduction. But, for the newbies who have just joined us, you’re in for a treat.

There are three ways to savour your hitsumabashi—you start by first by diving your unagi rice into four portions.

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The first portion is for you to appreciate the unagi just as it is and so I did. The unagi was just as Una Una promised—a charred and crispy exterior coupled with a soft and tender centre. Una Una’s special in-house sauce was sweeter than what I was used to but balanced enough to be savoury.

The rice was not too shabby as well, with the pearly grains being adequately plump and starchy. Not to mention, the parts that had soaked up Una Una’s sauce was just divine.

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The second way you can enjoy your unagi is to add a dollop of wasabi and spring onions.

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Give the bowl a good mix and you’re good to go.

The wasabi delivers a punch but with velvet gloves, unlike the heat from bird’s eye chilli that can sometimes be a little bit of a knockout and overpowers the entire dish.

Wasabi is much more delicate and not only cuts the richness of the unagi but adds a freshness to each spoonful.

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The last way you can savour hitsumabushi is to make an ochazuke, where you would pour dashi (bonito-flavoured stock) over the cooked rice.

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This has to be my favourite way to enjoy hitsumabushithere is something so warm and comforting having unagi rice this way. The dashi at Una Una was light but still full of umami that accentuated the sweet unagi. 

With the addition of the dashi stock, the unagi rice takes on a whole different flavour profile. That signature sweet sauce mingles with the dashi and what you get a flavourful ‘porridge’ of sorts.

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Needless to say, I relished each spoonful with gusto.

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If you feel like going back to basics then the Unaju (Regular S$19.80) would suit all your purist sensibilities. The Unaju is a Tokyo-style unagi dish that comes in a classic bento box and served with chawanmushi on the side.

For the unaju, you get a little more rice than the hitsumabushi and the unagi is prepared a little differently as well. The unagi is stilled grilled twice but for a shorter duration of six to eight minutes.

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What you get is a much softer and tender unagi without that crispy exterior. It’s a more refined and luxurious way to enjoy your unagi for sure.

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If you want to treat yourself, you can order the Unagi Beef Shabu Ju (S$22.80) that comes with a generous portion with juicy slices of US beef short plate.

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I was pretty impressed with slices of beef as short plate tends to be a tougher cut so more work is needed to break down the meat.

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When paired together with the unagi, it sure made for a rather lavish serving. A combination for those days when you want to feel just a little more luxurious.

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If you are still feeling a little peckish, Una Una offers a whole host of excellent sides. The Hokkaido Grilled Squid (S$14.80) is one that I particularly enjoyed. Squid is a little tricky and temperamental as it can go rubbery quickly if you’re not careful.

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At Una Una, the squid was perfectly grilled with a good amount of char to them. Plus, these cephalopods are shipped directly from Hokkaido so you know you are getting the good stuff.

With the expertise of the chefs at Una Una, I wasn’t surprised that the squid was juicy, tender, with just a little hint of smokiness. The squid was perfect on its own but you can have some Japanese mayonnaise and grated ginger, which I preferred.

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If variety is what you’re after, you can find a whole host of Japanese favourites at Una Una. From sushi rolls such as the Philidelphia Roll (S$12.80) to sashimi to donburi bowls, Una Una will satisfy even the pickiest of eaters.


When it comes to hitsumabushi, I am a supporter of Man Man Unagi just because of their quality and the presentation of their unagi. However, given the technique and quality that goes into Una Una’s hitsumabushi sets, I was thoroughly impressed, to say the least.

On top of that, Una Una’s hitsumabushi sets start from S$9.80 which makes it one of the most affordable unagi sets in Singapore. Lunch, anyone?

Chope Reservations

 

Expected Damage: S$9.80 – S$30 per pax

Price: $ $

Our Rating: 5 / 5

Una Una

201 Victoria Street, Bugis+, #04-10, Singapore 188067

Price
Our Rating 5/5

Una Una

201 Victoria Street, Bugis+, #04-10, Singapore 188067

Telephone: +65 62381011
Operating Hours: 11.30am - 3pm & 5pm - 10pm (Mon to Fri), 11.30am - 10pm (Sat & Sun)
Telephone: +65 62381011

Operating Hours: 11.30am - 3pm & 5pm - 10pm (Mon to Fri), 11.30am - 10pm (Sat & Sun)
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