You cannot find unagi (eel) that is killed and grilled on the spot anywhere else in Singapore other than Man Man by Teppei. This is chef Tepper Yamashita’s fifth venture–he also owns Teppei Restaurant, which serves affordable omakase, and Teppei Daidokoro, a chain eatery that doles out yakitori and croquettes.
Nested at a small corner on Keong Saik Road, the 50 seater restaurant’s focus is unagi grilled over smoky charcoal and coated with an intensely umami savoury-sweet sauce. Currently serving up to 300 fresh eels imported live from Mikawa Isshiki region–which is famous for supplying high quality freshwater eel–every single day, you could say that we were super excited to finally taste the unagi in person.
The Hitsumabushi ($26.80) is highly recommended–it features unagi don with freshly grated wasabi or their homemade sauces. The unagi was definitely grilled to perfection, slightly crispy on the outside and fluffily soft on the inside, plus the homemade sauce complimented the eel very well without overpowering it.
Recommended appetisers are Umaki ($12.80) which is unagi wrapped with tamago (egg). For adventurous eaters, try the very limited Kimoyaki ($9.80) which is grilled eel liver or the Yahatamaki ($14.80) which is burdock root wrapped with unagi. Each portion of grilled liver needs at least five to six eels, which is why it’s limited to only 50 portions per day.
Heading the place is chef Nakagawa who has been cooking unagi in Japan for more than 20 years. Even in Japan, restaurants that serves fresh unagi are hard to come by as unagi chefs are rare due to the rigorous training involved. According to Teppei, Nakagawa is one of the fastest chefs around who can slice up, debone and skewer live eels. After witnessing his skills in person, we can testify to that statement. Chef was so fast that he had to slow down just so that we can capture a clear photo of him deboning the eel.
Judging by the snaking queues that have been forming outside the eatery, it seems like Teppei has struck the right note again with high quality Japanese food at modest prices.
Man Man by Teppei
1 Keong Saik Road #01-01, Singapore 089109. Tel: 6222 0678