From a speciality motsunabe restaurant to an iconic Michelin-starred ramen joint, we’ve certainly seen several established restaurants from Japan setting up shop in Singapore in recent times.
You may have already heard about the opening of Unatoto in Tanjong Pagar, which prides itself as the only fast food unagi chain in Japan to offer “cheap, fast, and tasty unagi”.
Although this is its first outlet in Singapore, Unatoto has over a hundred outlets in Japan and Southeast Asia.
Conveniently located in Guoco Tower, the casual, fairly spacious restaurant is decked out with colourful parasols, wooden accents, and quirky illustrations.
Although Unatoto will only officially open on 25 January 2023, here’s what you can expect when you visit!
The Unagi Don (S$9.50) is an easy, pocket-friendly option, but we highly recommend going for the upsized Unadon Double (S$14.50), which comprises two thick slabs of unagi grilled over binchotan, and glazed with Unatoto’s signature honjozo soy sauce on rice.
If you prefer your unagi on the softer side, this is a definite must-order. The meat was tender and fleshy, with a layer of chewy, gorgeously glazed skin. We also chose to add an Onsen Egg to the bowl after polishing off the first slab of unagi (a superb decision on our end), for a silkier and richer mouthfeel.
Being a huge fan of the hitsumabushi, a famous unagi dish from Nagoya popularised by Unagi Tei (formerly known as Man Man), I knew I had to order it once I saw the price point.
Hitsumabushi (S$13.50) is best enjoyed three ways: you start off by enjoying your first serving of rice and unagi as it is. Afterwards, take a second serving and enjoy it with the accompanying condiments like Japanese seaweed and wasabi.
Lastly (what I consider to be the best way), your third serving of unagi and rice should be enjoyed with dashi both from the black teapot, akin to that of a refined “unagi porridge”.
Pair whichever main you choose with one of the Value Sets. Value Set A (S$4) comes with either Red Miso Soup or the uncommonly found Unagi Liver Soup, while Value Set B (S$5) comprises either Mini Udon or Mini Soba. We opted for the latter, which boasted chewy soba noodles in a light, clean-tasting broth — very comforting.
Each Value Set also entitles you to a choice of appetiser, which includes the likes of Mini Kimuchi, Onsen Egg, Chilled Tofu, Okra, and Salted Cucumber, just to name a few.
There are also plenty of Japanese side dishes to choose from, such as the Unagi Namban (S$4), Unagi Liver with Ponzu (S$3.50), and Umaki (S$3), unagi encased within fluffy tamagoyaki.
I was most drawn to the Unagi Tempura (S$6), a dish I’ve yet to come across — crunchy and well-battered (not too thick), with soft unagi that practically melted in my mouth. Order this if you can!
In celebration of Unatoto’s first outlet in Singapore, the restaurant will be having a 1-for-1 Unadon Double (S$14.50) promotion for the first 100 customers. But that’s not all — those who visit from 25 to 28 January can enjoy a free onsen egg with their order.
@tastesoulsg I’d rather spend on Unatoto than buy toto😜 #tastesoulsg #unatoto #unagi #hitsumabushi #japanesefood #sgaffordablefood #sgjapanesefood #sgdiscover #whattoeatinsingapore #sgfoodie #guocotower #tanjongpagar ♬ すずめの戸締まり – るか
With its affordable yet hearty mains and value-for-money sets, I can foresee Unatoto being a big hit with those working around the area, especially during lunchtime. One thing’s for sure — I’ll definitely be back for the hitsumabushi and tempura!
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📍7 Wallich St, #B1-03, Guoco Tower, Singapore 078884
🕒 11am–10pm (Daily)
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Photos by Christabel Tan