Man Man by Teppei

Teppei Yamashita is known around town for his affordable and solid Japanese concepts, starting with Teppei at Orchid Hotel. This time, he has opened a rare unagi-only eatery that’s seeing some serious lines. Working with a respected unagi farm in Aichi prefecture, Yamashita flies in live unagi, to be dramatically cut up behing the glass front kitchen of this otherwise all-wood, cozy 37-seater restaurant–an experience that is increasingly rare even in Tokyo.
If that sounds mad expensive, it’s surprisingly not. Nearly all the dishes are under $30, and some are even below $20. Try the Hitsumabushi ($26.80). The eel is marinated with Teppei’s original sauce involving soy sauce, brown sugar and other secret ingredients, grilled and served over fancy rice from Yamagata prefecture. It is meant to be enjoyed four ways: first on its own with rice, then with the addition of the accompanying nori flakes, spring onion and freshly grated (!!!) wasabi, then in a porridge-like consistency with the accompanying eel broth and, finally, whichever way you liked it best. Purists should get the Shirayaki ($24.80): straight up, unmarinated, grilled fillet, served with a root of wasabi, a grater and a little bottle of Himalayan sea salt.