Do We Have an Unagi Specialty Restaurant in NYC?

unagi, eel, Tokyo, NYC
Morihiko Kubota at Nobori-Tei

I had the pleasure of joining my friend and my husband’s former co-worker Morihiko Kubota for dinner in Tokyo a few nights ago. Kubota-san took me to Nobori-Tei, a restaurant that specializes in unagi (eel) dishes. I’ve enjoyed unagi sushi and unagi don (grilled eel over rice) numerous times, but this meal was sublime.

Nobori-Tei serves every part of unagi prepared in every style. I was introduced to the crunchiness of bones and the thickness of liver. I savored the melt-in-your-mouth tenderness of shiroyaki unagi (grilled eels that looks white), picked unagi with wakame (seaweed) and Japanese cucumbers, and possibly the best unagi don I’ve ever had.

unagi, eel, Tokyo, NYC
Unagi meal with liver (front), bones (center), and shiroyaki
unagi, eel, Tokyo, NYC
Unagi don set

Not every dish was available, however. Signs posted around the restaurant apologized for the lack of some meals due to a shortage of eels. Kubota-san explained that many eels have moved away from the area, decreasing the available supply. It’s another reminder of the consequences of enjoying too much seafood.

unagi, eel, Tokyo, NYC
Sign apologizing for lack of dishes

At one point during the meal, Kubota-san asked if we had an equivalent restaurant in New York. My initial reaction was to say “no” because I honestly don’t know if there is a restaurant in NYC whose focus is primarily on serving eel. If one does exist, please enlighten me. If there isn’t one, there needs to be! While supplies last, of course.

3 thoughts on “Do We Have an Unagi Specialty Restaurant in NYC?

  1. In New York the specialty restaurants (like ramen or yakitori) serve other dishes as well.

    Your blog is cool. I look forward to re-living your memories from the time you spent in Japan.

  2. Thank you for the splendid article, Suzan-san.

    Nobori-Tei is not bad, but is not the best unagi restaurant in Tokyo, as you may notice.
    But most delicious plate was talking about “JIRO DREAMS OF SUSHI”, “Izakaya Abusan” and other baseball topics, wasn’t it?

    About “Price of eel increasing due to bad catches” problem, follow article is more accurate than my explain.
    http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/20120322dy02.htm

    Then Nobori-Tei apologized for raising of prices and stop of lunch time services.

    Have a safe and pleasant flight back to NY this weekend.
    And I’ll always welcome visiting Tokyo of my friends.

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