[Eat] Japan, Nagoya- The not to miss unagi meal at Atsuta Horaiken Main Restaurant

The not to be missed cuisine when you are in Nagoya. There is a saying that if you are in Aichi Prefecture, you should have at least one Unagi (Freshwater eel) meal and the best place to try would be in Nagoya city.

One of Nagoya’s famous dishes would be Hitsumabushi, and Atsuta Horaiken is the only restaurant that have their grilled unagi registered as “hitsumabushi”.

Atsuta Horaiken Main Restaurant

Atsuta Horaiken was originally founded in 1873 at Atsuta Jingu Shrine. The grilled unagi that is placed on top of the hot rice is named Hitsumabushi, ‘hitsu’ is the wooden tub that the dish that is served in and ‘mabushi” means mixing the grilled unagi in with the rice.

Where?

Operating hour

11:30~14:00 (L.O.)

16:30~20:30 (L.O.)

Rest day

Every Wednesdays, 2nd and 4th of Tuesdays will be closed.
(If it falls on a national holiday, it is open)

Jingu branch
Every Tuesday, 2nd and 4th of Monday will be closed.
(If it falls on a national holiday, it is open)

Cost

2,500JPY~5,100JPY (Set Meal)

Reservation

Only phone reservation is allowed

How do I make the reservation?

I am holding onto the JCB platinum card, which has a Global Concierge Desk to help their guest to book restaurant or hotel via phone.

To note:
*No reservation during Year-end, New-year, Golden Week, and Obon period.
Regarding the only-seat-reservation, we only accept reservation for a small group by phone at night during business weekdays (Mon~Fri)
*Seat only reservation is not available during busy days
(Sat, Sun, Holidays, July, August, etc.)

Menu:

English O
Chinese O
Korean O

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Waiting Time?

If you did not make any reservation, the waiting time can be up to an hour or more. Average waiting time is 90 Minutes.

With reservation, we went earlier than our reservation time and was ushered in quickly within 30 Minutes.

Before Entering

  • The restaurant requires us to take off the shoes, a pair of number tag will be given. One is to keep with you and the other is to clip onto your shoe.
  • A waiting area is available for you to rest first before being ushered to your seat

Green tea served once seated

What did we order?

Hitsumabushi *Recommended

How to enjoy the Hitsumabushi?

Unagi Donburi (3 slices)

Nagayaki Set (4 slices)

Umaki Set (umaki and small hitsumabushi)  *Recommended

Special Pudding **Collaboration with famous dessert shop, Kameya Yoshihiro, in Nagoya.**  *Recommended

Overall:

I would say this is the best-grilled unagi meal that we had, if we were to queue again we would not mind.

Each unagi was grilled and coated evenly with the sweet and salty sauce covered over the rice. You will not realise that you actually finish the meal, it was said that “hitsumabushi” is the premium food in Japan, where you are able to taste 3 different flavor of the unagi.

The meal was filling and each of the dishes was served quick and servers are alert and attentive. However, it was a pity that the unagi liver is not available that day, I hope that I can try it when I am back.

Sauce for the pudding was said to be a speciality only in Horaiken as a collaboration, and it is a must to try if you are there as it is only limited in Horaiken Restaurant.

For more information, please visit http://www.houraiken.com/english/honten/.

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