Out with the New, In with the Old
Seeking out Tokyo’s hottest and newest dining destinations is a delightful (not to mention delicious) pastime, but sometimes, there’s simply no substitute for experience. And when a restaurant is into its fifth generation of family ownership and operation, they undeniably have experience in spades.
Located in a timber farmhouse transplanted from its original mountain site into the heart of bustling Minato-ku, Nodaiwa offers more than 200 years of history, flavour refinement and preparation expertise of its specialty dish, unagi (freshwater eel).
Though the dish is traditionally served in a more casual manner, at Nodaiwa, the process of sourcing, preparing and serving the eel is conducted with almost sacred dexterity. While graceful, kimono-clad obaa-san (grandmothers) show guests to their table in either the dark, lacquered-wood ground floor dining room or upstairs private tatami room, wild-caught eel (as opposed to farmed) is painstakingly grilled, steamed and jellied to perfection.
Signature dishes include shirayaki (grilled unagi served with salt, wasabi and shoyu) and unaju (golden-brown broiled unagi served with tare sauce over rice), and both feature on set-course banquets ranging from the ¥4,500 ‘colourful’ set to the ¥15,750 ‘caviar’ set. Given Nodaiwa has just retained its Michelin-star rating in the Tokyo 2013 guide, there really is no better time to say out with the new and in with the old!