We made our way to Pokemon Café at Nihonbashi for our lunch but it was fully reserved. In fact, the whole month of December is fully booked. So, if you are heading there, please make your reservation to avoid any disappointment. So, we saw this old Showa building that caught our attention. It was lunch time and we saw people queuing for it and so we decided to give this place a try.
Nihonbashi Tamai specializes in Anago, Japanese sea eel. Compared to fresh-water eels (unagi), anago has half the fat and much fewer calories, It is rich in nutrients such as EPA (lowering cholesterol and blood lipid levels), DHA (improving brain function), vitamin A (important for eye sight), and vitamin E (anti-aging for the skin). And this eatery is one of the few restaurants in Japan where you can enjoy anago with the cooking style of unagi.
In Nihonbashi Tamai, they specialises in Hakomeshi. So, what is Hakomeshi?
Hakomeshi is a term coined by Tamai to describe of eating their anago in the traditional Japanese lacquered boxes, which back in the 1600’s, were tiered into 3 to 5 layers as a convenient way to store and transport food.
E ordered Anago Hakomeshi served with miso soup and Japanese pickles. It is available in Meso 1,800 Yen, Small 1,750 Yen, Medium 2,950 Yen and Large 3,950 Yen. And you can top up 200 Yen for the eel broth for “chazuke”.
He chose two ways of cooking- simmered in sweet sauce and cooked on the grill and here is how it looks like in a set.
How to enjoy Tamai’s Hakomeshi?
First, take a few bites to enjoy the flavour of Tamai’s fresh, seasonal anago then add a touch of wasabi for a spicy mustard taste.
Next, sprinkle some Japanese spices – ‘negi’ (leeks) for a mild onion flavour and ‘yuzu’ for a fresh citric flavour.
Save some for the chazuke (Japanese dish made by pouring dashi (broth) on to the small bowl along with the anago and rice.
Another must-try dish is the Anago Chirashi that comes with Classic Chirashi 1,450 Yen and Signature Chirashi 2,300 Yen. I chose the Signature Chirashi that comes in larger portion and premium grade ingredients. Look how vibrant the chirashi bowl! The ingredients include, anago, sashimi sliced in cubes, crunchy lotus, sweet tamago chunks, zesty pink ginger, tobiko roe and many more. Perfect for the gram and umami flavour too!
No worries the staffs are friendly and the menu is available in English version. Payment is made at the counter as usual. If you are nearby, do give this place a try! Don’t worry about the queuing time. Visit them during off-peak hours to avoid the queue.
Nihonbashi Tamai Anago 日本橋 玉ゐ
Address: 2-9-9 Nihonbashi, Chuo-ku
Monday to Friday
11:00AM-2:00PM | 5:00PM-9.30PM
Saturdays, Sundays, and Public Holidays
11:30AM-3.30PM | 4:30PM-8:30PM
Exit: Nihonbashi Station and it is 1 min walk away from the station.