There are many Unagi (eel) restaurants in Tokyo because Unagi is one of the three special-local dish in Tokyo as well as Sushi and Tempura. Obana (尾花) is not located in the heart of Tokyo but a long-established leading Unagi restaurant in Japan.
Obana does not accept your reservation, thus you should arrive at the restaurant before 15-30 min of the opening time.
Traditional Tokyo cooking style of Unagi spends 40-50 min to serve the dish; because, after receiving your order, Unagi is filleted, grilled, steamed and then grilled again with sauce (In west areas of Japan, Unagi is not steamed). Thus, if you can not get your table at the opening time, the waiting time might be very long.
A lot of people are waiting to get the table
If you have enough budget and stomach, it should be enjoyed tasting side menus while waiting for your Unagi. However, true Unagi lovers argue that don’t eat any side menu before eating Unagi to be hungry.
Yakitori (焼鳥; Grilled chicken), JPY 700 per a piece
Koi no arai (鯉の洗い; Carp Cyprinus carpio sashimi washed with water)
Umaki (う巻き; Unagi omelette), JPY 2500
Sora-mame (そら豆; boiled fave beans) only in spring
Oshinko (お新香; Japanese pickles)
Una-jyu (うな重; Unagi bowl), JPY 4300
The unagi of Obana is very soft and delicate and, of course, very tasty. Unfortunately, the price is increasing year by year because of the poor catch. Ordinary, Unagi is Anguilla japonica but nowadays different species are widely imported. These different Unagi species are inexpensive but the taste differs from the original. Additionally, most of the restaurants uses preheated Unagi for quickly service (As described above, the classical Tokyo style needs long cooking time). Obana uses original Unagi Anguilla japonica and classical cooking style for keeping traditional taste.
Please try to taste Unagi with San-sho (山椒, Japanese pepper Zanthoxylum piperitum).
Kimo-sui (きも吸; Japanese consommé with Unagi vicera)
Atmosphere and architecture of Obana are also Japanese traditional style and worth seeing.
P.S. Welcome to your comments!! Probably my English is not so good because I’ve been learning English. Please give me some latitude.
Open hours: 11:30-13:30 /16:00-19:30
Access: 5 min on foot from Minami-senjyu station (Tokyo metro line)