âEel bowlâ is a menu where you can enjoy a satisfying meal with a salty and savory sauce, moist and savory eel, and well-cooked rice. The Nagoya-style eel bowl (hitsumabushi), which has a fixed order and method of eating like a course meal, is particularly popular because you can enjoy a variety of flavors. Here are five restaurants famous for eel rice bowls.
1. Banpo âMarushim,â an authentic Nagoya-style eel bowl learned firsthand in Japan
An eel bowl specialty restaurant run by owner chef Lee Young-shim, who has had about 4 years of experience at the eel bowl restaurant âMaruya Hontenâ in Nagoya, Japan. Using Japonica varieties of eel brought from Gochang in Jeonbuk, it is cooked without burning too much, yet the sardine sauce is properly mixed and the balance with rice is very good. There are also stores in Pangyo and Mapo, so it’s a good idea to find one near you.
â²Location: 10 Gomurae-ro 10-gil, Seocho-gu, Seoul
â²Business hours: 11:00-22:00 every day, B.T weekdays 15:00-17:00
â²Price: (Top) Hitsumabushi 36,000 won, [Special] Hitsumabushi 45,000 won, [Mini] Hitsumabushi 21,000 won
â²Testimonial (Shikigin Sarang Suromi): Eel alone is delicious, and it’s really delicious even when eaten with rice. Even though it’s salty, the eel’s oily flavor goes very well with rice. Personally, it was nice and fragrant when I grated it with sesame leaves, green onions, and wasabi.
2. Like a trip to Japan, Nonhyeon’s âHaemokâ
The third branch of a famous eel bowl specialty store in Haeundae, Busan. The store, which recreates the feel of a Japanese house, makes you feel as if you have come to Japan on a trip. A basic one-fish menu and a one-and-a-half menu âspecialâ are prepared, and the Japonica type of eel is grilled over charcoal 3 times to take advantage of its chewy texture and rich smoky aroma. They also have whiskey, highballs, and their own aperitif, so it’s a great place to simply add alcohol to the eel bowl.
â²Location: 14 Seolleung-ro 145-gil, Gangnam-gu, Seoul
â²Business hours: 11:00-22:00, B.T. 15:00 – 17:00 every day
â²Price: [Special] Freshwater eel hitsumabushi 57,000 won, freshwater eel hitsumabushi 39,000 won, kaisendong 36,000 won
â²Testimonial (Blue Night, Overtime): Hitsumabushi is also delicious and the atmosphere is 100 points… no 1000 points! There’s also a kaisendon, so the two of them shared a menu, so it was great. The tarae sauce is so delicious that it’s addictive.
3. A gourmet trip to Nagoya from the history of Seoul, ‘Hamru’ at Seoul Station
Nagoya-style eel bowl made by a chef from a luxury hotel. As befits the name of the restaurant with the name âhamru,â which means âto serve with care,â the eel bowl neatly wrapped in the rice bowl by the artist Heo Sang-wook, famous for the Park Ji Buncheong Sake, is a popular place. Once steamed, the eel was grilled 4 to 5 times to maximize its soft texture while adding flavor. Located on the 4th floor of Seoul Station, it’s a great place to stop by before and after your trip.
â²Location: 405 Hangang-daero, Jung-gu, Seoul
â²Business hours: 11:00-22:00, B.T. 15:00 – 17:30 every day
â²Price: [Special] Hitsumabushi 46,000 won, [Regular] Hitsumabushi 37,000 won, [Small] Hitsumabushi 23,000 won
â²Review (shikigin epi1122): It was the most delicious hitsumabushi I’ve ever eaten. Since it’s at Seoul Station, it was great to get a full stomach before the train departs. It was even better because it came out as early as 10 minutes.
4. Yangjae âUnayu,â an emerging eel bowl powerhouse that has captivated enthusiasts
An eel bowl specialty restaurant in Seocho-dong where the owner and chef Hiroyuki Kudo and the owner and chef of the movie Choi will deliver authentic Japanese flavors. It is a place that has gone viral for its flavor among eel bowl enthusiasts. Using domestic eels, they are grilled properly so that they don’t burn too much, and the soft flavor of the eel is excellent. It features a slightly salty flavor that is flavored with âocha,â which is a broth used to pour over rice and is eaten. The hearty eel omelette is also popular as a side dish.
â²Location: 35, Seoun-ro 11-gil, Seocho-gu, Seoul
â²Business hours: 11:00 – 21:30 every day; B.T weekdays 15:00 – 17:00
â²Price: [Special] Hitsumabushi 46,000 won, Hitsumabushi 35,000 won, [Mini] Hitsumabushi 19,000 won
â²Testimonial (I’m eating meat dishes): It’s a cafe I often go to, and I’m looking forward to visiting this place because of its good reviews. The Japanese chef also made good use of the local flavors. I’m eating it very deliciously. The packaging is very quick, so it’s great for takeout.
5. Flavored eel bowl, Hoehyeon ‘Seo-seol’
It’s located near the Shinsegae main store, so it’s a great place to visit to recharge your energy before and after shopping. There is no adjustment in the amount of eel, and only one meal is handled on the menu. Tara sauce made with Seo Seol’s unique know-how is applied to the eel, which is well cooked using the aroma of the fire. The sauce is characterized by its saltiness without being salty even though it has a rich flavor. The grilled mentaiko, which is full of eggs, is also popular as a side dish.
â²Location: 46 Sogong-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul
â²Business hours: Weekdays 11:30 – 21:00 (14:30 – 17:30 B.T.), Saturday 11:30 – 17:00
â²Price: Hitsumabushi: 39,000 won; grilled chicken: 19,000 won; omelette: 29,000 won
â²Testimonial (Meat Rice Bowl): It was a well-prepared meal, so it looked pretty and tasted great. It was nice that it wasn’t salty, and I really liked the grilling here because I prefer to eat the eel crispy. It’s really delicious when you eat it with ochazuke.
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