I thought Tokyo was hot. Then we got to Nagoya – its simply an oven. That’s a good excuse to eat unagi. Unagi (eel) is a popular dish, especially during summer. Its believed that eel boosts your stamina to help fight the summer heat. You simply can’t find good unagi in the US, its always frozen, mushy, and flat. I’ve heard that some very high end sushi restaurants in New York import fresh eel from Japan, but in California you just can’t get fresh eel.
I prefer the Nagoya style unagi vs. the Kanto (Tokyo style). In Tokyo style, the eel is first steamed and then grilled. While the Nagoya style, the eel is simply grilled over charcoal. One of my favorite unagi restaurants is unrefined and barbaric. Its located in the suburb of Seto, an old ceramics town – in Japanese the word for china is seto-mono, Seto-goods. From the dining table of the unagi restaurant, after they take your order, you can see the live eel being taken our of the water, a spike put through its head, the eel is then sliced in half, skewered and grilled over charcoal. The eel is plump and very tasty.
Nagoya has a network of underground shopping arcades that connect major department stores and shopping centers. Its a good way to avoid the heat, especially when your air conditioner isn’t working that well. For a quick lunch, the Dean & Deluca bento lunch is quick and good.
Odds & ends photos taken around Nagoya: