May 28, 2013

Edomae Unagi in Kanda

In Kanda Sudacho (神田須田町), we have a famous unagi (eel) restaurant named "Kanda Kikukawa (神田きくかわ)." They opened this restaurant in 1947 and nowadays have four branches in/around Tokyo. If you approach to Kanda Kikukawa, you will easily notice nice smell of unagi which stimulates your appetite very much. As Kikukawa never accepts reservation, we have to visit as early as possible or wait for a while.
Kanda Kikukawa (people are waiting...)
Inside (second floor)
Tea and pickles 
Unagi !
Bigger unagi bowl
A bit old building of Kikukawa recalls the image of previous "Showa" era. Since the inside is not so large, we could not be fully relaxed. But it is OK! This is the place only for tasting delicious unagi! As you know, unagi is an expensive ingredients and recently recognized as semi-endangered. Unagi is available from JPY3,000 even at lunch time. If you want to eat more, you have to pay more.

Unagi was delicious same as their fame. The texture was superb. Soft, airy and melted in the mouth. Kikukawa said they use only domestic unagi. Sauce of unagi is salty-sweet and strong as edomae. But they did not harm the taste of unagi itself. Sweetness using honey was well balanced. Also, savory aroma of charcoal also contributed to the good taste. My rating is 4 out of 5. Gochiso-samadeshita!

Kanda Kikukawa (神田きくかわ) 


  1. How would you compare it to Nodaiwa?

  2. I recently haven't tasted Nodaiwa's unagi, but if I compare each other according to my personal memory....

    Kikukawa's unagi: soft but a bit crispy (texture), Strong salty-sweet taste (sauce) and rich burnt aroma

    Nodaiwa's unagi: soft (texture), sophisticated and light taste (sauce)

    I personally like unagi whose inside is soft but outside is crispy, and that's why I prefer Kikukawa. It totally depends on own preference.

    But you know, Nodaiwa is a big name in terms of unagi and has rich history with 200 years. I also saw their branch even in Paris. As an experience, you could say "I've been to head restaurant of Nodaiwa in Tokyo" rather than Kikukawa.