The growing popularity of Una Una is visible from its expansion that now includes a third outlet in VivoCity.
The other outlets are found at Bugis+ and Suntec City.
As with its other restaurants, the new branch is the go-to place to savour inexpensive Japanese-style Unagi and some exclusive outlet-only surprises.
The ambience and décor at VivoCity combine Japanese design aesthetics with casual comfort.
There are plenty of cosy spots inside this 48-seater restaurant for you to choose from. Or else, enjoy the climate by sitting outside on one of the 22 seats.
However, whether visiting with friends, colleagues, family, or on a date, I recommend taking a table with a view of the chefs grilling an array of unagi dishes on a charcoal fire.
Moreover, they prepare the unagi using a double-dipping technique.
For this, they first make the meat moist by pouring a special in-house sauce over it. The dressing consists of shoyu, mirin, and sugar.
Afterwards, they grill the unagi on the charcoal flame, not once but twice. The grilling process takes about ten minutes, resulting in a crusty exterior with a lovely deep-brown char.
At the same time, this method keeps the inside soft and spongy, creating a well-balanced unagi.
Among the must-have items on the menu is the Hitsumabushi, in which premium quality unagi is sourced to make this Nagoya speciality.
The Hitsumabushi is available in 5 different sizes ranging from size XS to size XL, with prices starting from only $9.80.
Eating it traditionally involves dividing the contents of the bowl into four parts. Then, you enjoy the first part on its own, appreciating the flavours of the cooked meats with rice. To the second part, add various condiments, like nori, scallions, lime juice, or wasabi.
The third is my favourite, where we take the mains, sprinkle the condiments, and then pour dashi over them. The broth is not overpowering and transforms the dish into a lovely soup.
As for the last part? Have it any way you like.
Also check out these 5 VivoCity outlet-exclusive Unagi dishes:
Unagi Ikura Don ($32.80)
When Unagi Ikura Don first arrives, the bed of fluffy Japanese rice hides under generous amounts of shiny orange ikura and pieces of charcoal-grilled unagi. The scattered diced cucumber and pickled radish give a crunchy zestiness to every bite.
The Nagoya-style grilled unagi remains the champion of the dish. Seasoned with Una Una’s in-house sweet and savoury tare, the eel gets a rich smokey taste when grilled.
The unagi skin was nice and crispy, and I found the centre to have a tender consistency.
Unagi Hokkaido Pork Hitsumabushi ($22.80)
Combining different meats is a challenge for a chef, who must find a balance and commonality between them.
This is a wonderful opportunity to indulge in two of their favourite carnivorous bites without placing a separate order.
The Unagi Hokkaido Pork Hitsumabushi brings together the meaty heartiness of the pork belly and merges it with the lightness of the unagi.
Moreover, Una Una maintains the authenticity and quality of the pork belly by flying it in from Hokkaido every week.
Unagi Salmon Hitsumabushi ($26.80)
The sweet and sour teriyaki sauce glazed salmon fillet works well with the unagi and ikura in the Unagi Salmon Hitsumabushi.
The reason for this is the notable difference in tastes and textures.
The salmon was lean and soft, whereas the grilled unagi gave a pleasantly smokey aroma and a hint of crunchiness to the dish.
Una Una Kaisen Roll ($24.80)
The Una Una Kaisen Roll ($24.80), at first glance, is a tad all over the place. The flavours, though, are very much there, and I could taste the freshness of the chopped sashimi of sake (salmon), maguro (tuna), and hamachi (yellowtail).
At the same time, the ikura’s saltiness mixed with the sweet and savoury grilled unagi adds to the sushi’s complexity.
Unagi Kaisen Roll ($19.80)
The Unagi Kaisen Roll is a delicate preparation with layered toppings such as chopped sake (salmon), maguro (tuna), and hamachi (yellowtail).
As a result, the individual taste of the ingredients, including that of the unagi, tends to be subtle.
If you are keen in other rolls, also available are the Shichifuku Roll ($16.50), Unagi Roll ($17.80), California Roll ($12.60) and Philadelphia Roll ($15.80) of torched salmon sushi rolls with crabstick salad.
90-mins free-flow sake from Yamagata and other prefectures
A Japanese gourmet experience would not be complete without sake pairing. The VivoCity outlet will be offering free-flow sake, showcasing sake from different prefectures monthly.
A special promotion exclusive for alfresco diners, one can enjoy a 90-minute session at an additional cost of $30++ on top of their existing bill and is available on a first-come, first-served basis.
For a start, Una Una is featuring sake from Yamagata prefecture, which can include (subject to availability):
• Eau-de vie Shonai’s Junmai Ginjo Kiyoizumigawa Ginnokura,
• Kamogawa Shuzo’s Jyunmai Daiginjo Kurodoko,
• Chiyokotobuki Toraya’s Extra Dry Junmai Ootora,
• Nakaoki Sake Brewery’s Junmai Daiginjo Ikkon Joshin Yukimegami,
• Hamada’s Junmai Daiginjo Faucon Yukimegami 38 Namachozou,
• Wakanoi Shuzo’s Daiginjo Iidesan, and more.
Besides sakes, expect other alcoholic drinks like Shochu, Umeshu, Highball, and Sapporo beers.
Una Una – VivoCity
VivoCity #02-94, 1 HarbourFront Walk, Singapore 098585
Opening hours: 11:30am – 10pm (Mon – Sun)
Una Una – Suntec City
Suntec City #03-315, Temasek Boulevard, Singapore 038983
Opening hours: Daily, 11:30am – 3pm; 5:30pm – 10pm
Una Una – Bugis+
Bugis+ #05-02/03, 201 Victoria Street, Singapore 188067
Opening hours: 11:30am – 3pm, 5pm – 10pm (Mon – Fri), 11:30am – 10pm (Sat – Sun)
* This entry is brought to you in partnership with Una Una.