Da Wei Man's Japanese cuisine ohitsu's the spot
One of the specialties of Nagoya, Japan — hitsumabushi — is grilled eel on rice in a wooden bowl called ohitsu. And, Da Wei Man (“big flavor unagi”), a Japanese eatery on Wulumuqi Road M. dedicated to Nagoya unagi (eel) rice, serves up a three-step guide to eating the renowned Japanese dish.
Grilled eel on rice occupies the same space in Japanese cuisine as dishes such as sushi, ramen and tempura. Be sure to order the signature Nagoya eel rice in three ways (160 yuan/US$23.76) before trying out other tasty dishes. The set is ideal for two to share.
The first step is to taste the original eel rice. The excellent quality of the establishment’s unagi is evident from the creamy and delicate flesh and, the fish is given the respect it deserves — a simple application of smoky sweet tare (sauce) and masterfully grilled. The flesh simply melts in the mouth.
Step two is to add a portion of spring onions, sesames, nori and wasabi on the rice, and mix it up.
The condiments certainly lift up the flavors for those who prefer a stronger taste.
The final step I followed was to pour the broth from the teapot onto the remaining eel rice, but I found it less satisfying than the first two ways of eating. The set comes with a steamed egg and a few small dishes. Despite the portion being perfect the overall taste didn’t meet my expectations.
For those wanting a full on dining experience, besides the eel-on-rice, the place allows the diner to enjoy the eel in several different ways, including grilled eel, eel liver and fried eel bone. It also offers other delicious snacks based on strong Japanese traditions and methods like egg roll, takoyaki balls, oden combo, and deep fried chicken.
I didn’t order many appetizers as the eel rice set is quite filling. It’s recommended to sit at the first-floor bar table, if you are eating alone or with a plus one, as the atmosphere is more chilled and inviting. The second floor is relatively quiet with slow service.
Opening hours: 11am-3pm, 5-10pm
Address: 342 Wulumuqi Rd M.
Average price: 160 yuan