Grilled eels, thickly coated in sweet marinated sauce served atop a hearty bowl of Japanese rice—what’s there not to love about unadons?

Since renowned chef Teppei Yamashita opened his speciality unagi restaurant along Keong Saik Road early this year, Japanese dining establishments around town have been stepping up their unadon game. Here, we gather some of the best value-for-money Japanese restaurants in Singapore serving a hearty bowl of unagi donburis and more. 

Maguro-Donya

Maguro-Donya in collaboration with Yamada Suisan introduces unagi into their menu, featured in four different sets. Our favourite is Unagi Meshi ($28.80), grilled for a beautiful tender bite, accompanied by onsen tamago with sweet teriyaki sauce. For the full works that also include three types of tuna sashimi (including belly and akami), go for the Una Jyu Sashimi set ($42.80). #03-314 Eat at Seven, Suntec City Mall, 3E Temasek Boulevard. Tel: 6684 5054

Man Man Japanese Unagi Restaurant

Bringing us the freshest eels imported from Mikawa Isshiki region, known for supplying the best catch in Japan, Man Man Japanese unagi restaurant teases our palates with their Unatama ($18.60+) and Hitsumabushi ($26.80+). Both feature the restaurant’s carefully char-grilled unagi, generously coated with their tare BBQ sauce. The sauce gives a tangy yet sweet flavour, which complements the soft, tender flesh. They don’t take reservations though, so expect a long wait. #01-01, 1 Keong Saik Road. Tel: 6222 0678

Men Men Don Don

With up to 10 ramen choices and more than 12 rice bowl choices. Men Men Don Don is definitely the place for Japanese food at an affordable range. Pricing all their rice bowl at $6.80, you get to choose from salmon sashimi rice bowl, a taste of their sweet salmon alongside four different sides like miso soup, chawamushi, karaage and a mini soboro don as well as a drink. But we recommend their unatama don which is also priced at $6.80. Four slices of unagi alongside an entire omelette at the bottom with fragrant rice to provide a wholesome lunch. 205 Hougang Street 21. Tel: 6280 6919

Kinsa Sushi

Kinsa Sushi isn’t just famous for their Grade A4 Wagyu Don ($24.80), they also have 15 fantastic sides to tempt. From seasoned baby octopus ($6.80) and special seasoned jellyfish ($6.80), to crowd pleaser tamago yaki ($7.80). We especially love their grilled eel and omelette don ($17.80), a hearty bowl of rice with a handsome serving of protein. The unagi was carefully grilled, and covered with their sweet and savoury marinara sauce which gives an extra oomph when eaten together with the rice. #02-02, 4 Hillview Rise. Tel: 6710 7278

Kaisen Ichi

Kaisen Ichi which simply means “Seafood One” brings the freshest imported seafood and prime cuts that caters a fuss-free, healthy and easy takeaway for busy bees during the day. With a variety of rice bowls to choose from, their top recommendation is the kaisen bara chirashi ($18), filled to the brim with an assortment of raw fish, ikura, tako, prawn alongside with their special sushi rice. Their una don ($18) is our favourite, char-grilled eel covered with their sticky sweet teriyaki sauce in a rice bowl garnish with spring onions and seaweeds. #02-36 Mapletree Business City, 40 Pasir Panjang Road. Tel: 6358 3858

Shin Kushiya

Not just known for their famous skewers, Shin Kushiya tantalises with their wide array of dons, such as the well-received oyako don ($12.80), chicken katsu don ($15.80), and ton katsu don ($14.80). The latter has plentiful breaded deep-fried pork loin, alongside with an egg in a hearty rice bowl. What caught our eye is their unagi and salmon don ($19.20), filled up with ample salmon and sea eel that’s covered with kabayaki sauce in a sticky, sweet sushi rice bowl. #02-120 VivoCity, 1 Harbourfront walk. Tel: 6275 8766

Yuba Hut

Serving modern with local-infused Japanese cuisine, Yuba Hut opens their new outlet at Heartland Mall. Coming up with new makis such as local-inspired century egg maki ($16.90/9 pieces) that’s rolled up with egg, crab meat, cucumber topped with ikura and spring onions, heavily doused in their special century egg sauce to give you an explosion of flavours. They also serve a range of donburis as well like their special spicy salmon don ($15.90), with aburi (flame torched) salmon alongside a hearty bowl of Japanese rice with their spicy sauce and chilli flakes. But their cheesy unagi aburi don ($15.90) is the one you should look out for; aburi unagi brings out the fresh, soft tender meat mixed in with their cheesy sauce, a surprising element that works well together. #01-19/20 Heartland Mall, Hougang Street 21. 

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