Sunday, February 15, 2015

Kyushu Spring 2014 九州春季之旅 - Motoyoshiya 吉本屋

Visited 16.03.2014

Spot the infamous blackish and oily exhaust vent!
After an enjoyable tea break at River Flow (リバーフロー 紅茶の店), we decided to walk back to Yanagawa train station and along the way, we would stop by Motoyoshiya for steamed eel rice. Thought we could avoid the lunch hour queue, but at 2 pm in the afternoon there were four to five groups of guests standing in front of this two storey tall, traditional Japanese style house. Got to see the infamous blackish and oily exhaust vent where the aroma of grilled eel is continuously being sucked out from the kitchen and introduced to the environment, luring patrons to this restaurant. Had to wait for about half an hour before seats were available. Sat down comfortably on the tatami mats and ordered a grilled eel set each.

Secret sauce. Yanagawa is famous for unagi no seiro mushi (鰻の蒸籠蒸), which is essentially grilled eel put on rice and steamed. There are numerous restaurant here offering this famous traditional dish and Motoyoshiya has been around for more than 300 years! Eel is dipped into its secret sauce and is grilled to golden brown. Next, the grilled eel is put on top of the rice and steamed twice in a bamboo basket. The dish is garnished with shredded egg just before served. One thing that I always hope for when eating eel is that the fine bones are removed cleanly from the meat. Motoyoshiya did quite a good job in this, at least I was not pricked by any bones during the course of eating. Though the meat is tender, I found the meat slightly charred to my liking. What I like most about this dish was its fragrant rice which is soaked up with the light, savoury sauce during the steaming process. Every mouthful of rice was so satisfying to my tastebuds and I gobbled up the entire portion of rice within minutes! Though I am not a big fan of eel, I will still recommend to give this dish a try. I will definitely eat this again for the sake of its secret sauce and rice.  


Motoyoshiya 吉本屋
Opening hrs: 1030 - 2100 hrs
Approx 12 mins walk from Nishitetsu Yanagawa Station. 

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