Man Man Unagi Opens ANOTHER Outlet at Bugis

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“I forgot how good this tastes like..” – Me, when I took a first bite into the Hitsumabushi. 

Honestly, Explodingbelly isn’t quite a fan of unagi; it’s like I do eat unagi but I don’t see myself going back to one place again, and again, and… again, for just unagi. But with Man Man, I can see why. That first mouthful of my don last evening justified the ridiculous queues forming outside their outlet at Keong Saik – night, day, rain or shine. And now, much to all unagi lovers delight, they’ve opened yet another outlet at Duo Galleria!

Where is Duo Galleria?!

I honestly have no idea. It was all of our first time going there, including my uber driver. & im obviously lazy to google about it, so I’m just gonna say it looks like an office building. A REALLY nice one. It’s probably just a 5 minutes walk from Bugis MRT – take the exit towards Tan Quee Lan (downtown line that one.). 

To get a better picture, Duo Gallery is located along the path we would take if we were to walk towards Haji Lane from Bugis.  

The Place

It seems like there’s a defining feature of Man Man’s restaurants – they are all really cramped. Small spaces, is that what they call it? Haha! 

A rough estimate of how many people they could sit, is probably 24-26 max.

Ok la, another feature is the glass partition that allows us to view the chefs at work! 

Like this!

Downside of sitting in front of the working chefs would be the smell of barbecue and smoke whiffing right into your noses the whole time. The surprising thing was, despite that, we didn’t smell like what we ate. 

The Menu

Their menu pretty much stayed status quo with the not too exciting illustration. What sets them apart would be the DUO exclusive –  Shira Kaba Large Hitsumabushi ($39.40+) which is the yin yang kinda bowl where you get a mix of your marinated unagi and just plain salt seasoned unagi.

 You just really love your rice and unagi to eat this. It’s like a layer of unagi followed by rice, then unagi and rice. How! 

The Food

One word – WOW.

I honestly forgot how good this tasted and that unique way of eating unagi! From google, Hitsumabushi is the Nagoya way of eating unagi. How to eat it?

It’s essentially a unagi don served with a separate bowl, scoop, and the best part – a container of DASHI (fish stock). The instructions of how to eat as follows:

Actually I don’t understand the instructions at all, basically throw unagi, rice, condiments and pour dashi into bowl, slurp it all up. P.S. you can grate your own wasabi here. Hehe! 

1. Large Hitsumabushi ($39.40+)

 That amazingly marinated Unagi slabs covering the Japanese rice, oh gosh you could taste the sweetness of the marinate with that slight taste of char from the grill.

This is the MAGIC. 

So all you have to do is eat everything with the dashi provided. Scoop a bit of rice, unagi and DASHI – then eat.

I would come back to Man Man not just because of the unagi, but more for the fact that they serve up Hitsumabushi. Best way to gobble up your unagi don.

2. Shira Kaba Large Hitsumabushi ($39.40+)

 Same same but just with the unmarinated unagi. Hmm… I don’t like it. Because I ain’t a unagi purist. Haha! 

But it looks great on pictures. So.. haha! I’ll stick to my usual Marinated Unagi, this was too clean for me.

And… the winner of the entire night has got to be:

Kimoyaki ($10.80+)

Wait what? What in the world is this tiny bowl of offensive looking food? Haha!
This is actually GRILLED UNAGI LIVER. Sounds totally unappetizing but your mum’s right – you can’t judge a book by its cover. This was the right amounts of chewy,  like escargot kind of chewy, with a little crunch to it. Trust me, it’s amazing. It doesn’t have that “weird, gross” taste that comes with most animal innards. 

If there’s anything you’ve got to order at Man Man, this would probably be it. It’s also probably one of the rare places in Singapore that actually sells it. It goes darn well with beer too. 
Closing remarks

Man Man has been an amazing experience for me. While the unagi were not like WOW MINDBLOWINGLY AMAZING (because unagi can only taste this good what, especially for someone like me who’s not a crazy fan), I really loved the concept here which brought a piece of Japan here to Singapore. Things like the Hitsumabushi, kimoyaki… they aren’t items that we can get easily at any run of the mill Japanese restaurants in Singapore.

Man Man brings the entire package with its quality food and unique experience which I really appreciate and rave about. However, I do hope that they actually do not expand too rapidly because that would actually diminish the kind of exclusivity that they have right now! Does that even make sense?

No I don’t care. Going into food coma now. 

How to get there?

Duo Galleria – 7 Fraser Street, #01-48, S189356 

Opening hours:

Monday to Saturday: 10.30am – 2.15pm, 6pm to 9.45pm (last order)

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