Sumibiyaki Unagi Higashiyama Bussan (Shima), Unadon set menu (eel donburi)

Sumibiyaki Unagi Higashiyama Bussan

Delicious Eel Restaurant In Shima

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Sumibiyaki Unagi Higashiyama Bussan is a Japanese eel restaurant located in Shima city, in the Ise peninsula, at the easternmost end of Mie prefecture. It is renowned up to Tokyo for its excellent unadon, the famous grilled eel donburi that is a favorite of Japanese people.

The beautiful landscapes of the Ago Bay in Mie Prefecture are home to a simple yet delicious Japanese gastronomy. After enjoying chef Tobari’s delightful tempura fritters in Shima city, you can also try a new place called Sumibiyaki Unagi Higashiyama Bussan, located near the exit of Ugata station, on the local Kintetsu line.

The restaurant specialty is the unagi eel, more precisely the preparation of unadon donburi (うな丼) one of the Japanese people’s favorite meals regardless their generation. Unadon consists of thin eel fillets cooked on charcoal and coated with sweet and savory soy sauce in the kabayaki style, then laid on a layer of warm white rice in a large bowl or a bento 🍱 box.

Sumibiyaki Unagi Higashiyama Bussan (Shima), Eel fillets cooked on charcoal

With a fish both delicious and refined, unadon is also hearty. It is the main dish in a course that includes:

  • An umaki omelet rolled around grilled eel;
  • Uzaku, a vinegared salad of cucumber and eel; and,
  • A kimosui soup made of eek liver and tripe.

Drinks can be chosen among tea, light beer 🍺 and nihonshu sake 🍶.

Sumibiyaki Unagi Higashiyama Bussan is renowned for its excellent unagi cooking, and it is indeed living up to its reputation, that spread up to Tokyo. Their unadon is truly delicious, with the fish being crusty on the outside and melty on the inside. We highly recommend this restaurant to travelers in the Ise-Shima peninsula. Note that advance reservation is not possible: one must go to the restaurant early enough on the morning and register on a waiting list at the entrance for lunch, and be patient.

Sumibiyaki Unagi Higashiyama Bussan (Shima), Outside view on the traditional building

A lovely traditional institution

In addition to its delicious cuisine, the restaurant offers its patrons a beautiful traditional setting. The outside displays a typical tiled roof and a wooden facade barred by a huge and shiny chimney pipe. The place is flowing with a timeless and retro atmosphere where one can’t help but want to stop by.

Inside, the restaurant is divided into 2 spaces:

  • A lunchroom side, with the usual tables and chairs; and,
  • A traditional style washitsu room, divided into several small semi-private spaces, on an elevated tatami floor. One must take off shoes to sit at a low-rise table on a cushion, cross-legged or kneeling in seiza.

Sumibiyaki Unagi Higashiyama Bussan (Shima), Traditional tatami seatings 4

The meal is usually served quickly and it is good practice to leave as soon as the meal is finished to allow the next customers in. There are about 50 seats at Sumibiyaki Unagi Higashiyama Bussan and it is also possible to order a take away. The restaurant may closer earlier when the eel stock of the day has sold out.

Lastly, there is no desert in the menu (except for the most expensive one) or digestive coffee. Amateurs of such meal ending should continue at another place or buy, for example, a sugary treat at the nearby Family Mart konbini.

⬇️ Further down this page, discover our visit guide in Sumibiyaki Unagi Higashiyama Bussan and around.
By Kanpai Updated on May 13, 2024 Sumibiyaki Unagi Higashiyama Bussan