I don’t know if anything excites me more than “uni”, or sea urchin. I’m told uni is an acquired taste…something people either love or hate. Why on earth anyone would dislike uni is beyond me.
If you’re a die-hard uni fan, there’s a uni restaurant in Tokyo that you’ll just have to make the pilgrimage to. Uniya (海栗屋), literally translated as “Place of Uni”, exists in 3 places in Tokyo: Shinjuku-sanchome, Mozen-nakacho & Shimo-kitazawa. We paid homage to the Shimo-kitazawa chapter.
Uniya has everything from your wildest uni dreams…uni tempura, uni croquette, uni hot pot, the works! Let me point out that they don’t simply throw uni on a plate with another ingredient and call it “uni + other ingredient”. The dishes are all soothing to look at in their presentation, as if a monk prepared sea urchin zen gardens. At the same time, the bright orange color emanates such vibrancy that the dishes jump out at you the moment they’re placed on your table.
Below are uni wrapped in raw fish and shiso (perilla frutescens); eaten with soy sauce and wasabi or salt.
The uni nigiri below is actually not on the menu. They hooked it up though, knowing how much I love uni.
Here we have some “uni shabu shabu” – assorted seafood that we dipped in a hot swimming pool of uni. Normally, shabu shabu involves thin slices of beef and assorted veggies, which you cook with your chopsticks in a pot of hot water. There’s sauce to dip the beef and veggies in, too. But with today’s uni shabu shabu, no sauce was needed.
After destroying the shabu shabu, we asked for zōsui (雑炊), which is a Japanese rice dish. So they added rice and egg to the remaining shabu shabu broth. Nothing went to waste.
This special night ended as it started, with uni. Uniya was more than happy to assist.
For uni lovers, this Tokyo uni restaurant is a must visit!
Address: 1st Floor, 2-15-5 Setagaya-ku, Shimo-kitazawa, Tokyo (東京都世田谷区北沢2-15-5 1Ｆ)
Train Station: Shimo-kitazawa (Odakyu Odawara Line & Inokashira Line)
Shop Hours: 17:30 – 23:00
English Menu: Link