I tried an unagi sauce that's literally 147 years old at new Japanese dining concept Gochi

If you're working in the business district and sick of the usual lunch places, Gochi is a new dining concept space that brings together six popular Japanese food brands all under one cosy roof at Capital Square.

Unaemon is one of the new-to-market brands in Gochi.
PHOTO: AsiaOne/ Melissa Goh

Four of the brands are new to Singapore, and one particular joint that stood out when I went down for the opening was Unaemon; but that's just because I have a weak spot for grilled eels.

Unaemon joins as a new contender in the unagi restaurant scene in Singapore, boasting almost 150 years of history.

Its selling point? The secret barbecue sauce has never been depleted and been constantly replenished since it was founded. 

Live eels imported from Japan daily.
PHOTO: AsiaOne/ Melissa Goh

Unaemon imports live eels directly from Japan once a week and are housed in the restaurant, so every piece of fish is guaranteed to be fresh and succulent.

gochi unaemon
Unagi grilled over hot charcoal.
PHOTO: AsiaOne/ Melissa Goh

The unagi is prepared by chefs from Japan and skilfully cooked. It is first butterflied and placed over hot charcoal, then steamed and seasoned with the secret barbecue sauce, and grilled for another three times before serving. 

UNAJU (S SIZE $32++, M SIZE $36++) 

gochi unaemon
Unaemon's signature Unaju. The grilled eel was glistening under the light.
PHOTO: AsiaOne/ Melissa Goh

Right off the bat, the portion was generous and the unagi, with bits of inviting char, was glistening under the light.

I took a bite and loved how easily the unagi flaked apart. My only gripe was that it was slightly thin.

The secret barbecue sauce was something else. It has a subtle sweetness that did not overpower the grilled eel. I'm glad the sauce has never seen the end of the barrel and never want it to.

The rice was drizzled with the same sauce too. It was chewy and fragrant, and I had to stop myself from gobbling up the whole bowl so I could keep my stomach for the other food choices available at Gochi. 

Check out the other Japanese brands at Gochi.
PHOTO: AsiaOne/ Melissa Goh

Apart from Unaemon, the other three new-to-market brands are Chojiro, a conveyor-belt sushi chain; Pronto, an Italian-Japanese fusion restaurant that is a cafe by day and bar by night; and Paletas, serving ice pops made with fresh fruits, yoghurt and gelato.

You'll find Suage (Hokkaido's No.1 soup curry) too, and unlike their other outlets in Singapore, Gochi has an express counter to tapao back to the office and escape from the lunch crowd. If you're in need for a sweet fix, Morozoff offers chocolates, cookies and cheesecakes.

Gochi is located at Capital Square, 23 Church Street, #01-02/08, Singapore 049481
Opening Hours: 11.30am to 9pm (Daily); Pronto - 730am to 1130pm (Mondays to Thursdays), 730am to 2am (Fridays), 11am to 10pm (Saturdays and Sundays)  

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