Kabuto (かぶと)

It was a long wait of more than seven months since i was invited by a regular friend of Kabuto until the second i stepped into the restaurant in Ikebukuro, Tokyo. Kabuto has been ranked No.1 in 'Unagi' category in Japan on Tabelog, specializing in serving natural unagi (freshwater eel) by generations. As one of the hardest restaurant to get in in Tokyo, i was so excited to be one of the fifteen guest to enjoy natural unagi.

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The restaurant opens at 5pm for the first round and the second round starts from 8pm. The guests are required to arrive on time because the meal won't start until all 15 guests arrive. Our reservation was at 5pm, i arrived around 4:50pm and most guests were waiting outside. Right at 5pm, a lady with a note book opened the door and starting calling names of guests to be seated.

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Summer is a peak season to eat unagi and most restaurants only serve natural unagi during summer. While Kabuto as a unagi specialized restaurant also provides natural unagi even in winter, which need to be pre-ordered when you book your seat. Thus we had an additional natural unagi besides the regular farmed unagi set. I was so excited to have my favorite unagi in winter despite it was kinda unagi-overload on that day. 

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Then the real show was about to start. The chef started to kill fresh unagi an take out their organs for skewers for our first part of the meal. On the side, we were served a small dish of radish pickles to open our taste buds.

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1.1 Grilled steamed head 

1.1 Grilled steamed head 

2. Cold tofu 

2. Cold tofu 

1.2 Grilled head (farmed)

1.3 Grilled fin (farmed)

1.3 Grilled fin (farmed)

Unagi heart (still beating...)

Unagi heart (still beating...)

Assorted pickles 

Assorted pickles 

1.4 Grilled head (natural)

1.4 Grilled head (natural)

1.5 Grilled fin (natural)

1.5 Grilled fin (natural)

1.6 Grilled organs (farmed)

1.6 Grilled organs (farmed)

1.7 Grilled organs (natural)

1.7 Grilled organs (natural)

1.8 Grilled liver (natural)

1.8 Grilled liver (natural)

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Shiroyaki (farmed)

Shiroyaki (farmed)

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Natural eel Shiroyaki

Natural eel Shiroyaki

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Kabayaki (natural on the left, farmed on the right)8w3a3665

Kabayaki (natural on the left, farmed on the right)8w3a3665

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White rice

White rice

Eel liver soup

Eel liver soup

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The entire meal lasted for 2.5 hours as everything was freshly killed and cooked in front of my eyes. We walked out with a satisfying belly of unagi and a holly smell of unagi (haha). It was a really enjoyable unagi experience that i will definitely miss the delicious food very soon. Unfortunately it will be another long wait of almost a year :(


Kabuto (かぶと)

Address: 東京都豊島区池袋2-53-2

Hours:17:00~22:00, closed on Thu and Sun

Notes: reservation only, no English