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  • - When people think about seafood in Japan,

  • more often than not they think about sushi, but not me.

  • Whenever I leave Japan what I crave the most

  • is without a doubt unagi.

  • (lively hip hop music)

  • So please imagine my excitement

  • now that we have traveled down to what I am calling

  • the unagi capital of Japan, Nagoya.

  • - If you ask anybody living in Japan

  • where the best eel is,

  • they're absolutely gonna say Nagoya.

  • And it's literally an hour and a half away by train.

  • Every time we've come to Nagoya

  • we've actually had Una Dong

  • and we've smashed their specialty Hitsumabushi.

  • - Hitsumabushi! - And we've just never

  • ever shared it with you guys.

  • - We're gonna do this professionally

  • because we're professionals-- - Yes, calm.

  • - And I'm gonna contain my excitement as much as I can.

  • (lively techno music)

  • (lively upbeat music)

  • - Okay, we just left Nagoya station

  • and we're headed to a fishmonger called Nakasho

  • and they've been in the business for over 90 years;

  • which is a crazy amount of time to be mongering things.

  • And the question we have,

  • the very professional foodie question we have

  • is can you monger other things?

  • Like can you be a octopus monger?

  • - Is there an apple monger?

  • - A berry monger? - How do I start

  • monging things? - Money monger.

  • - Like what does it mean to mong?

  • - To monger-- - Have I ever monged

  • anything in my life?

  • - Can now I mong?

  • These are the important questions, we'll contemplate them.

  • (peaceful techno music)

  • - My name is Higashl. (speaking in foreign language)

  • - Wow. - That's a big boy.

  • - Oh my gosh, wow. - Big boy.

  • (speaking in foreign language)

  • - Okay, are these the blue ones?

  • - The blue ones are the good ones.

  • (muffled talking)

  • - Oh, yeah.

  • Oh yeah, yeah.

  • Oh totally, moshi moshi, I got it, yeah.

  • (peaceful techno music)

  • (loud water splashing)

  • (speaking in foreign language)

  • (peaceful techno music)

  • - I'm feeling very happy.

  • We right now are at Unagi Yondaime Kikukawa.

  • And that's a very hard word for me to remember, but I did it

  • because, unagi. - Unagi.

  • 10 points to Gryffindor if anybody knows what that's from.

  • Speaking of which, don't I look so Gryffindorian today?

  • - You look like a very stern teacher.

  • - I'm here to learn and teach

  • and to spread the word of unagi.

  • - I feel like a little intimidated,

  • like you're gonna walk around with like a ruler stick

  • and I'm gonna get smacked if I get a fact incorrectly.

  • - Well, I mean that could happen,

  • I could just start eating your unagi instead.

  • - I don't have to worry about it because I know so much

  • about unagi now.

  • I am the one that is hyper informed.

  • - Okay, let me hear about this.

  • - I read Kafka on the Shore.

  • I don't remember that much about it,

  • except for three things. - Okay.

  • - One, Johnny Walker kills a lot of cats.

  • - Okay. - Two, they have to flip

  • a really heavy stone. - Okay.

  • - And number three, the main character really likes to eat

  • unagi once a month as a treat.

  • And that part resonated with me so much.

  • - 'Cause you wanted to have it once a month as a treat?

  • - The rest of the plot, I don't know what happens,

  • how it ends, I don't remember.

  • But the unagi I remember.

  • - Excuse me, I thought I was suppose to be learning

  • facts about unagi but all I'm learning is that--

  • - Cultural references, cultural references.

  • - Okay. - So this is the culture

  • first, you'll get the facts next.

  • Unagi facts. - Yes, you remember

  • at the beginning I was talking about,

  • can you say it for me?

  • - Hitsumabushi. - It feels different

  • when you say it somehow.

  • - It's not hitsayobushi, it's Hitsumabushi.

  • - So hitsumabushi is Nagoya's jam.

  • And basically instead of just serving the eel

  • on top of the rice with the sauce

  • and just like eating that,

  • they serve it with all the little sides parts,

  • so you can kind of enjoy it in four different ways;

  • which I really like because sometimes we talk about

  • how we get a little bit the same thing

  • over and over again.

  • - For real, it's exciting

  • because when you get, in Tokyo, eel,

  • then it'll just be sauce and rice, eat it.

  • When you're halfway through, you still know

  • what the rest of the meal is gonna taste like,

  • but here they keep on changing things up

  • and keeping you so excited, like I am, for all the eel.

  • Unagi fact, another thing that makes Nagoya style unagi

  • unique is that they don't steam it before grilling.

  • Usually in Tokyo, they will steam it first

  • and then finish it on the grill, not here,

  • straight up grill, just like a pro.

  • Not that you're not a pro in Tokyo,

  • but this is...

  • - I'm gonna let you keep circling your way out of this.

  • The other thing that I find exciting

  • is that every place has their own tare, their own sauce.

  • The kind of way they go for yakitori

  • and we have different sauce or salt to choose from,

  • it's never the same in every place,

  • there is like a huge ginormous vat of sauce back there

  • that's just kind of like gathering flavor

  • and getting more delicious

  • as time goes on. - Oh my gosh.

  • (lively funk music)

  • It smells delicious.

  • I gotta laugh.

  • One person laughed at my joke,

  • one person laughed at my joke.

  • I have a feeling I'm gonna be scolded by the teacher

  • for talking too much in class.

  • Pick me, I have so much more to say.

  • (smooth jazz techno music)

  • Oh baby, I'm so ready.

  • (speaking in foreign language)

  • Wow. - Yes, yeah.

  • - This is amazing. (speaking in foreign language)

  • - You know what we have to do, right?

  • - Oh please. - We have to hold back.

  • And we have to take 1,000 sexy food porn shots of this.

  • Brace yourself Simon, no bad Simon.

  • (smooth jazz funk techno music)

  • - Oh my gosh, what a beautiful beautiful bowl.

  • (speaking in foreign language)

  • So there's a specific way you're suppose to eat this.

  • You're suppose to divide it into four.

  • The first time, you're just suppose to try it on it's own

  • to see what it tastes like.

  • So you're gonna use your little tiny wooden paddle

  • to kinda scoop out a little bit of it.

  • And then the second time around

  • is when you can kinda start changing the flavor

  • a little bit, but we're gonna get there.

  • First, we're just gonna try it in its purest form.

  • - Just try it in its pure form.

  • (peaceful classic music)

  • It's my favorite seafood in the world.

  • - It's so so fluffy and nothing about this is fishy.

  • I think that can be intimidating for people

  • because they feel like it's a type

  • of an ocean taste, it's not.

  • - No, this is the meatiest seafood.

  • It tastes more like meat than it does like seafood.

  • - It does for sure.

  • - It's so soft, it's got a little bit of crisp on it,

  • kinda like a really good crispy chicken wing.

  • - I think Nagoya has gt that down

  • because they've got the crispy chicken wing jam

  • and they know how to keep it moist on the inside

  • and crispy on the outside.

  • That's the real tough part

  • because eel is such a thin piece of meat once you filet it.

  • Once you start grilling it on that high heat,

  • you could just use up all the fat,

  • crisp it up and it could be nothing.

  • But wow, its just got such a nice color to it.

  • How do you feel about the tare as well?

  • - It's not over powering.

  • - And not too sweet, right?

  • - Yeah, that's exactly it.

  • You go to some places and it's just so very very sweet

  • and kind of like the stickiness of the crunch

  • kind of makes it taste like candy a bit.

  • This does not have that, just so savory.

  • And light, and so light.

  • Like I'm just like, oops, I've already finished

  • and you're behind me, oopsie.

  • My gosh Simon, you're moving so slowly,

  • it's like you don't even like eel.

  • It really seems to me like if you continue this way,

  • I'll just have to eat both of our meals.

  • (loud bell ringing)

  • - Round two. - Round two.

  • I'll be honest I put some wasabi on

  • and then I lost it somewhere so we're gonna go for it.

  • - You're gonna get a wasabi bomb.

  • So for the second dish,

  • first time you're suppose to have it pure.

  • Second time, this is where you could add the toppings

  • like the wasabi and the seaweed and the green onion.

  • It doesn't need it,

  • but it just gives you a little bit of variety

  • if you want some.

  • - I mean if you think about it,

  • it's not like you can go to a place in North America,

  • order a hamburger and ask for it four different ways,

  • it's pretty unique, right.

  • - That is a very good analogy,

  • unless you get four different burgers.

  • - I actually think the seaweed is incredibly mashing

  • with this right now.

  • The toasted nuttiness of the nori on the outside,

  • it's actually mega-enhancing all the flavors

  • of the eel right now.

  • - I do feel like this is a very different bowl now.

  • Before, I tasted a lot more of the smoke and the char.

  • Here, I have so many more things popping around.

  • - I felt like the sweetness was nearly muted.

  • The green onions and a little tiny kick of the wasabi;

  • which you could barely taste by the way, it wasn't hot.

  • - No. - And then for me,

  • like I said, I feel like the nori was the winner.

  • It just made all the crispy edges kinda pop out

  • and taste more nutty.

  • Like when you have that kind of crispy nut flavor

  • rather than having like a sweet

  • saucy flavor. - Exactly.

  • - Oh my gosh, and we still have a third way to try it.

  • And then we have whatever way we want after that.

  • - We're not even halfway done.

  • - I know, are you happy with our journey to Nagoya?

  • For you to be trying your most favorite thing ever?

  • - I'm happy with my journey to Japan,

  • with my journey in life.

  • - Oh, I know what's happening right now.

  • We all know what's happening right now.

  • So many times you can question yourself.

  • Have I made the right choices in life?

  • Have I, should I have done this?

  • - Continue on. - Should I have done that?

  • But when you have something this good,

  • then you realize every one of your memories is footsteps

  • leading up to here, realize you've done the right thing.

  • Please, don't you.

  • (loud duck quacking) (dramatic music)

  • - Keep talking. - This is what is called

  • love and tolerance.

  • Love is patient, love is kind.

  • - I don't think he wanted to give this to me,

  • if I'm being honest right now.

  • - No, but I've tolerated it.

  • (dramatic music)

  • (melodic humming)

  • - Why does food taste better

  • when