New sushi bar Unagi-ya Hachibei now open in Midtown

Photo: Cyril R./Yelp

A new sushi bar and Japanese spot has opened up shop in the neighborhood. Located at 238 E. 53rd St., Floor 2, in Midtown, the new arrival is called Unagi-Ya Hachibei.

The restaurant bills itself as "the first authentic Japanese eel restaurant in NYC" andnotes that, "while (the delicacy is) not in steady supply here in New York, we have cleared our own route to secure a stable supply serving our patrons."

Try the Hone-Senbei (grilled eel bones) as an appetizer, followed by the Unaju Set (whole grilled eel over rice, basted with special sauce and served with clear soup and daikon pickles) as an entree. The restaurant also offers a limited lunch menu, which you can see here.

With a 3.5-star rating out of 10 reviews on Yelp so far, the new sushi bar has gotten a mixed response from its clientele.

Arthur C., who was among the first Yelpers to review the new spot, wrote, "Eel have some more of that, please. Inevitably, when I go to an all-you-can-eat sushi spot, I opt for the sushi rolls with eel in them because it is so hard to find eel in the city, much less affordable eel."

And Mike C. wrote, "The Unaki that starts was probably the best bite. This is the eel wrapped in omelet that is served room temperature. You also get Kimoyaki, or eel liver. This was served warm, and had some really soft juicy bites, as well as a few chewy pieces. Finally, you get that big portion of eel along with a bowl of rice. There are some great bites, but also some pretty spiny ones (which is how it's supposed to be? Maybe?)."

Intrigued? Stop in to try it for yourself. Unagi-Ya Hachibei is open from 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. and 5:30-10:30 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday and 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m. and 5:30-10:30 p.m. on Thursday. (It's closed on Sunday.)
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