Specialist unagi restaurants generally fall into two categories. Most follow tradition, evoking the old days when grilled freshwater eel was a humble food of the masses. Others adopt a more sophisticated, formal approach for their eel cuisine. But Ryo boasts a style very much its own.

It doesn't look much like a restaurant, either inside or out. The squat metal-frame building is barely noticeable from the street. You take an external stairway up to an unobtrusive front door. Inside, you find a low timber counter running the length of a narrow open kitchen. But the rest of the spacious chamber feels more like a living room or a musician's den.

Album covers and guitars hang on the walls and second-hand furniture occupies the corners of the dining room. It feels comfortable and relaxed, like you've entered someone's home. This is the calm, mellow domain of owner-chef Ryo Murata.