Patrons of Restaurant Chako will probably remember it as a place not to visit with a growling stomach or when pressed for time, as much as for the delicious and authentic Japanese homestyle food it serves.
All the cooking in this restaurant is done solely by the Japanese proprietress, who will only prepare your order when you arrive at the restaurant, even if you pre-order your meal. Having been warned about the long wait-ranging from 45 minutes to as long as 3 hours- I brought something along to read while waiting for my food to arrive. It's also best to visit Chako during a weekday, when it is less crowded- the only other customers at the small 22-seater resturant during my visit at 7pm on a Tuesday night was a family of five.
Fragrant and smoky roasted barley tea to feed your thirst during the wait.
My Unatamaju ($22+) arrived only 40 minutes after I had placed my order, but it was certainly worth the wait. Save for those who dislike fatty fish, it'll be difficult to find someone who wouldn't love the delectably tender broiled eel! Matched with a bed of soft and sweet egg, as well as fluffy rice ladled with just the right amount of tasty (and not overly sweet) kabayaki sauce, the Unatamaju was so comforting, I mopped up every last grain of rice.
The cold tofu, cockle-laden miso soup and pickles which were part of the set were decent but not outstanding.
Thankfully, dessert only took five minutes to arrive. While it was a tad icy, I enjoyed how the low cream and sugar content of Chako's homemade Green Tea ice cream ($6.50 per scoop) allowed its intense matcha flavor to shine through. Other flavors include black sesame, blueberry, mango yogurt and vanilla soya bean.
A return visit for their Katsudon, Salmon Zosui, and of course- the Unatamaju- is a must!
134 West Coast Way
Hong Leong Shopping Centre
Located in the middle of side of the building facing the expressway