Thursday, November 22, 2007

Restaurant Chako

In the western region of Singapore lies a gem that is Restaurant Chako. Established in 1978 by Chako, the lady boss cum chef, the eatery boasts home cooked food that is cooked when you place your order and at prices that won't burst your pocket.

Located at a rather prominent row of shops along the Ayer Rajah Expressway (AYE), Chako is ironically hidden from sight and totally devoid of human traffic on a Tuesday evening. Not that I'm complaining though. The interior was tiny and oozed a homely feel made complete by a shelf full of Japanese comics and the motherly figure of Chako, who fussed over us and explained to us in detail the items on the menu (which happens to be in Japanese by the way).


The Occha deserves a mention on its own. Unlike the usual Occha served at most other Japanese eateries, the Occha here was particularly fragrant and carried a whiff of coffee aroma. It had a tinge of coffee taste as well which was delightful.

Miso Soup & Cold Tofu

The sides of Miso Soup and Cold Tofu came with every order of a main course. What I liked about the Miso soup was that there were cockles in it, which was something different. However the soup did come across as a tad too salty for my liking. The tofu was soft and silky but nothing out of the ordinary.

Hanburg Steak

My Hanburg steak was nice and thick but a little too soft for my liking. Meat was pan fried till well done instead of the usual medium/medium rare which would have been tastier and juicier. Simply done without the frills and very decent.

Yakiniku Chicken

Served up with various vegetables like lettuce, carrots, egg plants etc, the Yakiniku Chicken was relatively well done. Crispy on the outside and not too heavy on the BBQ sauce. Add the fact that it was topped with a generous amount of crushed peanuts and you have a nice yet simple dish.

Vanilla Soya Bean Ice Cream & Mango Yoghurt

The vanilla soya bean ice cream came across as light, tasting of soya with a tinge of vanilla. It came with cut fruits which had been carefully prepared, ie. the grapes had the head cut off and the pear has its skin removed.

I'm not exactly a fan of yoghurt but the mango yoghurt wasn't half as bad as I made it out to be. Slightly sourish with a dash of mango. I understand that both desserts are hand made by Chako herself.


We were the only 2 customers in the restaurant that evening and it was a long dinner, standing at 2.5hrs and costing $55. Expensive? A little. Food quality? Decent. Satisfaction from a home cooked dinner? Priceless. On a side note, please be prepared to wait for your food as it is a one man show. If you can't understand Japanese, please bring along something to read to while away the long waiting times.

Likes: Homely environment and food
Dislikes: Long waiting time

Final Verdict:
Value for money:6.5/10


Address: Hong Leong Garden Shopping Centre, 134 West Coast Way

Contact: 67763919

Opening Hours:

Mon - Sat: 12pm - 2.30pm, 6pm - 10.30pm

Sun: 6pm - 10pm


Anonymous said...

If the food was good.. i really won't mind paying.. but we donch have authentic chinese nor japanese.. so it suxs to be me.

Anonymous said...

I went there for lunch a few times. The waiting time is not long. And love the food.

fatpig said...

starstarz: Maybe dinner takes longer? It was just the 2 of us and our dinner lasted about 2.5hrs =)

yixian said...

ooh! this is my friend's mom restaurant!

we been planning to check it out... soon! :)

R said...

hmmm. i suppose the reason why the miso soup is salty is because it's evening time. miso gets stronger and saltier the longer it sits. so if the soup was prepared in the morning, it would have been sitting the whole day. not that it is a bad sort of thing. :)

but i believe alot of singaporeans are not used to real miso- because most local japanese places and especially food-court or hawker stalls tend to use the pre-packed granule variety of miso, which is very bland and beyond disgusting. worst of all, people like to think that it is what miso actually tastes like! real miso should be thick, fragant and intensely salty. the saltiness actually comes from the miso paste itself and not additional. so there's no worries about the hypertension and all. japanese people, according to some global health investigation, live the most number of healthy years of life. :D just to shed some light on miso.

in anycase, was the occha coffee-flavoured? it sounds very interesting! the dark moss-green colour looks very similar to the green tea served at KOH Grill and Sushi bar located at the food republic of wisma atria which i swear, is very good (the tea).

fatpig said...

Woah. Thanks for the insight into miso soup rei! As for the Occha, I'm not too sure if its coffee flavoured but i've honestly never tried anything like it.

Anonymous said...

your drink was mugicha, not ocha (usually is sencha). ocha is greenish, mugicha is brownish and has a coffee-like flavour. =) it is very popular for drinking in summertime in japan, but i believe since singapore is always hot, it is good substitute! =)


fatpig said...

Hi Aoki, thanks for your valuable insight! Do you know of any place that sells mugicha? =)

Camemberu said...

You can buy mugicha from Meidi-ya or Cold Storage in city locations, especially Takashimaya. If you like the coffee aroma, you may like this brand (see my post for pic). I subsequently found another brand I preferred - Itoen - more subtle flavour.

fatpig said...

Thanks Cam! =D

Unknown said...

we are quite lucky to walk in on a saturday when this place was not supposed to open. we din really like the mugicha.... coffee? or tea? thot it tasted a bit weird... mummy chef took 30min to prepare the tempura... it was real hard work and a delicate job... but it was worth the wait. then we waited for another hour before the oyako don came as they had to serve other customers first... 2 hours of wait in total... overall, it was good. :)

fatpig said...

Glad you liked it! I should do a revisit soon.

Kng Suan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
fatpig said...

kng suan: Will give it a shot. Thanks for the recommendation! Is the stuff there expensive?

Jajaaa said...

this is my friend's mom restaurant....!!
food is good and you can never get delicious homecooked Japanese food elsewhere in Singapore! waiting time is long though but it's worth it..

Jajaaa said...

and its barley as told by my friend whose mom owns the restaurant..

Anonymous said...

Mugicha is roasted barley tea..