Chaya: Contemporary Japanese cuisine
Have you been searching Baguio City for a cozy, authentic Japanese restaurant? We’ve located the ideal place for you.
On day four of our 12-day Baguio food trip vlog, we can’t use our car because of how the number codes work. So, we went to a restaurant that was close to our AirBNB and could be reached on foot.
This Japanese restaurant is a gem in the middle of Baguio City. they serve authentic Japanese food that will take you right to Japan. The cozy atmosphere is great for a casual dinner with friends or a romantic dinner.
From the road, the entrance is a little hard to spot because it looks like a normal house and surrounded by lush. Also, they only have a small parking area.
At the entrance, you can buy imported Japanese cooking supplies and snacks to take home.
But it’s not just the food that sets this restaurant apart – the service is top-notch. The staff are friendly and attentive, ensuring that every aspect of your dining experience is enjoyable.
DISCLAIMER: My star ratings are based only on my own experience and do not represent that of other guests.
Right after seating they served us complimentary side dishes and tea, and we loved it specially the tea it has a distinct flavor that will surely indulge you.
Complimentary Side Dishes and Tea – FREE
Then, our order came. The first thing we got was Mixed Tempura, which is a mix of vegetables and prawns. Their batter is perfect—very crispy and light.
Php 490 ($8.85)
It wouldn’t be Japanese if we didn’t try their “Sashimi Variety” platter, which comes in two sizes, whole and half, and we chose the half size. And the sashimi tasted very fresh and was prepared very well.
Php 580 ($10.47)
Next, we got their Katsudon with a side of Miso Soup, which is made with quality ingredients and cooked to perfection, every bite is flavorful and satisfying. The miso soup, made with a blend of traditional and local ingredients, complements the katsudon perfectly and adds a touch of warmth and comfort to the meal.
Php 390 ($7.05)
We also want to try their fish, so we ordered their Shishamo, which is a small smelt fish that is common in Japan and other parts of East Asia. It is a popular starter or side dish that is often grilled or fried. It was well-prepared and cooked to perfection. The fish is served whole, with the head and tail still attached. It is often eaten with the bones still in place.
Php 450 ($8.15)
Another fish dish is Nizakana. It was originally served with Maya-maya, but they ran out, so they switched to Lapu-lapu. Nizakana is a type of Japanese dish that has a variety of seafood, like fish or shellfish, simmered in a light broth made from dashi, soy sauce, and mirin. And the nizakana here is just right and tastes great.
Php 850 ($15.35)
And for the soup, we had Seafood Hotpot, which has fish, shellfish, squid, and other seafood cooked in a flavorful broth. The hotpot is served in a pot and you can regulate the flavor by adding the sauce yourself.
Php 380 ($6.86)
And Okonomiyaki, which is one of my favorite Japanese dishes, which is a savory pancake made from flour, eggs, and a variety of ingredients like vegetables, seafood, and meats. The pancake is cooked on a griddle or grill and then topped with okonomiyaki sauce, mayonnaise, and dried bonito flakes, among other things. The pancake is light and savory, and the flavors are just right so that they go well with the toppings.
Php 290 ($2.25)
After we ate, they gave us a small scoop of green tea ice cream, which we liked, so we asked for the big ones.
Complimentary Ice Cream – FREE
The first ice cream is strawberry, and it is of exceptional quality, not too sweet and very creamy.
Php 160 ($2.89)
The highlight is their green tea ice cream called “Cream Anmitsu.” Which is a popular Japanese dessert that consists of a bowl of agar-agar, a type of jelly made from seaweed, and a variety of sweet ingredients like red bean paste, fruits, and ice cream.
Php 220 ($3.99)
For the drink, we tried their Green Tea Shake, and like the ice cream, it has the right amount of sweetness and flavor without being too sweet.
Php 130 ($2.35)
And last, a Brewed Coffee with Hotmilk and Balicucha as a sweetener. Balicucha is a sugarcane juice sweet that is native to the Ilocos Norte region of the Philippines.
Php 120 ($2.17)
Total Bill: Php 4,242 ($76.60)
(For 4 Pax)
Overall, Chaya is a place for people who want to eat traditional Japanese food in a warm and friendly setting in Baguio City. The restaurant has a wide range of dishes, all of which are made with high-quality ingredients and are expertly prepared. Not only are these dishes tasty, but they are also healthy. It is a great place to go if you like Japanese food or just want to try something new. The prices of their dishes are a bit high, but they are well worth the money. Are we returning? Yes.
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