Cha Cha Sushi – San Jose, CA

Meep & I decided to go out for dinner to celebrate the end of my 100th week as a housewife, and I picked Cha Cha Sushi. We have been wanting to find us a “go to” Japanese restaurant since the quality at Sushi Infinity has dropped & Tomi sushi can get a little pricey. I tried Harumi and quite liked it, but read great reviews about Cha Cha so I wanted to try it out.

We got to the restaurant at about 7.45 pm on a Saturday. There was already a line out the restaurant, but the service here is very fast and efficient so the lines move quite fast. So even with 5 groups before us, we got seated in about 20 minutes. Not a very big restaurant, with every space well utilised!

Menu is very extensive. A full page of appetisers, lunch combinations, sushi, entrees and dinner combinations.

There is a separate laminated paper with 2 pages of their special rolls.

Started of with some complimentary Mussels with spicy sauce

What a great way to get our tastebuds going. Nice touch and made this grumpy hungry housewife quite pleased! The mussels were fresh, plump and topped with a tangy spicy salsa. Quite tasty.

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We ordered:

Soft Shell Crab $8.50

I was excited that it deep fried whole, the cut up into nice quarters. The body of the crab was plump, moist and with an nice crispy tempura crust. The tempura is not as light as I would have liked, but it was forgivable because of the amazing crunch. And the crab was so fresh and delicious. It was seasoned well, so no sauce was needed. The sauce on the side is tonkatsu sauce.

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Brandon’s Roll $12.95

Mixed fish & cucumber roll topped with mixed fish, rice crackers, house sauce & tobiko

Delicious and light. The house sauce is a sweet sauce reminiscent of the sweet unagi sauce. The fish on top is tossed in a very light tangy, creamy sauce and very fresh. Roll is deceptively light in flavours with a lemony aftertaste because of the choice of fish on top. This roll is falling apart and not rolled very well, but it doesn’t really matter because it is just same variety of raw fish in the roll as on the top. The rice is not very seasoned but I guess in a roll like that, it is not too much of an issue.

One thing about thing roll is, eat it while the rice crackers have a little crunch. Once it sits and the crackers absorb their sauce it becomes a little soggy with a strange texture.

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Raider’s $13.95

Shrimp tempura, tempura flakes & cucumber roll topped with superwhite tuna, unagi, avocado, tobiko & house sauce

Amazing roll. I love the crispy shrimp tempura and tempura bits that just give the roll so much texture. The unagi on top is meat-y and juicy and the super white tuna is so fresh and delicious. The flavour of the fish is not muddled by overwhelming sauce and so fresh. Again, same house sauce as before, sweet and salty sauce that is drizzled over the roll. I appreciate that the roll was not swimming in sauce, just a light drizzle so the tempura remained very crispy and the superwhite tuna still maintained its original flavours.

Again, the roll kinda falls apart the moment we try to pick them up. Not very well put together and a little hard to eat.

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Chirashi $17.50

Tamago (Sweet egg), Maguro (Bluefin Tuna), Seaweed Salad, Tako (Octopus), Ebi (Shrimp), Sake (Salmon), Hirame (Halibut), Ono/Superwhite Tuna (Escolar), Hiramasa (Kingfish), Hamachi (Yellowtail)

Tamago (Sweet egg) – One of the saddest looking tamago I have ever been served. The colours were not even, no proper layers and not very nice texture.

Maguro (Bluefin Tuna) – I loved the bright red colour of the fish. Fresh, firm and lemony. Not mushy like the ones you get in other mediocre restaurants.

Seaweed – Delicious, crunchy well seasoned seaweed.

Tako (Octopus) – I am usually not a fan of octopus because in most places, they are insanely chewy and tough. It actually wasn’t too bad here. Tender and quite tasteless.

Ebi (Shrimp) – Meh… Smaller than the average size usually served. It was quite tough and chewy.

Sake (Salmon) – Fresh and tasty.

Hirame (Halibut) - I can’t remember ever trying Halibut. The fish was very fresh. It was light with a crunchy texture, but doesn’t really have any distinct flavour.

Ono/Super White Tuna (Escolar) – I tried Ono once a couple months ago and fell in love with it. It is very firm but still silky. The fish is very clean tasting, with no aftertaste. Very good.

Hiramasa (Kingfish)Hiramasa is commonly describes as an “older hamachi”. I don’t know the specifics of their difference, but I think they are in the same family as the Hamachi/Yellowtail. It has lighter/cleaner flavours than Hamachi and very good. Firm, fatty and a little sweet aftertaste.

Hamachi (Yellowtail) –  Hamachi has a very distinct flavour I can’t describe… The bloodline always leaves a slight fishy aftertaste. Fresh, firm, fatty and slightly lemony. Delicious!

Overall, an amazing deal with about 20 pieces. Such great quality and quantity, a definite must order. The rice was a tad disappointing. Cooked well but not quite well seasoned.

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Extras:

Coke $1.75

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Note: I worried about sitting in the bar because I am notorious for ordering too much food and cluttering up a small table BUT worries were unfounded because their bar has an elevated “step” where food could sit on. YAY!

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Total Damage: $70 (including tax & tip)

Personal Rating: 3.75 out of 5 (Very very good)

I understand why there is a long line before we got seated, and an even longer line when we left at 9 pm. The service was insanely efficient, very cold and not personable BUT they all worked like a well oiled machine. From the moment we sat then ordered, we got our food in 5 minutes! It made the 20 minute wait quite bearable. The attitude of the servers is a little hard to ignore, so they lost a bit of their rating there…

The food quality is great, fish was all quite fresh. The rolls are not as sophisticated looking as other Japanese establishments, but the ingredients were all well combined. Their prices are very reasonable, comparable to our favourite spots and reflects on the quality and quantity of the food. The food traffic here is so high that I think there is no issues with “old” or unfresh fish because of their turnover.

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Cha Cha Sushi

547 W Capitol Expressway
San Jose, CA 95136

(408) 265 2416
Cha Cha Sushi on Urbanspoon

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