Cha Cha An, 19/1 Ekamai Soi 63, Bangkok, Thailand
Nearest Train:BTS Ekkamai
Opening Hours:daily 11am-2pm, 5-11pm
Price Range:BB - BBB
When we think about fine Japanese restaurants for sushi and sashimi in Thonglor-Ekkamai, places like Honmono or Maru probably come to mind. But Cha Cha An, a Japanese eatery tucked away in Ekkamai Soi 10, is definitely another solid—and more affordable—option. This place isn’t exactly new, with its original restaurant having opened 30 years ago in Siam Square. But when the old spot was torn down and replaced by the Siam Kit building, Cha Cha An moved its sushi operation to Ekkamai—they do still have a BBQ joint, Captain Hook, in Siam. Though getting to this sushi kitchen can be a little creepy at night (the soi is pretty dark), once you walk into this two-story-house-turned-restaurant, you will bask in the lovely atmosphere. The bird’s nest-shaped lamps cast a soft light, the wooden floors and modern tables add warmth, while the waiters are very helpful and friendly. As for the food, well, you can’t go wrong with their sashimi sets. Take Set C (B1,800) for example, which is packed with great sashimi choices like hotate (scallop), octopus, hokkigai (surf clam), as well as salmon, hamachi (yelllowtail) and toro (fatty tuna). The dish is close to perfect, thanks to the freshness of the fish. We also like the fact that it’s served on a cold plate instead of a bed of ice like other restaurants, which can make the fish a little soggy. The super-fresh fish and the masterful hand of the sushi chef aren’t the only reasons to go, though. Cooked dishes also pack a punch. The salmon kabutoni (salmon head boiled in salt sauce, B250) is cooked to perfection and has plenty of juicy meat to absorb the flavors of the well-balanced salty and sweet sauce. The grilled snow fish with shoyu sauce (B350) is also decent, though it could be a little more smoky in flavor. It all makes for a pleasant overall experience. It might not have the quantity or variety of other, more expensive sushi places, but for those on a tighter budget Cha Cha An is a very reasonable alternative.