Sushi-Ya at Chatswood is a tried and tested place for group dinners with my friends as it takes table reservations. More often than not, as on this occasion, we end up with a private room upstairs due to our numbers. And although not famed for its sashimi, its cooked dishes are always reliable and the service is friendly. Parking is easy to find on the nearby residential streets at this quieter end of Chatswood. If the location doesn’t suit you, Sushi-Ya also has a sister restaurant at neighbouring Artarmon.
The ground level of Sushi-Ya at Chatswood has the nicer décor with dark wooden features against the light-coloured walls. To get to the upstairs level, you have to walk out the back of the restaurant, down a section of narrow laneway where there are tables for two under a canopy, and through part of the kitchen before heading up a set of steep stairs. The upstairs décor is very minimal but cleanly, although the process of getting there is less than glamorous.
Bottles of chilled water are already at the table by the time we arrive and are replaced upon request throughout the meal. We order a range of dishes to share and double up on most things for each end of the table. We start with a couple of serves of beef tataki as Sushi-Ya offers one with a standard ponzu dressing, and another with a house-special dressing that I can only describe as mildly spicy. The waiter couldn’t really tell us what was in it either!
The Wagyu aburi nigiri is tender but not as juicy as I’m used to having, perhaps because it was more cooked than the usual being lightly flamed. Nevertheless, it is tasty. And with Ms Selective in attendance, how could we bypass the agedashi tofu! The tofu here is firmer than at other places but also has a thinner coating. It comes topped with minced daikon as well as finely grated ginger.
To follow we have ordered a ‘Salmon Lovers Roll’ as well as a ‘Dragon Roll’. The serves are both generous and the salmon is fresh as well as being plentiful. The ‘Dragon Roll’ has eel inside the roll as well as on top and its sweet, smoky flavour is complemented well by the little blob of Japanese mayonnaise on top of each piece.
The ‘Sushi-Ya Salad’ has been a highlight for Monsieur Poisson and myself in the past, so we ordered it again on this occasion. It is now presented on a square platter instead of a long, rectangular plate and is missing its decoration of egg omelette threads over the top. Instead there are a couple of triangles of egg omelette in its place. It still comes with an abundance of sashimi seafood but the dressing is possibly thicker and sweeter than previous as well.
We finish with a couple of ‘Unagi Don’ which come in shallow, lidded containers decorated with a gold, cherry blossom pattern. The shallow containers make for a high eel-to-rice ratio which provides plenty of flavour in each bite. We linger a little longer over conversation and I leave wondering if I can pilfer one of the decorated containers for personal use.
174 Victoria Ave (cnr Jacques St), Chatswood NSW
Tel: (02) 9413 3300
Opening Hours: 7 days 11:30am-2:30pm (lunch)