Chowing Down On Octopus Sushi At Chaya Japanese Cuisine

Achievement: #12. Asian Soup Tournament (7 locations) | #53. Try 5 ‘Risky’ Foods

In my endless attempts to ‘catch up’ on blog entries, I thought I’d bring to you a dual-Achievement dinner stop we made waaaaay back in March (right, I know, 6 months later). One of our favorite sushi places in Pittsburgh is Chaya Japanese Cuisine, located right here in Squirrel Hill.

Chaya Japanese Cuisine
We love it, first of all, because it’s BYOB. Please note my fancypants wine carrier, which I received as a Christmas gift and now use all the dang time when we visit BYOB restaurants.

Chaya Japanese Cuisine
Our wine? The delicious Cosa Dolce from Morovino in Avila Beach. They called this their ‘sushi wine,’ and for good reason. A little sweet, but a great mix for the fish flavors of the sushi and saltiness of the soy sauce.

Chaya Japanese Cuisine
My other favorite thing about Chaya is their miso soup, which is why we couldn’t miss a trip here for our Asian soup tournament. And honestly, I can’t imagine any restaurant beating them. Their miso soup is SO salty, full of green onions and tofu, and nice and hot. I feel like Chaya’s miso is the standard to which I hold other misos, so we will see if anyone can beat them in the tournament. So far, they’ve got my vote!

Chaya Japanese Cuisine
We got an order of their pork gyoza, which was great. They were crispy on the outside, meaty on the inside.

Chaya Japanese Cuisine
(Just had to show off our plate of sushi, even though that’s not part of the Achievements in question here. You can see your sushi chefs preparing your plate from almost any vantage point in the restaurant, and the care they take in the presentation is evident. Love this place.)

Chaya Japanese Cuisine
But this little guy is the reason we were Achievement-ing that evening: octopus sushi. I’m a huge fan of (cooked) calamari, and I do love sushi, but I’d never gotten up the nerve to try octopus sushi. It even looks intimidating!

Chaya Japanese Cuisine
It was a little different: it’s a chewier texture than calamari, or at least cooked calamari. Definitely more rubbery than most sushi, which requires very little chewing. It wasn’t bad, though. I can’t say that I’d order it again, just because of the weirdness of the situation, but flavor-wise, it was good. And yes, I did eat octopus while wearing an octopus necklace. That was totally coincidence, I promise!

So, Chaya is in the running for Best Asian Soup in Pittsburgh (I’m starting to feel like there should be separate categories for wonton v. miso… we’ll see), but octopus is not in the running for Favorite Risky Food. I’m glad I tried it, though! And keep Chaya in mind any time you’ve got a good sushi wine on hand (but come early, they fill up fast!)


Filed under #12, #12-12, #53, #53-12, asian soup, byob, miso soup, risky food, sushi, wine

2 Responses to Chowing Down On Octopus Sushi At Chaya Japanese Cuisine

  1. This sounds like a place I need to try!!!

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