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“A must-stop-by place” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Chaya Restaurant

Chaya Restaurant
Ranked #59 of 143 Restaurants in Banff
Cuisines: Japanese, Asian, Soups
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children, Dining on a budget, Kids
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Seating, Takeout, Waitstaff
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“A must-stop-by place”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 31, 2012 via mobile

I can't resist stopping by and having a meal in this restaurant every time I am in Banff. All the staff are Japanese which somehow ensure quality of food. Love the food here. My favourite is chicken udon. Don is also good but the sourced rice sometimes is a bit salty.
One thing that people have to tolerate is the tiny space of this place. There are about 20 seats for dining in. So waiting is usually expected or coming at non-peak hours for lunch or dinner e.g 5ish pm.

    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
2 Thank Hangingloose
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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187 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    62
    78
    31
    4
    12
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
San Jose, California, United States
Level Contributor
20 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Not bad”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 18, 2012

My hubby liked tan tan ramen and I chose ton katsu curry rice and katsu don while having lunch and dinner in Chaya. The restaurant is small and right next to McDonald on Banff Ave. If you like Japanese food and don't want to spend too much, Chaya is a good choice. It does accept credit card.

  • Visited June 2012
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Grace C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Palo Alto, California
Level Contributor
48 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Love it!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 10, 2012

You will have to wait whenever you go... There are only 18 seats. They will tell you when to go back so you can walk around instead of waiting there. The noodles are really good, considering where it is. We went there for lunch twice. Will recommend to all my Asian friends.

  • Visited July 2012
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
2 Thank Jessica C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lethbridge, Canada
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“loved it”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 18, 2012

Every time we go to Banff this restaurant is a must. It has been recently renovated and has very affordable meals for less than $15. Absolutely love the food here!

Visited May 2012
Helpful?
3 Thank 777tony13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, AB
Level Contributor
39 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 176 helpful votes
“Not as I remembered it”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 11, 2012

On a recent trip to Banff, we decided to go to Chaya, a tried and true restaurant, for lunch. The last time I went to Chaya was almost two years ago. I had fond memories of delicious noodles and food but this time, our experience was just average.

Chaya is located right on the main Banff Avenue, beside the McDonald’s and Balkan the Greek. The restaurant is really small, has only about 5 tables and seats less than 20 people. The format of the restaurant is fast food style. You order at the counter, then find a table and they bring the food to you. The service is generally fast and the food comes out quickly, even if the restaurant is busy. The tough part is finding a table usually. (The restaurant does take out orders also.) The restaurant is also cash only.

The food prices are decent, by Banff standards, and most dishes are around the $10 mark. I especially like that this is a restaurant run by real Japanese people. This would be a good restaurant to visit if you’re in the mood for Japanese cuisine or noodles, don’t want to spend a fortune and want to eat quickly and be on your way.

I remember the quality of the food at Chaya being much better. Unfortunately, I’m afraid it’s gone downhill. From perusing the menu, I noticed they’ve expanded from udon to ramen now. I shared the tan tan ramen and ton katsu curry rice with a friend and both were underwhelming.

The ramen tasted like it came from a package. Having eaten fresh ramen before, I had a feeling that Chaya’s wasn’t handmade. There also wasn't a lot of ingredients in it such as peanuts or pork. It was mainly just the noodles and broth. On the other hand, the portions were decent and the broth was well done. It had flavor and wasn’t salty (which I like). It also wasn’t very spicy compared to other tan tan ramen I’ve had elsewhere (which I didn't like).

The curry sauce from the ton katsu curry rice tasted like it was made from a Glico curry package. It was extremely salty and didn’t have much curry flavor. The deep fried pork had a nice thin crispy batter but unfortunately, the pork itself was dry and tough.

I noted that some reviewers mentioned that there might have been a change in management at Chaya, which may help explain the change in the food quality. I probably will visit Chaya if I’m in Banff but I will be lowering my standards and expectations for this restaurant.

  • Visited June 2012
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
5 Thank estherbunny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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