Image credit: Nicola Sevitt at New Shanghai
Times are a-changin’ in the North Shore suburb of Chatswood. It used to be somewhere you would go to hit the shops and avoid gangs of youths, but now it’s somewhere you go to eat and eat and eat. A heap of high profile chefs and restaurant chains (that are actually good) are turning the area into a foodie hotspot. There are tonnes of delicious restaurants, but these are the best restaurants in Chatswood to get you on your way…
New Shanghai is so popular with the locals, that you shouldn’t be surprised if there’s a line when you turn up. But fear not, the line generally moves quickly and gives you extra time to consider how many dumplings you think you can eat and what kinds you should get. Pro tip: New Shanghai has arguably the best xiao long bao in Sydney, so load up on these bad boys (just make sure you eat them correctly to avoid squirting your dining companions with the broth inside).
With a Head Chef who has previously worked at Ms. G’s, Spice I Am and Mr. Wong, it’s no shock that Khao Pla churns out some of the best Thai food in Sydney. There is 90s hip-hop playing in the background which gets you amped up to make your mark on as much of the menu as possible. While everything here is delicious, it’s the pork ribs that steal the show. They are twice cooked for the ultimate crispy/falling off the bone combo, and are doused in palm sugar, tamarind and an incredible sweet and sour sauce. They’re worth the trip to Chatswood on their own…. Not that we’re obsessed or anything.
Elbow Room Espresso
The food scene is obviously getting pretty massive in Chatty, and Elbow Room has moved in to finally bring some good coffee to the suburb! A far cry from the food court lattes that haunt us, Elbow Room is bringing a little bit of hipster to the area; offering up cold drips, aero press and Single Origin beans to the yummy mummies, after school teens and everyone in between. They also have a bunch of delicious nosh on offer, like lime-cilantro pork tacos with kimchi and a mountainous eggs benny on brioche with all the delicious regular suspects. Definitely the place to get your caffeine hit in the ‘Wood.
Mamak is pretty much the benchmark of accessible Malaysian food in Sydney. Come for the satay, stay for the roti. There is usually a small line but watching roti being stretched and twirled through the window is all part of the excitement, and makes it even more exciting when a big mound of it hits your table. It’s crispy and soft with so many layers, dip it in the sauces provided and you are well on your way to fried bread heaven. But the party doesn’t stop there, stock up on satay, noodles and curries, leaving room at the end for some dessert roti— it’s as good as it sounds.
In our opinion, Makoto is easily one of the best sushi trains in Sydney. It’s always packed with people and for good reason—the sushi and sashimi is super fresh and super yum. There are plenty of friendly, which makes the whole experience a pleasure. Now, head in there and see how many plates you can make your way through.
Tim Ho Wan
Chatswood is lucky enough to be the first outlet of this (cheap) Michelin Star dumpling haven outside Asia and it doesn’t disappoint. The go-to dish here is the infamous baked bun with barbeque pork, a crispy-on-the-outside, soft-on-the-inside sweet bun encasing piping hot, tender, flavoursome barbeque pork. Get a few plates; they are the best part of the menu. Oh, and don’t mind the wait—it’ll all be worth it.
Sushi-Ya is an institution when it comes to classic Japanese dishes done right. The menu reads like a “best of”, nothing from their new album, so we’re talking about sushi, sashimi, teriyaki and katsu. All are done well and the accommodating staff makes it a great place to bring the family.
If you just so happen to find yourself in Chatswood with a craving for Korean barbeque, then Goldmart is where you want to head to. It’s a weird mash-up of grocery store, butcher and BBQ joint but the randomness of it all makes it even more fun. Inside the grocery store is a butcher where you can purchase all your fresh meat, ready to chuck on the bbq stoves and sizzle away. This freshness factor is what really puts Goldmart ahead of most other Korean BBQ joints in Sydney and really puts it on the map.
Hakata Maru Ramen
Cheap and delicious is really what ramen is all about and Hakata Maru has you covered on both fronts. The tonkotsu is their specialty and they have a stack of toppings to pimp your bowl to how you like it. If you like your noodles a little less cooked or even more cooked, then just let them know and they are happy to accommodate. It would be very difficult to not have the bowl of ramen of your dreams here.
Sumrayn Thai Bangkok Street Food
If ‘street food’ is in the name, we are already on our way with hungry stomachs, and Sumrayn Thai does not disappoint. From satay and pad Thai to fish cakes and curry puffs, everything on the menu is comforting and delicious. Even better news if you work in the Chatswood area, they will deliver to your office for free! Satay erryday!
Yum cha is a serious topic. Everybody has their spot that they believe to be the best and nobody can tell them otherwise. So we won’t tell you that Fook Yuen is a really great yum cha joint that will soon be your new favourite, but will instead just strongly suggest you pay it a visit when you are in Chatswood. The restaurant is packed of a weekend with massive tables devouring dumplings, roast duck and mango pancakes, it’s probably a good idea to book ahead just in case. Most importantly, you can taste that everything is fresh when it hits the table, which means everything in the yum cha business. Fook Yuen – Get around it. No pressure.