Japanese food trail

1. Hakata ramen  at Hakatamon Ramen

1/475 Victoria Ave, Chatswood NSW 2067

When you talk about ramen, you immediately think of Japan. There are just so many varieties of ramen from the different regions like: Hokkaido ramen , Sapporo ramen , Hakata Tonkotsu, Okinawa Soba and even unique ones I tasted in Tokyo - Lemon ramen!

But one of the classic ramens is the Hakata ramen . It's a pork bone based broth has been cooked for hours to get that real umami flavour extract. The thin noodle is made out of wheat and has a firm texture. The dish is then garnished with bamboo shallots, sometimes black garlic oil, spicy chicken miso and slices of incredibly tender cha-shu (pork). It’s a perfect bowl to savour here in Chatswood if you are missing Japan or simply love noodles.


2. Takoyaki (grilled octopus ball) at Colotako

Chatswood Mall Market, Victoria Ave, Chatswood NSW 2067

I love traveling to Japan and the one thing I really enjoy is takoyaki, it’s a street food that originated from the city of Osaka (Japan’s kitchen). It’s made from wheat flour-based batter which is then cooked in a special takoyaki griddle pan and moulded into a ball shape. The insides are usually filled with octopus or crab, green onion, bonito flakes and glazed with mayo and takoyaki sauce. The result is a piping hot ball with a mushy and gooey inner texture but rich in umami flavours.


3. Sukiyaki at Yayoi

38 Albert Ave, Chatswood NSW 2067

If you’ve never tried sukiyaki before, you probably think it's hotpot, well you’re not wrong. Sukiyaki is a type of nabemono (Japanese hotpot) dish that includes mixed toppings such as vegetables, soy sauce, sugar, mirin, and meat cooked slowly in an iron pot. While there are many variations, this one from Yayoi is unique for its Wagyu soy milk hotpot. The combination of its toppings and the broth itself is how sukiyaki gets its flavour. It’s a hearty meal that is perfect for any type of weather.


4. Pork belly, chicken wings, Wagyu beef skewers at Izakaya Nakano

Suite 56/47 Neridah St, Chatswood NSW 2067

In Australia we have pubs, in Japan they call it izakaya - it’s a casual hang out spot where you can savour traditional Japanese food like kashuyaki, yakitori. I ordered the pork belly, chicken wings, Wagyu beef skewers which is grilled over charcoal giving it a smoky aroma aftertaste over the succulent and tender juicy meat skewers. If you are looking for a great night out, Izakaya Nakano in Chatswood should be on your list. One tip - book in advance.


Written by Nick and Helmi
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