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. Bento at Makoto Bento
438 Victoria Ave, Chatswood NSW 2067
Bento is a Japanese Style Lunchbox with its origin derived from the Chinese term Biandang meaning “convenience”. Traditionally Bento meals are composed of rice or noodles with a protein like fish or meat with vegetables all packed aesthetically in a hand-crafted lacquerware box. One of my first Bento experiences was on the Shinkansen Train from Tokyo to Osaka. Outside of Japan, these Bento boxes are lavish, this one we got from Makoto has Chicken Nanban, a selection of Sushi Nigiri, Salmon Sashimi and Miso Soup. It’s the perfect lunch option and a good introduction to Japanese cuisine for any first timer.
3. 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 & 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 & gooey inner texture but rich in umami flavours.
4. Sukiyaki at Yoyoi
38 Albert Ave, Chatswood NSW 2067
If you’ve never tried Sukiyaki before, you probably think it's Hot Pot, 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 Hot Pot. 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.
5. Pork Belly, Chicken Wing, 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 Wing, Wagyu Beef skewers which is grilled over charcoal giving it a smoky aroma aftertaste over the succulent & 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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