Tag Archives: Chatswood

Manpuku, Chatswood

With an increasing number of ramen places opening up comes more competition. Chatswood used to be a dead spot for ramen but there’s now several options to choose from, including a newly opened Ippudo in The District, and Manpuku.

Interior

I’ve heard good things about Manpuku in Kensington, so I was excited to see that it had opened up closer to home for me and I could finally taste for myself how it stacks up to other ramen places in Sydney. The location is a bit of a walk away from the main shopping precinct, but this hasn’t deterred people from coming. I’ve been a few times now and it’s very popular especially during weekend lunchtimes – so be prepared for a short wait.

Manpuku gyoza – $6.90

Apart from ramen, there’s also some tasty side dishes like takoyaki ($5.50), karaage ($5.50) or mini rice bowls. We start with the Manpuku gyoza – a pork pan-fried dumpling topped with Spanish and spring onions. On my most recent visit, this didn’t seem like it was on the menu anymore, but I can attest the plain pork gyoza is just as good with a nice crispy base and a tangy dipping sauce.

Tonkotsu shoyu ramen – $14.50, with extra egg – $2

There’s a few different types of soup bases to choose from, including chicken soup, pork bone tonkotsu soup, and miso. For most of the soup bases, you can also chose between salt (shio) or soy (shoyu).

The tonkotsu soup is creamy and rich but not too thick. The tonkotsu shoyu is a bit salty for my liking, but the shio version which I’ve had on subsequent visits, has a pleasant balance of saltiness and umami. Both come with two slices of cha shu, bean sprouts, cabbage, black fungus and a sheet of nori.

Shio gara ramen – $13.50, with extra egg – $2
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Mrs Mi, Chatswood

I was waking up from an epic sleep-in on Saturday morning when I got a text from Captain Awesome.

“Hey are you going to that robot restaurant today??”

I usually consider myself relatively informed about new restaurant openings, but this I hadn’t heard of. Captain Awesome filled me in on the new Chinese restaurant in Chatswood which has a robot chef, and that as today was their opening day, they would be giving out free bowls of the signature pork mince noodles to the first 88 customers.

I was sold, and clearly Captain Awesome was as well as she’d been waiting for them to open since 10.30am that morning. So we drove out to join her to check out this robot chef in action.

The interior of Mrs Mi

Captain Awesome and a few others had already snagged a table by the time we got there, so we walked right on in, missing the robot chef, and joined them. The restaurant was pretty full and busy, with lots of staff on the floor to help out on the first day of trade.

The menu consists of Northern Chinese specialties, with a focus on dumplings and handmade noodles. We each chose a noodle and also ordered some dumplings to share.

Mrs Mi xiao long bao – $9.80

The xiao long bao were the first to arrive – there’s some stiff competition in the XLB arena in Chatswood with the likes of Din Tai Fung and New Shanghai, but Mrs Mi’s XLBs are damn good and are a serious contender. The dumpling skins were thin, with several pleats at the top, yet were sturdy enough to hold the flavoursome soup inside.

Braised pork belly with noodles – $13.80

All the noodles at Mrs Mi are sliced by the robot chef into a pot of boiling water. There’s a choice of having your noodles in broth or dry. The braised pork belly noodles had some fatty and tender pieces of pork, and some green Chinese vegetables thrown in for good measure. Even though this was a “dry noodle” dish, it still had enough of the braising liquid to coat the noodles with sauce.

Braised beef brisket, and tendon noodle soup – $14.80
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Khao Pla, Chatswood

I’ve mentioned before how Thai is not one of my favourite cuisines, but I’m willing to give anything a try if someone tells me it’s good. I’d heard good things about Khao Pla in Chatswood, so we visited one Thursday night on the recommendation of Electjai.

Isaan steak tartare – $13

We let Electjai take care of the ordering since he’d been before, and the first thing we ate was this Isaan steak tartare. Raw beef was mixed with roasted rice, chilli flakes and lime juice. I don’t do well with too much chilli and while this steak tartare was absolutely delicious, oh man did it burn!

Thai milk tea – $4

The problem with having a low chilli tolerance is that a lot of the time the food is still tasty so you just kind of have to put up with the burning. Luckily there was the perfect foil to all the hot Thai food with this iced Thai milk tea. Sweet, cold and milky, it did the trick in cooling some of the chilli heat, especially from that steak tartare.

Yum mango – $18
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Marukame Udon, Chatswood

Making udon noodles in the window

It’s a new year, so it seemed only fitting to check out a new restaurant to kickstart the blog this year! You can’t miss Marukame Udon on Victoria Street in Chatswood, as at any given time there will be people crowded around the glass storefront, checking out the new restaurant and watching the chefs make the noodles right in front of you.

Menu

You can also ogle at the menu before you go in, and it’s probably best that you do because once you join the line, the ordering station is not too far inside. There’s lots of different udon options as well as rice bowls. Select your noodles, size and hot or cold, and move down the canteen-style line until a friendly staff member takes your order. Within minutes they will be weigh out your portion of noodles, place them in a bowl, ladle over the sauce or soup and your noodles will be on your tray, ready to go.

Inari sushi and other tempura additions

But don’t go rushing off yet, because there’s tasty extras to be had! Marukame offers a selection of tempura, including chicken, fish, prawns, vegetables and pork katsu. There’s also some inari sushi (rice stuffed inside a sweet tofu pocket), and iced green tea. Once you get the end of the line, a staff member will calculate the cost of the items on your tray, before you pay and go off to add even more things to your noodles, like chopped shallots and crunchy tempura bits.

Tsuke udon with wasabi (large) – $6.90 (left); Tempura white fish – $2.40 and Tempura vegetable – $1.90 (right)

The tsuke udon is a cold noodle option which comes with a small bowl of broth on the side for dipping the noodles into. A small dish containing a wasabi paste sits on top of the bowl of broth for some added heat. The tempura white fish is fried well, with a crunchy batter but succulent flesh inside. The tempura vegetables, or kakiage, is a wonderful mess of shredded carrot, onion, corn and other vegies deep fried in a light batter.

Kamaage udon (regular) – $5.90
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PappaRich, Chatswood

It seems as though queueing at new restaurants is the thing to do nowadays. PappaRich has been open in Chatswood for a couple of months now, but it seems as though the queues still haven’t subsided and there’s still a good forty-minute-or-so wait until you can get a table. Is it the novelty factor or is the food actually that good? A few friends and I decided to join the queue and find out…

PappaRich has a wide range of drinks that spans about 6 pages of the menu! We started with a Milo Dinosaur (definitely something for the Milo lovers out there), some soy milks and barley drinks, as well as a few iced teh tariks.

Iced teh tarik

Seeing as the drinks menu along is 6 pages, it shouldn’t be a surprise that the rest of the menu is also quite extensive. Luckily, we were able to peruse the menu while we waited for a seat so that by the time we got a table, we were ready to order. Ordering is done by filling out a form that tells them the dish you want and the quantities, which is then handed over to one of the waitstaff when you are ready.

Roti canai with curry chicken
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