Every Thursdays and Fridays, the shopping strip along Victoria Avenue in Chatswood is turned into market stalls offering international food, fresh produce, flowers and art. The atmosphere is buzzing with live entertainment to keep you company whilst walking around trying to decide what food to sample, from Mexican to Singaporean.
These guys do the rounds at various markets and they are a regular at the Chinatown markets on Friday nights. They offer 3 types of Takoyaki: octopus, prawn and crab. Takoyaki is essentially pancake batter cooked in a ball pan traditionally filled with octopus. I was abit disappointed tonight as the mixture inside seemed to be undercooked for the octopus takoyaki and I put it down to the queues of customers waiting for the takoyaki to cook. Neverless it is as close as to the real thing we will get as some restaurants don’t use a takoyaki pan and instead use frozen takoyaki and refry them.
This stall is my ultimate favourite, they serve up traditional Taiwanese meals which includes stewed pork belly, steamed pork mince rice, fried basil chicken and pancakes with various sweet fillings such as red bean, chocolate, butter and cream. I always get their fried basil chicken which is bite sized chicken pieces, coated with salt and pepper and fried basil leaves. The chicken remains moist on the inside whilst crispy on the outside. My only complaint today is not enough basil! I also order their pork belly burger which is stewed pork belly sandwiched in between a steamed bun. Lastly I tried their steamed pork mince rice which is quite tasty with the pickled mustard greens. I wanted to try their pancakes but my stomach won’t let me….until next time.
Chatswood Mall Market
11am to 9pm
every Thursday and Friday
Victoria Avenue, Chatswood
On my many visits to Japan, trying different types of ramens was always on the top of my food-tinery. In my last 2 visits, I was introduced to Ippudo ramen which I can confidently say “Is the best ramen EVER!”. In my plight to fill up the void Ippudo ramen has left in my stomach, I’ve been scouring the streets of Sydney to find the perfect bowl. What separates a good bowl of ramen from a great bowl of ramen is the soup base and the type of noodle they use. My favourite (Ippudo) is Hakata style which originates from Fukuoka in Kyushu of Japan. They use pork (tonkotsu) soup with rather thin, flat noodles and would be served with freshly crushed garlic and pickled mustard greens.
Ton Ton Takeaway is first cab off the rank and is situated on Ground Floor of Regent Place next to the cinemas on George St, strategically placed opposite Azuma Patisserie in case you were looking for something sweet after your ramen fix. Ton Ton is one of many offshoot of Azuma restaurants, serving 12 different varities of ramen along with Japanese staples like donburi, teriyaki and curry dishes.
I tried the Kogashi Ninniku Ramen with extra corn. It is black seasame soy flavoured soup with pork slices and vegetables. I thought there would be more of a black seasame taste coming through from the black sauce around the pork slices but it looked more appealing than it tasted. The soup I found a little too salty for my liking but the noodles itself was very chewy and curly.
Mr Dough tried the Ton Ton Ramen which is their special Tonkotsu soup with pork. The soup was very milky and gelatinous and you could tell many hours/pork bones went into the soup base to create this beautiful cloudy white colour. He too found the soup to be a little too salty.
I can never pass up gyoza in any Japanese restaurant. The skin is very thin and pan fried crispy, with the filling consisting of pork mince and cabbage.
Cheated but not defeated, I walked away with a frown on my face, failing my mission to find the Sydney version of Ippudo ramen. Stay tuned for my next ramen mission!
Ton Ton Regent
501 George St
Ph: 02 9267 1313