Chatswood has always had a lively atmosphere – A humble weekly street food market, several smaller food halls and a handful of solid pubs and eateries scattered throughout the mall. Well, prepare to take your tastebuds on a vacation to the East because Chatswood’s dining scene has kicked things up a notch.
A wave of restaurants and street food eateries have fast established Chatswood as a new hub of hospitality in Sydney. Newly opened is The District at Chatswood interchange, which gives diners rows upon rows of street-food style cuisine and communal tables. The concept at The District is similar to the food lanes in Melbourne, turning food courts into dining precincts. Here are some of the best Asian eateries that foodies are flocking from far and wide to experience.
Tucked away inside the food court beneath Chatswood Chase, is a humble Chinese street food restaurant that has a particularly interesting Chef in tow. Mrs Mi’s Shanxi Kitchen is the first concept restaurant in Australia and the venue boasts the worlds first robot assistant chef who expertly knife-shaves the noodles. Mrs Mi’s Shanxi Kitchen is a unique dining experience that is as much about the atmosphere and nostalgia of the concept as it is about the food.
The black roof (which is meant to resemble an open night sky) and striped awnings add to the outdoor food market atmosphere, and bright pink algorithmic Chinese lattice lines the walls.
The food is a fusion of traditional recipes and an innovative use of healthy ingredients, with the leather bound menu boasting dishes such as cherry tomatoes soaked in plum juice, Szechuan style shredded pork, crab meat dumplings in beetroot pastry and coconut sago with watermelon. Mrs Mi’s offers a wide selection of lunch and dinner options, however the focus here is on share dishes and takeaway items. The atmosphere at Mrs Mi’s is relaxed and intimate, making this restaurant one you would comfortably dine in until closing time.
345 Victoria Ave, Chatswood, 9904 6375
Open Mon, Tues, Wed, Fri, Sat & Sun 11am – 8.30pm and Thurs 11am – 9pm.
Din Tai Fung
Seasoned dumpling enthusiasts will be familiar with Din Tai Fung, the dumpling house that’s known for having your hand-weighed dumplings steamed for 3 minutes and brought straight to your table. Din Tai Fung is an international restaurant chain which serves authentic Asian-fusion street food and share dishes, and with several locations dotted throughout Sydney the popularity of their dumplings continues to grow. They offer a generous selection of menu categories and items such as silken tofu and pork floss appetizers, their famed shrimp and pork dumplings, hot and sour soup, Taiwanese style rice, hot dishes, noodles and more.
In terms of sweeter menu items, they offer an interesting selection of hot and cold desserts such as steamed black sesame buns, golden red bean bread and taro gelato. The Taiwanese flavour journey doesn’t stop there with drinks such as the avocado chocolate swirl and lychee mint freeze being popular options to slurp with meals. Din Tai Fung is also fully licensed and offers a generous selection of beer, white and red wines.
Din Tai Fung
Level 3, 1 Anderson St, Chatswood, 9415 3155
Open Lunch Mon to Fri 11am – 2.30pm, Sat to Sun 11am – 3.30pm and Dinner Mon to Weds 5pm – 8.30pm, Thurs to Sat 5pm – 9pm and Sun 5pm – 8.30pm.
Tim Ho Wan
Australia’s first instalment of Tim Ho Wan, the internationally acclaimed Michelin starred restaurant that has taken the Chatswood dining precinct by storm. This particular branch of Tim Ho Wan is the first in the Southern Hemisphere, with each menu being assembled according to location.
Tim Ho Wan is known for its affordable and high quality dim sum, and every item on the menu is unique and stands on its own. Sitting proudly at the top of the menu are the famed ‘Big 4 Heavenly Kings’ (the favoured dim sum dishes of owner Chef Mak Kwai Pui) which are a baked bun with barbecue pork, the pan-fried turnip cake, the steamed egg cake and a vermicelli roll with pigs liver. There is also a selection of special menu items which rotate regularly, with a steamed eggplant with pork and shrimp dish currently being one of the items on offer.
The famed dim sum house is located in The District, which sits right above Chatswood station and makes it a bustling hot-spot for dinner. Tim Ho Wan also offers a private dining room available for reservation groups of 12 people or less.
Tim Ho Wan
The District, 1 Railway St, Chatswood, 9898 9888
Open Mon to Fri 10am – 9pm, Sat and Sun 9am – 9pm, last orders are at 8.30pm.
Pepper Lunch Express
Pepper Lunch Express is a fun experience where the lines between diner and Chef are virtually non-existent. This DIY Japanese Teppanyaki restaurant provides diners with their own hot pot, and a chance to sizzle dinner their own way. The restaurant is vibrant and colourful, with a welcoming atmosphere that often sees Pepper Lunch filled with people up until closing time. The service is approachable and friendly, so first timers don’t hesitate to ask the staff questions about the menu items or using the sizzling hot-pot (someone’s always going to burn their beef pepper rice). They only use the freshest ingredients so you’re guaranteed an aromatic and flavoursome dinner every time.
The menu is divided into several categories including Pepper rice, Teppan pasta, Steak, ‘Tangy lemon’, Combo (salmon and cut steak), Japanese classic, a Pepper Bowl and J Curry. They also offer meal deals which include drinks, miso soup, chips or salad. Pepper Lunch has over 200 international locations, and a handful of venues throughout Sydney – The ‘Pepper Lunch experience’ will only continue to grow in popularity.
Pepper Lunch Express
The District (podium level), 436 Victoria Avenue, Chatswood
Open 10am to 11pm, Monday to Sunday.
If you’ve ever walked through Chinatown on a Friday night and noticed a queue winding around the corner, it’s for Mamak. This affordable restaurant is humble in appearance, yet packs a punch of Malaysian hawker-style food and flavoursome roti. The recently opened venue in Chatswood sees and raises the queues of the Haymarket location, with this location being a popular restaurant for uni students and office workers alike. The service at Mamak is friendly yet speedy (it has to be), and if you’re new to the Mamak dining experience it’s worth taking a peek at the menu before visiting, as the atmosphere tends to be fast-paced.
The menu boasts a tasty selection of savoury and sweet roti served with a spicy sambal sauce, satay dishes, rice and noodles and a generous selection of mains (think Malaysian curries and seafood dishes). The dessert menu at Mamak is humble, however you can choose to enjoy the sweet selection of roti as dessert served with ice cream.
Drinks at Mamak offer authentic Malaysian flavours in the form of hot and cold drinks such as a ‘Teh Tarik’ sweetened tea. Mamak is also a BYO restaurant making it an ideal place to enjoy a birthday dinner or catchup with friends on a Friday night.
Shop P9, 1-5 Railway Street, Chatswood, 9411 4411
Open 7 days a week for Lunch 11.30am – 2.30pm, Dinner 5.30pm – 9.30pm and open until 10.30pm Fri and Sat.
What’s your favourite Asian eatery in Chatswood? Leave comments below.