From ramen that will haunt your dreams to one of Sydney's best Thai restaurants, this preview from The Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide 2017 highlights where you should be eating in the Sydney suburb of Chatswood.
Bao Dao Taiwanese Kitchen
Cheap Taiwanese with a fantastic range of unique dishes. Start with a sticky rice with boiled egg and pork sauce and move on to the unbeatable broth in the spicy beef noodle soup. Bao Dao also have a store in Chatswood's weekly markets in which they sell a neat selection of fluffy bao, stuffed with an array of flavoursome meats and pickles.
8/376 Victoria Avenue, 02 9419 6290
The pork belly gwa bao at Bao Dao Taiwanese Kitchen, Chatswood. Photo: Jennifer Soo
The sister restaurant to Khao Pla, Chum Tang takes the heat up to 11, whether you're eating a spicy salad of pig's ears and fermented pork or ordering your 3rd helping of the unbelievably good Isaan flavour larb wings - red hot from the deep fryer and even more red hot from the spices. Cool your mouth with a caramelised pineapple ice cream sandwich for dessert.
Chatswood Interchange, P4/436 Victoria Avenue, 02 9419 2872
Ab Goong grilled school prawns at Chum Tang. Photo: Anna Kucera
It's rare to find a decent feed inside a suburban shopping centre, but you'll find ten of them inside this hawker-inspired food court on the ground floor of Westfield. Mix and match from some of Sydney's best Asian food franchises - a skewer from Lamb & Cumin, fried squid from Cheers Cut, some sticky rice from Nahm Jimm and an Instagram-worthy soft serve from Aqua S.
Westfield Chatswood, Chatswood Lane, Chatswood
Westfield Chatswood's Hawker Lane. Photo: Supplied
An RSL club is one of the last places you'd expect to dine on Malaysian hawker food in Sydney, but that's exactly what they serve at Ipoh, deep inside Chatswood RSL Club. The money you save paying club drink prices can be instantly spent on live seafood: spicy kam heong mud crab, king prawns in a Singapore chilli sauce or sambal pipis.
1/446 Victoria Avenue, 02 9411 8388
Sydney's best Thai restaurant outside of Thainatown, Khao Pla's menu is a mix of straight-up classics and unique spins on standards. Just when you think it can't get any better than sour and spicy hand cut beef tartare, curry marinated chicken wings or banana blossom salad - the Thai milk tea ice cream with sweetened egg yolk hits your table and wins all the medals.
Shop 7/370-374 Victoria Avenue, 02 9412 4978, khaopla.com.au
Khao Pla is full of Thai hits. Photo: HH6D
Manpuku was so popular in Kingsford that they opened a second location in Chatswood, where the only thing harder than choosing from the ten incredible looking bowls of noodles is pronouncing some of their names - the infamous number seven is 15 words long, features a soy-based pork and chicken soup and will haunt your dreams forever.
226 Victoria Avenue, 02 9411 1021ramenmanpuku.com
One of the very few restaurants that make their udon noodles in house, Marukame's bouncy udon noodles are excellent hot or cold, served traditionally in a light broth with a slow-cooked egg and deep-fried tempura bits, or not so traditionally with a spice Sichuan dan dan mince. You can even eat noodles for dessert - deep-fried and dusted with cinnamon sugar like doughnuts.
332 Victoria Avenue, 02 9413 9434
As their name suggests, Peking Duck is best known for duck pancakes and san choy bow, but the reason you should be popping in is to check out the insane selection of fried and steamed buns and dumplings in the front window. It's perfect takeaway fodder; pick up a bag of pork and cabbage buns and get your fingers greasy on an afternoon stroll through Chatswood.
308 Victoria Avenue, 02 9411 2013
Spinach dumplings with shrimp. at Tim Ho Wan in Chatswood. Photo: Sahlan Hayes
Tim Ho Wan
The lines have died down now that Chatswood is no longer home to the only Australian location of Tim Ho Wan, the Michelin-starred Hong Kong yum cha franchise that's opened four more Sydney stores in the last year. Those criminally sweet and flaky pork buns were always worth queuing up for, and the lack of line now just means you can eat them more often.
75A & 76A Chatswood Interchange, 436 Victoria Avenue, 02 9898 9888, timhowan.com.au
Two Two Korean Street Food
Any place that sells takeaway fried chicken on a skewer alongside pieces of rice cake and frankfurt covered in a sweet chilli sauce is worth visiting at least once a week. A wide variety of Korean snacks await you should you choose to dine in - as do a decent selection of ice cold cans of Korean beer - the perfect accompaniment to all things deep fried and spicy.
5/6 Anderson Street, 0427 222 277
The Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide award night, presented by Citi and Vittoria, is on September 5. The Guide will be on sale in newsagents and bookstores from September 6, with all book purchases receiving free access to the new Good Food app.