Chaco Ramen Bondi
Keita Abe, the mastermind behind popular Japanese eateries Chaco Ramen, Chaco Bar and Haco, always envisioned a venue inspired by the “yatai”, food stalls you’d find in his hometown of Fukuoka, where you can enjoy yakitori, ramen and alcohol, all under one roof. So he made that vision a reality with the Bondi sequel to his Crown Street ramen joint.
Expect the same creative and non-traditional signature ramens you’d find at Darlinghurst, such as chilli-coriander and yuzu-scallop. But you’ll also find more simple and traditional ramens like chicken soy and classic soy, which are only available here.
If you’re a big eater, remember to leave enough soup to drown your second round: like most ramen stores in Japan, Chaco offers “kaedama”, or extra noodles. There are also gluten-free options for those with dietaries.
Also available exclusively at Bondi is the prawn fried rice, and two resurrected dishes from the original Crown Street eatery: taro chips and John Dory dumplings.
Yakitori (grilled skewers) like pork belly, tsukune (meatballs) and miso eggplant – favourites from Chaco Bar – go perfectly with the premium Japanese malt beer on tap. You can also opt for wine, shochu, or a pre-batched cocktail.
Located just off Hall Street, you won’t miss the large wall mural in the store created by Sydney-based artist Kentaro Yoshida. It depicts the Crown Street store, and a cast of notable Japanese hospo figures from around the city.
Take away is available, but only from Friday to Sunday. If you want to stock up your freezer for a lazy night in, Chaco’s lockdown-era DIY ramen kits are still going strong, and come with clear instructions on how to replicate your favourites ramen at home.