There’s no doubt that in recent years there has been an influx of new places to eat in Chatswood. The push towards better cuisine continues with eateries, noodle huts and fast-food joints on every corner, finding the ones that are not only great value, but that turn out excellent food too is the challenge. So here’s our list of the best eats under $10 in Chatswood.
Braised Pork Belly Bun at Bao Dao – $4.90
This tiny little Taiwanese joint is all about good value beneath floral lanterns. Just about everything on the menu is under $10, made fresh to order and served up with a smile. But the winner by far is the soft and fluffy braised pork belly bun, filled with a fat strip of sweet and sticky braised pork, chilli pickles, plenty of pungent fresh coriander and crunchy crushed peanuts. They’re so cheap at $4.90 that you could order two and still get change from $10.
Shop 8/376 Victoria Avenue, Chatswood
Xiao Long Bao at New Shanghai – $7.20
There’s plenty of great value to be had here, from deep bowls of hot and spicy pork and noodle soup ($9.20) to a selection of dim sum including beef and coriander dumplings (12pcs for $8.80). But the real treat is a steamer full of xiao long bao – or soupy steamed mini pork buns (8pcs for $7.20). You can watch the dumplings being made in the front window where steamer baskets tower high.
Shop B–083, Chatswood Chase, Chatswood
Red Duck Curry with Steamed Rice Lunch Special at The Rice Den – $10
There aren’t too many places where you can get a duck curry for $10, but The Rice Den is one of them. This little corner spot offers a $10 list of lunch specials that will have you choosing between teriyaki chicken and mi goreng. But it’s hard to go past the deep, rich notes of a red curry served up with fluffy rice and bursting with roast duck, lychee and kaffir lime leaves.
Hainanese Chicken & Rice Lunch Special at Congee & Noodle House – $10
Here, lunch is served from 2.30pm and in that time people form an orderly little queue for pungent Hainanese chicken. It’s a simple dish, but executed well, it draws a loyal following. Serves are a hearty size and kept simple and unassuming – pale gingery chicken with fluffy steamed rice. Simple, comforting and easy on the wallet.
375 Victoria Ave, Chatswood
Bukkake Udon with Slow-Cooked Egg and Beef at Marukame Udon – $8.90
It’s a choose-your-own-adventure at Marukame Udon. It starts out simply: choose your favourite udon noodles (hot or cold). Then add any sides that take your fancy until you have the udon meal of your dreams. Trays of slippery noodles in various thicknesses sit steaming and awaiting your choices, but just in case you’d rather not make any decisions, the bukkake udon served with signature slow-cooked egg and lacy pork with a handful of fresh chives is a favourite. You can have it hot or cold and even the large serving only comes in at $8.90.
332 Victoria Ave, Chatswood
Daily Lunch Specials at TanoonMai Thai, (Whole Fish of the Day) – $10
Inside Westfield, and tucked into the downstairs foodcourt, is TanoonMai Thai, sporting bright colours and an array of $10 daily specials that will keep you coming back to try them all. Swapped up for each day of the week you can expect jungle prawn curry and masamaan beef curry on Monday and Tuesday and egg noodles with crispy chicken, or seafood laksa on Friday. But it’s the whole fish options on Wednesday and Thursday that not only look gorgeous, but pack a fresh and fragrant hit with plenty of black-bean and ginger paste. It’s fish of the day – so just pop in to see what’s on offer.
Level 2, Westfield Shopping Centre (Best entry via Spring Street)
Daily Lunch Specials at The Bulgogi, (Wagyu Bulgogi Don) – $10 Served from noon–2pm on weekdays, this is another lunch special gem. Thursday’s spicy seafood don with clams, mussels and prawns on rice vies with Tuesday’s wagyu bulgogi of tender grilled wagyu beef strips, tossed with seasonal vegetables and served up on a bed of rice. There are options under $10 on the usual menu too, so keep an eye out for the seaweed salad (with four kinds of seaweed) dressed with sesame ($10).
380 Victoria Ave, Chatswood
Chicken Wing Set at Hu’s Inn – $10.90
This little Taiwanese joint is all about making things easy and delicious. It has ‘mad specials’ from 2.30–5.30pm … but if you can’t wait that long then the lunch sets are a belly filler. Each set includes pickles, steamed rice and veg, so all you need to do is pick your protein. The chicken wing set is the one to go with, or you can peruse the main menu and pick from around 30 grilled and fried small dishes that include salt-and-pepper fried chicken and black pudding cake.
84 Archer Street, Chatswood
Roti Telur Bawang at PappaRich – $6.90
This is one big operation – from the second you’re greeted at the door and ushered into a table via headset wearing staff. It’s big and busy, full of mums and bubs, lunching suits and exhausted shoppers, but they’re all here for a reason: roti, that chewy, fluffy, stretched and grilled-to-order bread. You can go for the plain roti canai, and make the most of that simple flavour, or the telur (roti with egg through it) is great too. The perennial favourite is the telur bawang version, filled with egg and sweet red onion. The roti on its own makes a great lunch, quartered and folded and grilled ($6.90). But if you feel like filling up, add the curry chicken and it will turn up on a segmented tin plate with curry chicken pieces, hot chilli sauce and a spoonful of spiced dhal ($11.90).
1/63a Archer Street, Chatswood
Takoyaki Balls at Colotako – $5
This is a Thursday–Friday treat from the markets that fill the Chatswood Mall. Colotako specialises in those delightful little Japanese takoyaki batter balls, filled with everything from crab to octopus or vegetables – all you have to do is pick the ones that take your fancy and watch them grilled to order in the special spherical grills that give them their distinctive shape. You can get four balls from $5 and work your way up from there.
Chatswood Mall Market Stall – Thurs & Fri 10am–9pm