I'm a teacher, musician, blogger and uni student living in Sydney and always dreaming about living & experiencing a new corner of the world. Visit my blog at www.jessiejournals.wordpress.com.
Published December 15th 2015
A go-to place for many
Having been to this restaurant pretty much every three months for the past 7 years, I thought it was finally time that I had an article written on it. Located conveniently inside Victoria Plaza Shopping Centre, which is right next to Chatswood Chase Shopping Centre, Takeru Chatswood is a popular hotspot for a quick meal with anyone. It offers modern Japanese-fusion food (imagine Japanese style pasta and pizza), as well as more traditional food such as ramen and noodles.
Being in the 21st Century and all, Takeru Chatswood has computer touchscreens at the end of each table. You can order in English, Chinese, Korean and Japanese. What's even better is that you can view the status of your order- whether it's being cooked or if it's done. This system probably gives the chefs pressure to serve up quickly, which means I have never had to wait for more than 10 minutes for my meal before! The only negative I would say about this ordering system is that it doesn't list all ingredients of a dish, so if you're someone who cannot deal with uncertainty, you'd have to call a waitress or a waiter over for help.
Takeru separates their menu into Lunch Boxes, Side Dishes, Meat Dishes, Seafood Dishes, Ramen Noodles, Pasta & Rice Dishes, Curry and Half Dishes. I'd strongly recommend those half dishes, because that means you can try two different things for paying pretty much the same price as if you order one full-size dish.
On that particular night, I was feeling adventurous, so I opted for a 'Chicken Curry Ramen' ($12.90). If you wanted to know, my go-to dishes are the tonkatsu daria (an oven-baked cream sauce and cheese on rice and tonkatsu) or the tonkatsu curry. The curry soup was very flavoursome, and while it looks milky, it actually tasted really strong. The noodles had a buttery after-taste to them, which, to my surprise, I actually liked. I was also fond of the meat to vegetable ratio. However, I had to keep my water right by my side as this curry ramen was very salty. Nevertheless, I'd be perfectly contented to eat this on a cold winter's day!
This particular occasion was a catch-up time with my brother. He'd ordered a 'Tonkatsu tamagoto ji' as a set ($15.80) (Note: 'sets' come with miso soup, salad and rice, and is $3 more than just the dish itself). Tonkatsu tamagoto ji is tonkatsu with an egg-soup, which isn't something you'd commonly find in a Japanese restaurant, but they have it here at Takeru. I guess the sign of him devouring all the food (to the point that even the rice bowl was empty afterwards) meant that he loved the dish.
When I go there, I also like to get 'reckon chips' (deep-fried lotus roots) to share. These are crunchy chips, just like our potato chips, but taste a bit airy- both literally and metaphorically. They also come with a special sauce, which unfortunately can sometimes overpower the taste of the lotus roots.
Another dish I like to share is their 'Takoyaki,' which always comes with a lot of toppings that combined well with the light flavours of the takoyaki themselves. Being a total detester on everything seafood, for some reason I absolutely love takoyaki and have loved it since I was a child. There's something about the amalgamation of ingredients inside the takoyaki that lets me forget that it's in fact a seafood dish.
Having said all that, Takeru's 'Tonkatsu ramen' is unanimously known as their most famous dish. Their ramen is al dente and buttery. Their pork broth is light and tasty so you won't stop drinking it. Every element of the dish is generous. This is a lot of my friends' go-to dish, and I understand why. Why is it not my go-to dish? I am too devoted to Takeru's curry dishes.
Takeru Chatswood also has a kids' corner, where they can play games and have a movie to watch. They tend to play animation films by Hayao Miyazaki that people like us in the Western world may even know. 'Spirited Away', 'My Neighbour Totoro', you name it. I once had dinner with a friend, who evidently would rather watch 'Castle In The Sky' than to look straight at me. That goes to show the customers' love for that kids' corner!
So in general, Takeru Chatswood is the perfect place for all occasions- families, lone diners or friends. Keep in mind though that the place does get super busy, to the point that they'd often need the waiting-list outside, so try and book beforehand if you've got a massive group. Having said that, because of their quick turnovers, I've been able to get a table for 12 before with only a 5 minute wait … That goes to show that Takeru Chatswood is efficient, enjoyable and easy for all.
Takeru Chatswood (you can see the waiting-list at the centre of the image)