Chaco Bar is one restaurant that I’d been meaning to eat at for some time, but only ended up coming to by chance over Mardi Gras weekend. My friend and I came in around 9:30pm on Mardi Gras night, and though the restaurant was filled with diners, luckily for us, there were still a few empty seats.
The staff were all Japanese, and the simple, wooden decor with hiragana and katakana on the walls made me feel nostalgic for Japan.
Chaco Bar usually specialise in yakitori in the evenings, and offer ramen for lunch, but since it was Mardi Gras, they were only offering a ramen menu, as well as a small list of appetizers.
J and I ordered the Yuzu Salt Ramen, Fat Soy Ramen, Pork Belly Sliders and Gyoza.
The Pork Belly Sliders were the first dish to be served. The pieces of pork belly were served on pillowy soft gua bao buns, with a lettuce leaf. The pork belly was fatty and succulent, cooked and marinated to perfection. As I bit into my slider, meat juice dripped down my arm. It was the kind of delicious that rendered you speechless and made you render ‘mmm’ noises probably not acceptable in a restaurant setting.
Chaco Bar’s gyoza was reminiscent of a standard that I had in Japan. It’s not very often that I have really great gyoza in Sydney, and as such, it’s a special experience when I do. The gyoza were pan-fried, and crisped at the bottom, while still soft on the top. The meat inside the dumplings was flavoursome and soft.
Our two ramen dishes were served at about roughly the same time, with J’s fat soy ramen being served first. It was J’s first time eating ramen in a long time, and he said the Fat Soy Ramen took him back to his childhood days. The broth visibly glistened from the amount of fat that was in it. It was hearty, and full of flavour.
The Yuzu Salt Ramen had a light broth that was only slightly salty. The yuzu lent the broth a light citrus flavour. The wavy noodles were thick and retained their firmness and chewiness. The squid legs were fresh, very chewy, and plain in flavour. Overall, the flavours in this dish were very simple, and light. I’d recommend it for people who like delicate, subtle flavours.
I was glad that lack of foresight on Mardi Gras night unexpectedly and finally brought me to Chaco Bar. I was actually quite disappointed when I came in, because I had been wanting to try their yakitori menu, which I heard was lovely, but Chaco Bar’s ramen offerings were delicious nonetheless.