Albert arrives from Taiwan


Hi! My name is Albert, the Smart Gnome. I’m calm, cool and collected, and now that I’ve retired, I’ve been travelling the world. I’ve just touched down from a holiday in Taiwan, where the food was spectacular! In Taiwan, you can have a gourmet snack any time of the day. I’ve discovered some great Taiwanese restaurants here in Chatswood serving up spicy and fresh beef noodle soups, bento box with fried pork cutlet, sweet and sour fish, and the very popular drink, boba milk tea! Whether you like it hot or cold, sweet or chewy, there’s a tea for you!

Here's my Taiwanese treasures:

1. Bento at Liu’s Kitchen
The most convenient Taiwanese dining option is their rice boxes (known as bento). It makes up for most of my meals as I travel using the train and you can pick them up for a very low price! The fried pork cutlet bento is the most popular option. The pork cutlet itself is quite flavourful, tender and juicy and covered with a crunchy coating. It is designed to go well when eating with rice even when the bento becomes cold. I remembered there are so many options in the train stations but I would still pick this as my favourite.
Another comfortable eating secret is to ask the server to add a bit of their braised pork meat sauce onto your rice. The fragrance of the sauce will take your bento to the next level! 

Between bus stop C and D 7, 436 Victoria Ave, Chatswood NSW 2067

2. Brown Sugar Boba Milk Tea at Xingfutang
Brown sugar boba milk tea is definitely one of the most popular drinks from Taiwan. The drink should be fresh, rich and creamy. It is combined with caramelized sugar then topped with brown sugar and torched in cream brûlée style. I always remembered how I got introduced to this lovely drink as I got attracted by the smell of the brown sugar when I walked pass the locals in Taiwan.
At the front of the store, you could see how they create their fresh, hand-made boba using their unique stir-frying technique. The quality and freshness of the boba here is definitely noticeable: they are quite chewy and softer compared to the elastic feel of packaged pearls. It is quite memorable to me so I can ensure this place can create a unique boba milk tea experience for you.

Shop 34/427-441 Victoria Ave, Chatswood NSW 2067

3. Beef Noodle Soup at Bao Dao Taiwanese Kitchen
As I walk into the shop, I could smell the fragrance of that beef broth which reminded me of my Taiwan noodle hunt within the local community.
This hot delicious bowl tasted quite similar to the one I had back in the days. It is one of the signature dishes that the locals mastered within Taiwan. Served with tender beef in a dark coloured broth and freshly handmade noodles. A tickle of spice as you taste the first sip of the flavoured soup and it will comfortably smooth into your throat.
The broth is key to this famous dish as it is very hard to find the perfect balance to this perfect beef soup. The other challenging part is the tenderness of the beef. It has to be melting tender and moist to bring this noodle to the next level. All factored together to make this an iconic Taiwanese cuisine.

Shop 8/376 Victoria Ave, Chatswood NSW 2067

4. Sweet & Sour Fish at Formosan
One elegant dish that you must try is the sweet and sour squirrel fish. The first time I tried this dish was at a dinner overseas with my Taiwanese friend. I never knew how complicated this dish was until he explained it. The dish is quite sophisticated as the chef needs to debone and remove the scales of the fish. This leaves the flesh out and slice lightly on the body to leave diamond cubed marks. 
It is deep fried and shaped so it is presented as a lively fish jumping out from the waters. Topped with sweet and sour sauce with some capsicums and pineapples to finish with a colourful presentation.
Just like in Taiwan this dish did not disappoint. The flavour is just right and the deep fried crust created a beautiful blossom-like body that is crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. 

389 Victoria Ave, Chatswood NSW 2067

5. Three Cup Chicken at Hu’s Inn
The name refers to the three main ingredients - sesame oil, rice wine and soy sauce. They also use basil leaves to bring the refreshing and unique aroma when served. It’s best to eat with plain rice to enjoy the full flavour. This is always served in a clay pot to keep the high temperature and good presentation. 
It is one of the most popular dishes and quite common to have from the local home or dining at a restaurant. It is one of the main dishes I remembered when I was in Taiwan. It smells so good as they bought it out in a sizzling Clay pot!
This is just like the one I had from Taiwan as the chicken is cooked tender in high temperature and the low heat to absorb all those flavourful sauces. The sauce just wraps around the chicken and is not overly saucy.

84 Archer St, Chatswood NSW 2067



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Chatswood Nights - Roaming Gnomes is funded by the NSW Government's CBDs Revitalisation Program, part of Willoughby City Council's Chatswood Culture Bites Program.


  • Friday, 06 May 2022 | 09:00 AM - Sunday, 29 May 2022 | 10:00 PM


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