Chaco Ramen

All ramen, all the time at this Darlinghurst favourite.
Erina Starkey
Published on September 25, 2019
Updated on August 14, 2023


In one of Sydney's main thoroughfares, where Oxford Street meets Crown amid a flurry of quick-fix fast-food, clubs, pubs and bottle shops, lives this surprisingly authentic Japanese experience.

Chaco Ramen feels more intimate than small. The use of natural timbers and earthy shades creates warmth, while fanciful droplights cast a welcome glow. The room is divided by a communal table which sits adjacent to an exposed kitchen gallery, where inside, the smells and sounds of meat against coals make for a promising start to the evening.

The restaurant's name, Chaco, comes from the word charcoal, and while the Darlinghurst restaurant used to specialise in grilled yakitori, only serving ramen for lunch and one night a week, now it's all ramen all the time. For all things skewered, you'll now have to head to Chaco Bar in Potts Point, a roomier outpost for the Chaco team specialising in yakitori.

Chaco ramen, Alana Dimou

The ramen at the OG Crown Street location comes in six different variations: classic soy, fish salt, yuzu scallop, vegetable, chilli coriander or cold tomato truffle. While the soy lives up to its name, delivering a classic chashu pork ramen to the highest quality, the chilli coriander and yuzu scallop variations are must-trys.

Opt for something a little spicy and the chilli coriander will deliver a flavour-packed broth accompanied by poached chicken, half egg, black fungus mushrooms and a healthy dose of coriander, of course. As for the yuzu bowl, you'll be treated to a multi-fasceted seafood ramen starring hokkaido scallops, john dory fish and prawn wantons, with black fungus, leek and mizuna.

Each ramen variant can be made 'special' with the addition of extra chashu pork, egg and bamboo shoots for an added $7. Plus, there's also the option of gluten free noodles and a kid-friendly chicken soy ramen for family visits.

Sides include bone marrow curry, edamame, fish dumplings and karaage chicken wings, and as with any good ramen joint, there's a solid selection of sake, beers — both Japanese and local — shochu, wine and yuzu punch to accompany your meal.

Letícia Almeida.

Updated Tuesday, March 21, 2023.

Appears in:

The Best Restaurants in Sydney

The Best Japanese Restaurants in Sydney


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