Sunday, June 28, 2009

Tomato Cafe, Chatswood

Cute & massive couches at Tomato Cafe
While chatting about food over churros with my dear friend Doona, she mentioned a good cheap eats Korean restaurant in Chatswood that she really wanted to take me too. I'm always in search of great cheap eats so I booked her in for dinner ASAP. A week later we met in Chatswood, and she led me to a little hidden place above the Big Fish Little Fish (You get to the restaurant through a small side door and up a lift) My first impression of the place was "OH it's so cute!" because of the massive oversized couches that they have for the tables. It's cosy and dim, with big TVs on the wall playing some sort of Korean soap opera. They also have karaoke next door, and most of the people in the cafe are Koreans of around the same age as us. Definitely the right signs for a good cheap eat!

Rice & side dishes
I leave the ordering up to Doona since she is familiar with the enormous menu. There are tons of different dishes and hotpots to choose from and we select the baby octopus and bulgogi hotpot. My favourite thing about Korean places is the amount of delicious complimentary side dishes that come with your meal. A lot of time I enjoy the side dishes as much, or even more than the main dishes!

Mmm I love kimchi so I end up hogging most of it. The other side dishes were all nice as well, there was some sort of spicy eggplant, yam(?) pickles and deep fried zucchini. I'm already half full before they bring out the ENORMOUS hot pot.

Spicy eggplant


Pickled vegetable

Octopus & Bulgogi Hotpot
The soup is lovely, it goes well with all the greens, noodles and mushroom as well as the little bits of octopus and the deliciously tender and fatty beef. I enjoy it all immensely and we take our time systematically consuming the huge bowl of food. Somehow we manage to nearly finish it, which I think is rather impressive for the two of us.

Korean shallot pancake
The only disappointing dish was an extra starter that we ordered at the last minute. We definitely didn't need it since the hotpot was so gigantic and it was very oily and starchy. Ended up taking it away but didn't eat much of it in the end! This place was great value, the hotpot was something like 20 bucks and was more than enough for two of us. Will definitely be coming back here soon.

Tomato Cafe & Restaurant Karaoke
Level 1, 370 Victoria Avenue
Chatswood NSW 2067
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  1. Wow that's great value for the hotpot! I also love those little extras that they give you too and they always fill me up a bit :) Good to know as we're often stuck for places in Chatswood :D

  2. Wow. That's so cheap! I order those exact same things when I go to Korean restaurants! Pity about the shallots pancake :( Se Jong in Campsie have the BEST pancakes! Oh and I love the complimentary side dishes at Korean restaurants too!

  3. I love munching on the side dishes too before the big meals comes! Mmmm the zuchini looks good!

  4. a friend introduced me to this place too - it's a great night time hang out! anyway, the bulgogi and octopus hotpot looks great and it's not to expensive either - will try next time I'm there.

  5. Lorraine - I get stuck for places in Chatswood too, I thought it was pretty good value!

    Betty - Yeah I was sad about the shallot pancake, ooh thanks for the suggestion!!

    Trisha - Mmm the zucchini was pretty good though prob would have been even better if it was straight out of the deep fryer!

    panda - yeah i can imagine hanging out there for hours, the couches were so huge and comfy! def going back :)


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