A Japanese Resutoran called Don Don Donburi

Don Don Donburi Japanese Restaurant isn’t exactly a happening place to be. Located in the inner streets of Barangay Pio Del Pilar in Makati, it’s not exactly the place where you’d find hungry yuppies (or the restaurant eating public) searching for a place to nom. With Little Tokyo just around the corner, Don Don Donburi faces a challenge in pulling customers in. But like small Makati restaurants 8065 Bagnet, 101 Hawker Food House, and TTK Singaporean Restaurant, Don Don Donburi has gained a loyal following. Mainly because of their food.

Oh, it's a Japanese restaurant? We didn't notice.

The restaurant space is tiny, with a small bar for single diners and a handful of tables for groups. We sat behind the bar that night because all the other tables were full. And because it’s more fun. Behind the bar, you can watch the staff carefully preparing your salads and sushi. Like this appetizer, the Kani Bou Salad, one of my favorites from any Japanese restaurant.

They took their sweet time preparing this salad- grating the cabbage, grating the cabbage, grating the cabbage. It really did take a long while before it got to us but it was well worth it in the end. It arrived in the middle of our meal (instead of before) but it was so delicious and fresh that no hungry tummies complained and everything was all good.

Kani Bou Salad (p160)

Donburi in Japanese literally means bowl, but nowadays it is also known as rice in a bowl. Opting to emphasize on the don, I have been led me to believe that Don Don Donburi has a lot of the stuff. Of course they do!

A staple in most Japanese restaurants, here in the Philippines at least, is the Gyu Don. This donburi has strips of beef sauteed in onion and a mild sweet soy seasoning on sticky Japanese rice, sometimes topped with a fresh egg. This one has tsukemono (pickled ginger) on it, and was a nice palate cleansing garnish. This gyudon is a particularly safe one, for when you want an old reliable.

Gyudon (p145)

Another not uncommon dish is the tonkatsu. It’s currently hot commodity in ouru food loving country. It has become so popular that there are restaurants dedicated solely for this Japanese dish. Don Don Donburi’s tonkatsu comes in a bento box with a side of veggies and some tsukemono. Sure, they have no unlimited rice (but there’s plenty!) nor cabbage salad, but it still a pretty solid dish.

Next we have Japanese restaurant staples- the Tendon (short for tenpuradon, or tenpura on top of a rice in a bowl), Ebi Tenpura (shrimp tempura), and Katsudon (fried pork sauteed in egg and onions). Nommy pictures below!

Tonkatsu (p170)
Tendon (p155)
Ebi Tenpura (p200)
Katsudon (p155)

The good

  • Authentic Japanese noms!
  • Authentic Japanese noms for cheap!
  • Authentic Japanese noms for cheap in the city!

The bad

  • Location is out of all the ways.
  • Teeny tiny dining area.

The bacon

4 bacons! We tried majority of the Japanese staples, but besides those, they also have an assortment of sushi and sashimi that are made fresh from behind the bar counter. They also have a ton of other things on the menu in Japanese that were written in Japanese. If you’re a fan of true Japanoms, you have got to try Don Don Donburi, I’m sure you’d be sat sat satisfied like I was. You know how I said they have a loyal following? That includes me, in case you haven’t figured it out.

Don Don Donburi

Address: 7563 Santillan St. Pio Del Pilar, Makati, Luzon, Philippines
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Mel is a developer by day, a couch potato by night, and a bacon lover at all times. She likes good noms, cute puppies, the color orange, and all things bacon. You may contact her at admin@bacontunamelt.com or anywhere via this blog.

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