Restaurant review: Dondonya Shokudo - fusion Japanese rice bowls
Popular, inexpensive casual restaurant chain has added Western-influenced dishes to menu at its Kwun Tong outlet, such as shrimp tempura and egg mayonnaise sandwich and carbonara udon
We can always trust Dondonya Shokudo to sate our cravings for a comforting dose of donburi (Japanese rice bowl). Be it the steaming beef bowl, oyakodon (chicken and egg rice bowl) or the assorted sashimi-topped vinegared rice, the inexpensive, casual chain, with a dozen branches throughout Hong Kong, is a good option for a quick meal.
To celebrate its fifth anniversary, its brand new Kwun Tong branch boasts an updated menu featuring a number of Western-influenced dishes to reflect the brand’s creativity. Think baked meatballs with tomato sauce and cheese (HK$45), or shrimp and avocado tartare (HK$38).
Our favourite dish is the deep-fried shrimp sandwich (HK$58). Every bite of the crisp tiger shrimp tempura and creamy egg mayonnaise sandwiched between fluffy, thick slices of toast is enjoyable. The carbonara udon (HK$68), topped with a raw egg yolk, has a creamy cheese sauce spiked up with chunks of crisp bacon that goes well with the bouncy sanuki udon.
The spicy avocado and maguro rice bowl (HK$98) is a pungent alternative to the regular sashimi rice bowl, thanks to the garlicky tuna cubes, chilli soy sauce and a sprinkle of sesame that adds crunch. Ironically, the dish we liked least - the obihiro butadon (HK$88) - was one of their signature items; the sliced dry pork was very dry.
The service is friendly, albeit a bit rushed – mainly because there is a one-hour time limit for diners at lunchtimes.
As much as we like the food, we hesitate to return because of the hygiene standards: we found strands of hair in two of the dishes we ordered.
Dondonya Shokudo, Shop L6-3B, Level 6, apm, Millennium City 5, 418 Kwun Tong Road, Kwun Tong, tel: 2351 6283. Open: 11.30am-11.30pm