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Hong Kong budget eats

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

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 10 February, 2016, 12:40pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 10 February, 2016, 12:40pm

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