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Don Don Japanese Restaurant

Home > Melbourne > Restaurants | Lunch | Food and Wine | Dinner
by X (subscribe)
Published April 24th 2013
Remember what it was like to eat like a uni student?
Sometimes walking into a cheap Asian restaurant feels like an anthropological excursion into the lives of university students. Everyone has come here looking for the cheapest, tastiest meal they can find, and no one has come looking for the capstone of their night. They've come after a shift at work, after a boring lecture, or to eat before a gig later on that night. The air has a mixture of excitement and relief, as some peoples' days end, and others' nights start.

You could say that, in this respect, Don Dons is the quintessential cheap Asian restaurant. There is no paint to distract you, no pictures to occupy your attention. It's a relatively Spartan setting; the only thing to grab your attention are the people huddled around tables.

But obviously, coming to Don Don's just to look at other people would be weird. You've really come for fast, tasty food. And this is what Don Don delivers. The food is ridiculously fast. The time taken from the moment you order, to when you receive your meal, would be under two minutes. It's also quite cheap, with most of the meals under $10. Perfect for those who have spent their money on something else later in the night.

This night we ordered the sashimi, tofu and beef dons. The sashimi and tofu were both great dishes. The tofu don comes with pickled ginger, kimchi, rice and gravy and is very filling. The tofu is firm enough to not get lost in the rice, and the gravy is strong and hearty.

The addition of the rocket to the sashimi was also a great idea. I prefer to eat sashimi with something lighter - like rocket - so I can feel the texture of the delicate fish. One thing to note though is that they can be fairly generous with the kimchi and pickled ginger, so be careful not to let these flavours overpower everything else.

Unfortunately the beef curry wasn't my favourite dish. While I probably should have realised that the beef I ordered wasn't going to be a prime cut, it was sliced very thinly and looked like it had a lot of gristle. The stocky soup was also very salty, and the beef flavour wasn't strong enough to balance the salty hit.

The rest of Don Don's menu also looks appetising. From previous experience I can say that the chicken curry don is a winner, and the udon noodle don also looks like an interesting try.
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Why? To eat tasty food and not spend much
When: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner; Monday- Sunday
Phone: 03 9662 3377
Where: 321 Swanston St CBD
Cost: Under $10
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