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Don, Don, Donburi

Don, Don, Donburi

A list containing some of the best Asian Rice Bowls dishes I have tried.
Vanessa Kou
Vanessa Kou
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With beef being my go-to protein, Maru Dine and Bar's Stir Fry Cube Beef Don ($20) was good and made for a hearty weekday lunch option. Tender and juicy, the diced meat was the ideal doneness where you get the desired bite along with the natural flavours from the moisture locked within. Lightly seasoned, the garlic red wine sauce didn't overwhelm the elements but instead enhanced the earthy notes of the shimeiji mushrooms and the fragrant bed of fried rice. Jazzing up the bowl further, the crispy garlic bits and furikake also added great textures. And a tip would be giving everything a good mix before eating and especially coating the beef cubes with the yolk of the runny onsen egg! Oh and not forgetting your greens... just help yourself to the free-flow salad with every main ordered.

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Yet to try the many renditions made available in Singapore, I was pretty excited to get my hands on Red Rock アメ村店 Americamura's Roast Beef Don (815¥) and was glad that it didn't disappoint. Though not mind-blowing considering the many rave reviews and the other exceptional meals that I had in Japan; it was a sight to behold. No tough, dry or overly chewy meat here, the stack of sliced beef was tender and nicely seasoned. Very satisfying, the small heap was also nicely complemented by the tangy white yogurt sauce as well as raw yolk which added a smooth richness to the bowl.

Furthermore, in view that it was my second lunch of the day and was rather full mid-meal, the combination didn't cut my enjoyment of the braised beef one bit. And while there was a snaking queue (I waited about 15 minutes in the cold) with mostly tourists dragging their luggage in line, the service was prompt and friendly.

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And having it for the first time, I went straight for their signature Bara Chirashi Don ($12.80). Located quite prominently and within sight of the mall’s entrance, Sushiro is difficult to miss especially with the long-forming line extending out to the far end of the floor during lunch. Hence not expecting the snaking queue on an early Wednesday afternoon, I was famished by the time I was seated. But of course well-worth the 20-minutes wait, the star of the show - the palm-sized sushi rice bowl piled generously with assorted chunks of seafood saved the day.

Loving the small hill of salmon, tuna, octopus, prawn and shiny ikura pops; the ingredients were all really sweet and firm. Not overpowered by the seasoning and cut into perfect bite-sized cubes for easy consumption, the sashimi used were able to remain their original flavours and I particularly enjoyed the chewy texture of the fresh octopus with a light refreshing hint of lemon. Lending an extra oomph was also a good sprinkle of sesame seeds and sesame oil, giving the entire umami bowl a fragrant finish.

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At a whooping $68, Barashi Tei’s Special Chirashi Don was certainly indulgent (but of course, being the most expensive item on their menu). So expect a bigger and better medley of fresh premium fish slices from their other variations of chirashi don. And good to share for two; adoring the great bowl of raw goodness we had Sake Belly, Hamachi, Maguro Akami, melty Uni, popping Ikura and sweet Hotate, just to name a few. All proportionately sliced, the substantial bowl was also kept light with a hint of zest and accentuated with wasabi and pickled ginger at the side. Each comes as a set with a side of fruit and miso soup to go along too. Thus you know where to be for late night chirashi cravings!

Thank you Burpple for the invite and @barashitei for feeding us!

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Just two weeks into their operations, I was stoked to have won a chance to dine at Courtyard by Marriot Singapore’s resident restaurant Sky22 earlier last week through @bitessg. Offering up a selection of international and modern Singapore favourites, the all-day dining restaurant boast a line of tempting buffet spread, a la carte dishes and a surprisingly wholesome B.Y.O.B. (Build-Your-Own-Bowl) option. Picking up all my favourites, the proteins like my tender slab of Iberico pork, and Hakka Braised pork, spiced Pan Seared Salmon as well as Grilled Steak were up for grabs at the line.

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Yet another donburi option in CBD, DOCO (@thefishshnack X @soicocosg) currently offers two specialty rice bowls - Sh-nack Don (Grilled Beef) & Sh-ken Don (Honey Miso Chicken). And without a doubt, I chose the former cause beef is life. Nicely grilled, the Sh-nack Don comes with savoury slices of beef topped with a runny onsen tamago and cajun fish sh-sprinkles on a bed of warm Japanese rice. Though a little dry overall, the crunchy bits of spiced/seasoned skin lent an element of saltiness and worked nicely with the tad sweetness from the tender marinated meat. At $8.90, it is certainly a decent lunch item and an intriguing way of getting your crispy fish skin fix.

Moreover with their in-house Fish Sh-nack’s donburi series, you can complete your meal with a $3 top-up. Wash things down with their Coconut Shake ($4.90) made with a blend of Thai coconut water and bits of coconut flesh or end off on a sweeter note with their Coconut Soft Serve ($4.90). Dairy-free and vegan friendly, the nutty swirls was just the right consistency - not too icy and fab with the organic gula melaka drizzle and powder. Not cloying either, I would definitely recommend having the soft serve if you are in the area seeking for a light refreshing treat.

📍International Plaza 10 Anson Road #01-16 S(079903)
⌛Mon - Fri , 11am to 6pm

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For $14, JINzakaya’s Kaisen Chirashi Donburi would surely satisfy any cravings for a wholesome sashimi on rice. A good portion of salmon, tuna, yellowtail, ikura, sweetened omelette, cucumber and pickles; the assorted cuts of fresh sashimi cubes were all sizable and hearty. Not forgetting the bed of well-seasoned rice to complete the dish.

And if you love your sushi and sashimi, why not win yourself an awesome 18-course omakase experience at Ryo Sushi for four!

To stand a chance to win:
1. Post a review of a sushi experience (it could be sushi / chirashi / omakase) on Burpple with #BurppleSushiMonth
2a. Share that same review on Instagram (with the hashtag) and tag 3 friends you want to dine with
OR
2b. Share this post on Facebook and leave a comment tagging 3 friends
They will be announcing two winners -one from Facebook, one from Instagram on June 30th.
So share away~

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Beside their slurp-worthy ramen, Kanshoku Ramen Bar’s rice dishes such as the Charshu Donburi ($13.90) was surprisingly good. A satisfying savoury bowl with mushroom bits, sushi rice sprinkled with furikake and torched caramelized charshu marinated with their in-house special sauce. Tender yet not overly fatty, the lean slices paired nicely with the dollop of mayo at the side. And as you get the lightly charred edges, the meat still has a good amount of moisture locked within - not too dry. With lots of flavours going on, the spoonful of mushroom duxelle also lends a delectable earthy quality while the dried Japanese seasoning serves as a salty-sweet, crunchy element. Eat it however you want, but I recommend giving everything a good mix.

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By incorporating whiskeys and wines into a number of their items and dishes, Anarchy Wine + Brew Bar’s revamped menu was perhaps catered to a more mature palate.

Hence, hits and misses for me, my favourite was the Truffle Ribeye Bowl with Foie Gras [$22]. A healthy bowl that came with a base of mixed rice or gluten-free quinoa, sous vide egg, bruleed foie gras and hearty Australian ribeye finished off with an earthy truffle glaze.

This was a hosted tasting by @thewineanarchy, thanks @Burpple for the invite!

A pretty popular lunch spot in MBC, Kaisen Ichi serves up a decent selection of Donburi, Chazuke and Udon. And especially since I am currently working in the area, the bowls also perform well to satisfy my sudden craving for Japanese food.

With a slightly smaller portion to the no-frills donburi offered, their Dashi Chazuke comes with a pitcher of Green Tea Soup and runny onsen egg. To be eaten all together and have the rice steeping in the stock, I like having my Una Chazuke dry in the beginning and slowly adding in the tea bit by bit cause I like the salty-crunchy ‘arare’, tiny rice cracker pellets or crumbled rice crackers along with the shredded nori.

A good rainy day comfort food. The light stock also serves to tie the elements together and the balanced blend would be great to have alone as well. At $12 each, there is nothing much to complain about.

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An impromptu dinner led on by our hungry tummies had us travelling down to Corner Burger for some bites. And sharing the Beef Adobo ($8), the bowl was pretty decent with the sweet-savoury marinate being the highlight and pulling all the elements together. The beef could be more tender but overall a satisfying option.

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Instead of having the much talked-about Spicy Chilli Crab Tendon, I was more interested in Don Meijin’s Mille Feuille Katsu Don ($12.80). Layered with 14 slices of pork loin, the slab was a lovely golden-brown with a light yet crunchy crust served on a bed of savoury-sweet eggs. Stacked, breaded and fried, the marinated meat would have been even more perfect with thinner sheets and made more moist but the delicate layer of breading certainly made everything better (love the crunch of the crisp exterior). A very hearty bowl, I would recommend sharing it as it gets jelat.

Do I eat too much dessert?! I don't think so~ IG: @vanessa_kou | Tumblr: dessert-foodi-li-cious

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