27 September 2012

Don Don Japanese Restaurant ~ Darlinghurst

Don Don is an authentically squishy little Japanese hole-in-the-wall joint in the super happy part of Oxford Street, Darlinghurst, popular with students and the poverty-jetset.

We first visited Don Don on Oxford Street on a Friday night and it was packed full of young students and travellers, all far too skinny and good looking for their own good. Or for our good anyway. We return on a a dreary Monday night hoping the joint would be less busy but it was jam packed again, while most restaurants on the strip were empty. Don Don is obviously doing something right. It's Japanese-run which is always a very good start.

The star of the menu is the humble donburi, or 'don', simply a bowl of rice with a variety of very yummy somethings on top. Japan-o-philes may not rate it as the best don in town, but it's consistently good, and the servings are generous. One $10 don should feed a starving student or backpacker. Plus there's soups, bento boxes, sashimi and sushi for a lighter feed.

The food is good, but unless you're a Japan-o-food-nerd like us, Don Don probably doesn't warrant a special trip across town for. However if you're in Darlinghurst and after a good cheap quick feed in no frills surrounds then Don Don is  highly recommended.

Agedashi tofu - fried tofu in fish soup - $6.

Gyoza - deep fried pork dumplings -$6. These are fried to a crisp, not the regular gyoza, a little more Chinese in style perhaps, but we like it.

Pork katsudon - $9.50. Fried pork cutlet on rice, a guilty pleasure.

Chirashi sushi don - $13.80. Mixed sashimi on rice.

Oyakodon - $9.50. Chicken simmered in soy, sake, mirin and sugar with a lightly beaten egg dropped in at the last moment. We've been cooking this at home a lot lately, following the easy recipe on our favourite Youtube channel, Cooking with Dog.

Tanindon - $9.50. Same as the oyakodon above with beef instead of chicken.

All 'don' or rice dishes come with a free side bowl of very yummy soup with a couple of noodles and some tempura sprinkles.

Teriyaki fish udon soup - $9.50. A fusion dish with a generous serve of bit sized deep fried fishy pieces with a smattering of vegies and udon noodles. The broth has a dark, sweet, teriyaki sauce flavour to it.

All soup dishes come with a sweet inari pocket and water.

Yay Don Don. We're pleased  to see a new generation of folks appreciating the joys of true hole-in-the-wall eating. There's more to life than pulled pork tacos.

Don Don Japanese Restaurant is at 80 Oxford Street Darlinghurst.

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  1. Don Don ha been around FOR AGES. I used to go here in the 90s when I lived in Darlo (Oxford Street was pumping back then...so many closed shops now-a-days which is a shame).

  2. Don Don is an old favourite! Back around 2006 the handrolls were only $2 each, with a generous hunk of salmon in the ones that had salmon. A group of us from work used to trek all the way there and only order the hand rolls! I loved the salmon/avo or salmon/cucumber and prawn tempura rolls... me thinks it's time for a revisit :)

  3. Ah my old favourite.. So glad to have found this blog! So many new places to try :D

  4. Hand rolls are only $2.50 now and they're the best in town. Made to order, they're the absolute bloody best with the fresh warm sushi rice.

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Thanks for your comment joy - please keep your musings happy - if you want to complain about a restaurant please do it on a restaurant review site (or your own blog) - we're all about celebrating cultural diversity and the great eats that come along with it :-)

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