Popular Japanese discount store Don Quijote, also known as Don Don Donki, has arrived in Singapore with a 2-storey outlet at Orchard Central. It will next open at 100AM Mall, Tanjong Pagar on 14th June.
Within basement 2 is a dining concept called Hokkaido Marche.
Don Don Donki is opened 24/7, so I went down after midnight thinking it would be much less crowded.
I forgot that Singaporeans’ favourite past-times are both shopping and queuing.
Other than round the clock operations, Don Quijote in Japan is known for a very wide range of merchandise – from expensive handbags, household items, to quirky Japanese toys (including that, yah), and distinct ceiling to floor display.
The Singapore store is called “Don Don Donki” because there is already a Don Quijote restaurant here at Dempsey Road. (It serves Spanish food for those who are curious.)
With area of 1,397 sq m, there are some 30,000 items offered. Head to basement 2 if you need the supermarket goods of fresh vegetables, meats, groceries, beverages, and snacks.
A third of the products offered come from Hokkaido.
First impressions. This is Daiso meets Mustafa meets Meidi-ya.
While it was seriously crowded during opening day understandably, I can imagine Singaporeans coming here regularly for some after-midnight shopping as the produce range was indeed extensive.
Here are just some of the 20 items. Many of the popular ones are sold out, and there are always unconventional items in the corner somewhere.
One of the most popular food items is this baked Japanese Sweet Potato, available at hourly time intervals (when I went, it was 10:20pm).
The cost is $2.90 (went up from the $2 previously, and people start queuing 15 – 20 minutes before the sale time. Each person is limited to 2 pieces, and you MUST bring exact change.
Of course, you can go early at off peak periods when there is no line and you are likely able to purchase a couple.
Carefully baked at high temperature for an hour, the medium-sized sweet potatoes were really sweet and soft. And yeah, I don’t mind queuing say 5 minutes for this, but not anything more than that.
Japanese $2.90 apples
Mikan (Japanese Mandarin Oranges). $19.80 for a bag.
Grilled chicken salad. Didn’t look too appetising though.
Other than the usual Teriyaki chicken, salad sandwich, there are fruit sandwiches ($3.50) for the health-conscious.
Bravissimo Sweet Potato Mont Blanc ($12.80)
Hokkaido Cheese Cake
Air-flown Uni or Sea Urchin ($238.00)
Hokkaido Wagyu Steak
Kagoshima white pork and Shabu Shabu meats (can imagine them being snapped up during CNY period)
Itoen Oi Ocha Green Tea withMatcha. Popular, few packets left.
Japanese MILO powder. Nathan Hartono, are you here?
Salmon Rice Bowl. Well at $15, maybe I get mine from the casual restaurants.
Nissin instant yakisoba noodles
Grilled sweet potato snack
Calbee Garlic Potato Chips ($1.50)
Tobato Caramel Corn. At $1.70, this is cheaper than DAISO!
Nissin Cup Noodles Potato Chips ($1.50)
Kitkat in various interesting Japanese flavours. Included in the tag “Price check. We will beat their price!”
Fluffy Green Tea Roll Cake. From the refrigerated area.
Price-wise, I would say quite comparable to Japan. Things I would regularly get from Japan were similar in price here, perhaps about 10-20% higher – which I didn’t mind.
From Hokkaido hairy crabs, boxes of uni to Jagarico cups, there is something for everyone in the family. Bringing your children here would be dangerous. I cannot imagine them walking through without saying, ”Daddy mummy, I WANT THIS.”
Don Don Donki
Orchard Central B1 & B2, 181 Orchard Road, Singapore 238896 (Somerset MRT)
Opening Hours: 24/7
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