Gyudon 牛丼 which literally means beef donburi, is a Japanese dish consisting of a bowl of rice topped with beef.
There are various versions available in Singapore, some cooked with simmered onions in a mildly sweet sauce; beef slices piled like a mini-mountain; or with grilled beef pieces typically added with a soft poached egg.
I didn’t use to be a beef-bowl person, and was probably happy with Yoshinoya (Yes, I know.)
As my need for protein increases (because I am working out to lose weight), plus various players are churning out inexpensive, hearty bowls of Beef Donburi, I started to pay attention and tried quite a number of them.
The appeal is that its both comforting and nutritious with ingredients such as beef, eggs and onions. Some have gotten more experimental and it is not difficult to find more luxe ingredients such as truffle and foie gras added.
Here are some of the 12 Best Gyudon in Singapore:
9 Raffles Boulevard, #02-08, Millenia Walk, 039569
Tel: +65 6341 9668
Opening Hours: 12pm – 2:30pm, 6pm – 10pm (Mon – Sun)
Sushi Murasaki at Millenia Walk is known for its omakase dining concept and seasonal fish freshly-flown directly from Japan’s famous Tsukiji Fish Market.
But look out for THIS. Yes, this. A Premium Wagyu Don ($85) that spells indulgence, sumptuousness and savour all at the same time.
The Donburi includes Kagoshima Wagyu Beef, WITH buttery foie gras, uni, ikura, black truffle, onsen egg and further drizzled with truffle soy sauce.
Every spoonful, you are consuming something luxe.
Camden Medical Centre #01-01/02, 1 Orchard Boulevard Singapore 248649
Opening Hours: Lunch 12pm – 3pm (Mon – Sun); Dinner 6pm – 10:30pm (Sun – Thurs), 6pm – 11pm (Fri, Sat)
Reserve Online Now – Fat Cow
Interesting. The word “Fat” in Fat Cow stands for luxury and indulgence, and is also a play on the word “Fatt” which in Mandarin dialect means prosperity. The Japanese restaurant is known to serve handpicked selection of the finest Wagyu from reputable farms around the world.
The Fatcow Premium Donburi is one of its signature items, also at a premium price of $98 – of sliced wagyu steak on rice, uni, caviar, foie gras and onsen egg.
The buttery foie gras which melted in the mouth was surprisingly the best part; I did wish that the steak pieces could be tenderer – for the price paid.
The Butcher’s Kitchen
Suntec City Mall Towers 1 & 2 (North Wing) #02-472 Singapore 038989
Opening Hours: 11am – 3pm, 5pm – 9pm, Last order 8:30pm (Mon – Fri)
11am – 9pm Last order 8:30pm (Sat – Sun)
The Butcher’s Flaming Hokkaido Beef Bowl (starts from $11.90) incorporates premium beef imported from Hokkaido, in which the meat is first cut to thin slices, then neatly stacked over the Japanese grain rice like a mini-mountain.
The rice is mixed with furikake for that added savouriness and zing.
Hokkaido beef is used due to its tender and juicy quality, corresponding with suitable amount of fats for an enjoyable bite.
At first I thought the dousing and flaming with the Cognac seemed a tad gimmicky (though I admit it is quite instagrammable), but it added this touch of caramelization, smokiness and subtle complex alcoholic taste.
Although the bowl was topped with an egg and two types of signature sauces (which they won’t reveal what), the beef slices were flavourful enough to savour on their own. The Butcher’s Kitchen (Suntec City)
9 Raffles Boulevard #01-14/15, Millenia Walk Singapore 039596
Tel: +65 6333 1516
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 3:00pm, 5:00pm – 11:00pm (Mon – Fri), 11:30am – 11:00pm (Sat), 11:30am – 9:00pm (Sun)
Sandaime Bunji established in Tokyo Ginza, is an 80 year old family business known for making Kamaboko — a fish cake snack.
What really caught my attention was the Wagyu Round Roast Beef Set ($24.90), which came in a towering bowl with slices stacked above rice.
The portion is generous with 250 grams of beef, tasty and tasty, worth every bit of its price.
Hint: It is even more affordable during lunch time at $19.90! Sandaime Bunji (Millenia Walk)
200A Telok Ayer Street, Singapore 068638 (Telok Ayer MRT Station)
Tel: +65 8822 5525
Opening Hours: Lunch 11:30am – 2:00pm (Mon – Fri)
Dinner 5:00pm – 11:00pm (Mon – Fri), 5:00pm – 12:00am (Fri – Sat), Closed Sun
Kabuke is a 50-seater Sake gastrobar, so named as it combines the art of kabuki and the wonders of Japanese Sake.
I was pleasantly surprised with the Gyudon ($15), which contained grain-fed striploin topped with onsen egg and garlic chips.
Some other Gyudon I tried elsewhere tasted like beef on rice with some sauce, and that was it.
These beef slices had succulent flavour and enough tenderness, made more pleasurable with addition of truffle shoyu which added that tinge of saltiness with subtle aroma. Kabuke (Telok Ayer)
41 Beach Rd (within Candour Coffee), Singapore 189680 (Bugis MRT Station)
Tel: +65 8818 8198
Opening Hours: 12pm – 3pm, 6pm – 9:30pm Daily
The Signature Truffle Wagyu Don ($12.90, $21.90) is a steal for its portion. For those who get a high from the scent of truffle oil (may it be real or not), you would get yours satisfied from this bowl.
There was a strong smoked garlicky aroma in the midst as well, one of those bowls that worked on the scent element.
I was also pleasantly surprised with the amount and quality of beef used, for that price – thinly sliced, meaty yet tender, in a good meal to rice ratio.
Niigata Koshihikari rice is used, and therefore you could taste that the rice is of better quality and fluffier. Rakki Bowl (Beach Road)
4 Hillview Rise HillV2 #02-02 Singapore 667979
Tel: +65 67107278
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 3pm, 5:30pm -10pm (Mon-Thurs), 11:30am – 10pm (Fri-Sun, PH)
Reserve Online Now
The Wagyu Don ($26.80) which contained pan fried wagyu beef on rice and miso soup, was prepared using A4 Grade Wagyu from Kagoshima Japan. Co-owner Shannon Wong illustrated that it was “fine dining quality beef, heartland price”
Not exaggerating, this was one of the best beef bowl I had.
The glistering slices were luxurious with their marbling, perfectly cut, tender and flavourful that would leave traces of happiness in your mouth and belly. Kinsa Sushi (HillV2)
The Sushi Bar Ngee Ann City
391 Orchard Road #05-34/35 Ngee Ann City Singapore 238873 (Orchard MRT)
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 9:45pm (Mon – Sun)
Humble and popular Japanese outlet The Sushi Bar from Far East Plaza has a fuller-fledged restaurant at Ngee Ann City.
It is not uncommon to see long queues outside the Far East Plaza branches both weekday and weekends, with a line of people waiting mainly for their coveted bowl of Chirashi Don and Salmon Aburi Roll.
The Wagyu Don ($34.90) was not mind-blowing in taste, thought it needed more sauce or something, but certainly could hold its own with generous portion of beef and a sprinkling of enjoyable fried garlic. The Sushi Bar (Ngee Ann City)
Shaw Foundation Alumni House, 11 Kent Ridge Drive, Singapore 119244 (Kent Ridge MRT)
Opening Hours: 11.30am – 4.30pm (Mon-Fri), Closed Sat, Sun
Offering a variety of Japanese rice bowls and udon, the recommended ones were the Signature Wagyu Beef Rice Bowl ($9.90 for petite/ $17.90 for standard) and the Aburi Bara Chirashi Bowl ($16.90 for standard).
The Signature Wagyu Beef Rice Bowl ($17.90) arrived with strips of wagyu beef sous-vide and seared to a pinkish hue with a tender texture. Oishii!
A 62°C egg set on top of the Japanese short grain rice with soy-based beef sauce reminded me of a bowl of “mui fan” (wet cooked rice). Perhaps there’s too much zhup (sauce) in the rice. Waa Cow (Kent Ridge Drive)
Sun with Moon Japanese Dining & Café
501 Orchard Road, #03-15 Wheelock Place, 03-15/16/17, 238880
Tel: +65 6733 6636
Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm (Mon – Sun)
The Japanese fare created by Executive Chef Toshio Sawai offered here is quite extensive, from Sun Original Kamameshi, Bento sets, Kobachi, Sushi, Sashimi, Washoku combinations, to Steak dishes.
The donburi sets at Sun with Moon Japanese Dining & Café have been popular among lunch-goers, and you can expect Unagi Don ($23.80), Tendon ($23.80) and Buta Don ($22.80) – pan-fried sliced pork served on rice.
I would recommend the Roast Beef Don Set ($25.80) of sliced sous-vide tender roast beef served on Japanese rice with special sauce, mayonnaise, and topped off with a soft boiled egg.
The portion is generous and makes for a satisfying meal.
115 Eunos Ave 3 #01-01 Singapore 409839 (Paya Lebar MRT)
Tel: +65 9632 6045
Opening Hours: 8:00am – 10:00pm (Mon – Sun)
For those working around Paya Lebar who needs a protein fix or a fuss-free meal, you can go for the Yakiniku Beef Striploin ($8.50) at Nuevo Café.
Served during lunch and dinner times, you get grilled beef striploin on a bed of Japanese rice, topped with pickles and sous vide egg, sprinkled with sesame seeds and roasted nori.
The beef used for the Gyudon was grilled quickly and cut thin, giving the pieces a layer of even char and tenderness. I do think they could up slightly on the sauce element, or provide a dip as an option.
On Weekends, they serve the beef bowl as well, but using the ribeye cut instead.
Ryori by Sushiro
301 Upper Thomson Road, #01-113F Thomson Plaza, Singapore 574408 (Near Marymount MRT)
Opening Hours: 11:45am – 2:15pm, 5:45pm – 9:15pm (Tue – Sun)>
Sushiro has opened a Ryori by Sushiro, which is more focused on Gyuniku Donburi.
I opted for the Tokyo Gyuniku Don ($12). When I first tasted a few spoonfuls, I felt the meats were juicy enough. Compared to the usual donburis which are typically drier, their version was more soupy.
The bowl was also overloaded with onions and rice, and I wished that they mixed in more beef instead. Ryori by Sushiro (Thomson Plaza)
Other Related Entries
12 Best Tendon In Singapore
12 Japanese Restaurants & Cafes At Suntec City
11 Best Japanese Restaurants At Millenia Walk
12 Best Sushi Rolls In Singapore
20 Matcha Desserts In Singapore