Located at CityLink Mall, Singapore’s first underground mall, Donburi-Ya is a fast-casual dining spot, literally “house of donburi”.
The humble eatery can be found near to the entrance leading to Marina Square, right opposite Starbucks.
Donburi-Ya offers its own rendition of Japanese rice bowls that are fresh, tasty, and affordable.
Their aim is to serve up inexpensive bowls to the workers and shoppers in the vicinity, and thus their Wagyu Don is priced at only $9.90 Nett.
No service charge or GST.
Plus, they also offer an additional 10% OFF for the people working around (just show your staff-pass), students, senior citizens aged 60 and above, and 11B holders for their opening special.
Here are the recommended savoury stews on rice prepared Donburi-Ya style:
Wagyu Don ($9.90 for small, $11.90 for regular)
The exquisite and prized meat Wagyu (和牛) or “Japanese beef” finds its way as a premium topping for Wagyu Don.
Available in 2 sizes, this bowl highlights thinly sliced seasoned beef, tender with the marbling in the meat.
The shoyu-based simmering sauce is livened up with ginger and soft onions. If you love Gyudon or beef donburi, this is the upgrade worth trying.
The small bowl is good if you are not feeling that hungry, or want to pair up with other sides. Otherwise, get the regular bowl for better value-for-the-money.
Diners can also top-up $2.90 for 2 sides and a drink; or $3.50 for 3 sides and a drink.
Kurobuta Don ($9.90 for small, $11.90 for regular)
Next up is a chef-recommended dish, featuring Kurobuta or “black hog” pork from the famed Berkshire pig.
Prized for its flavourful with juicy meat and fat, this heritage pig breed is an indulgent treat to fans of pork.
Bite into the succulent pieces topped in a fluffy bowl of premium Japanese white rice, and sprinkled with pickled red ginger, spring onions and strips of nori.
Bara Chirashi ($14.90)
Bara Chirashi is a humble variation of Chirashi, of fresh sashimi over a bed of sushi rice. This version I had was a medley of salmon cube, sweet egg roll cubes and ebiko on a bowl of fluffy Japanese rice.
Though tasty on its own, the rice gets a boost of flavour from the ‘liao” and a drizzled savoury sauce.
Is this the Bara Chirashi I had? I won’t say it is, but it is a good portion for the price, and the sauce added more rich flavours for those prefer something not so ‘clean-tasting’.
Donburi-Ya also offers their own version of Salmon Poke Bowl, priced at $10 (0.5 protein), $13 (1 protein) and $16 (2 protein).
Unagi Don ($12.00)
Delicious in its simplicity, this rice bowl features a grilled fillet of Japanese freshwater eel glazed with a dark, sweet and salty sauce.
Considered a delicacy, this luxurious fish’s smoky flavour is made deeper with a soy-based sauce.
The added mirin, sugar, and sake balances the sauce’s savoury taste, and imparts a sweetness to the steamed white rice.
Get a single unagi for $12, or make it double for $20.
Spicy Aburi Mentai Salmon Don ($11.90)
A rice bowl that wins in freshness and flamed-seared flavour of the salmon sashimi.
The aburi process imparts a smokiness to the dish and enhances its umami taste.
Plus, the mentaiko adds spicy and salty tones altogether, perfectly matching plain steamed rice. Enjoy this salmon don with generous toppings of crunchy ebiko.
Mapo Tofu Don – Vegetarian ($8.90)
If you are going the no-meat route, order the Mapo Tofu Don.
The classic Sichuan dish Mapo Tofu (麻婆豆腐) is spicy and pungent, making it an appetising stroke of flavour to the bland canvass of steamed rice.
Fried Sichuan peppercorns add a nutty aroma. This chef-recommended vegetarian donburi option comes in 1 size only.
Aside from individual donburi bowls, they offer items for sharing, such as 10- or 20-piece Salmon Sashimi, Whole Unagi, Chicken Karaage, Chicken Seaweed, Shishamo, Hiyayakko (cold tofu salad), and the signature Spicy Chicken Drumlets.
Load up with their array of sides like onsen egg, chuka wakame, assorted veggies with dashi glaze, chukka scallop lips, chuka karage, crispy chicken seaweed, crispy chicken karaage, edamame, yamakurage scallop lips, shishamo, and ebi tempura. Chef-recommended sides are mapo tofu, aburi mentai tamagoyaki, and salmon sashimi.
End with a sweet and light drink of the Original Milk Pudding ($2.90 for one, $15 for 6 bottles).
CityLink Mall #B1-16, One Raffles Link, Singapore 039393 (Esplanade MRT, CityHall MRT)
Tel: +65 8511 4425
Opening Hours: 11am – 8pm (Mon – Sun)
* This post is brought to you in partnership with Donburi-Ya.