Don Bao: Enjoy Crazy Baos and Huge Rice Bowls

The Donburis

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Kevin says the stars of the show – the rice bowls – are very traditional. They come in huge servings. The best part? UNLIMITED (INSANELY GOOD) JAPANESE RICE! I couldn’t choose a favorite. If you can afford more than one don, do yourself a favor and try them all! They’re that good! (Spoiler Alert: the sauces bring the rice bowls to new heights!)

Chicken Teriyaki Don (Php220)

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Okay, so I’m very acquainted with Teriyaki. The gingery flavor, the teriyaki sauce, tender meat, all of those went flying out the window as this donburi set a new standard for teriyaki dishes I’ll eat in the future. The sauce is thicker than usual, but I love it! There is even a generous amount of it over the rice! It may be the most humble of the donburis, but its flavor is something you’ll definitely brag about. This is what young teriyaki dishes wanna be when they grow up.

Crispy Chicken Don (Php230)

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Here we have chicken katsu with cabbage, Japanese mayo and…a special sauce? THEY WON’T TELL ME WHAT THE SAUCE IS! The dish packs a punch and the sauce adds a bit of zing, some heat. Absolutely delicious!

Special Tendon (Php280)

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Tempura galore! This rice bowl has kani (crabstick) and ebi (shrimp) tempura smothered in not one, but TWO special sauces. The sauce from the Crispy Chicken Don makes an appearance here yet again, but another kind of sauce comes into play. The dish itself is creamy with a bit of contrast, thanks to the tempura sauce. I feel like I want to get my hands on their secret formula.

Tonkotsu Ramen (Php295)

Since Day One, customers of Don Bao have wondered why they didn’t have ramen in their menu. A little over two months after they opened, the ramen gods blessed Don Bao with their first ramen. Ramen fans, rejoice!

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This is a new item in their menu that was only launched the day before we visited Don Bao. The broth is the so-called holy grail of ramen broths: the tonkotsu broth. It’s made by boiling pork bones and marrow until it breaks down. I don’t think I’ve ever had this kind of ramen broth before, having tried only miso-based and soy-based varieties.

I have to say, though, that this ramen does not disappoint. Not too salty, the flavors blend in well from the brightness of the spring onions to the savory pork slices. The eggs and other garnish elements add texture variety to the dish. The noodles are a bit on the thin side for me, but hey, it works! They sure had a deliciously awesome first ramen and I can’t wait for them to expand their lineup!

The Sake Bomb (Php100)

My friends know that I usually don’t drink given the choice. I even declined Kevin’s offer for alcoholic drinks at the start of our visit. But Kevin showed us a video of their Sake Bomb. It’s actually composed of two drinks. A shot glass filled with sake is balanced on top of chopsticks on top of a bigger glass filled with beer. Didn’t follow that? Check it out below.

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Interesting, right? It gets better.

Pound the table and it causes the shot glass to fall into the bigger glass, mixing the two drinks.

The resulting drink has a mild flavor without much of an alcoholic rush…but that’s just my experience after taking a mere sip of the really good stuff. Not enough to trigger my inner alcoholic – should it exist – but definitely warrants a recommendation to my friends. Did I mention that actually making the mix is pretty cool?

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I was 100% satisfied…no, delighted with what Don Bao has to offer. Every dish that we tried has a unique personality and all of them delivered. It’s rare for me to have zero complaints about a restaurant and Don Bao made it to the list of these exceptional places. One of us said something that might actually apply to you guys should you stop by and dine here: “I’ll definitely be back soon.”

Apart from the restaurant, Don Bao also offers party packages for their baos.

Don Bao

#1 Brixton Street, Kapitolyo, Pasig City