Thursday, November 22, 2012

Is Donburi - Northbridge

You know you’ve been to one place too many times recently when the waitress finishes your sentence in your order. Is Donburi is my love affair at the moment.
This newly established Japanese takeaway on William street first caught my attention when it was recommended to me by a friend. I have since taken my boyfriend and every friend I can convince as I seem to have endless good experiences at this place.

I can always rely on fresh seafood, meat cooked to perfection where the chicken is still tender and moist, and value for money.

Over many visits, I have tried the below items on the menu:
·         Value meals: with rice, miso and salad
·         Teriyaki Chicken ($13.50)

·         Teriyaki salmon ($16.50)

·         Chicken katsu curry ($13.50)

·         Gyoza (Japanese Dumping) w/ mayo and teriyaki reduction ($7.00)

·         Sashimi and seafood salad ($11.50)
Fresh salmon, kingfish, tuna, prawn, squid, seaweed and choice of apple or chilli apple dressing.
Sashimi and seafood salad with dressing on the side

Sushi rolls:
·         Dancing Crab roll ($15.50)
Soft shell crab, avocado, cucumber, pineapple, fish roe, crunchy sweet potato with balsamic reduction

·         Rainbow roll ($14.50) – cooked tuna, avocado, cucumber, salmon, tuna and prawn.

·         Seafood Chirasi Don ($15.50)
Fresh salmon, kingfish, tuna, prawn, squid and salad on vinegar rice.

·         Spicy Curry Udon ($11.50)
Prawn, seaweed, fishcake, spring onion, inari and curry udon soup.

·         Business Bento Box:
Fish katsu curry ($17.50)

Prawn parcel
Calamari ring
Choice of one dish from value meal

Fish Katsu Curry Business Bento Box with the Sashimi Salad

Teriyaki Salmon Business Bento Box

·         Miso soup ($1.50)

·         Korean style chawanmushi ($5.00) - Korean style steamed egg custard

And by now, you can understand how I am funding all the waiters university degrees through my obsession  love for this place.

I can absolutely recommend the Sashimi and seafood salad, in which I urge you to order the dressing on the side. I had the chilli apple dressing, and although this very sweet and slightly spicy sauce was generously drizzled over my salad, I found the drizzle to be too generous and I left feeling a little ill with how sweet the whole salad was.

I now promptly order my dressing on the side and add the quantity I feel is appropriate which leaves this menu item as my ultimate favourite. I am always given a very large portion of sashimi, all fresh and presented like a spiral of colourful seafood art in a bowl with an accompaniment of salad.

The Korean style chawanmushi was a curious exploration of mine in which I discovered was much like a scrambled egg with very little seasoning and/or flavour. It was served warm and sprinkled with spring onion. I added a lot of chilli to this and ate it out of an attempt to fill my growling stomach. As there was nothing wrong with this dish, I would not order it again.

The Business Bento Box would have to be one of the best value-for-money items on the menu.
Not only is the portion size huge, but you are able to sample entrées and eat your main meal over salad, rice and with miso.

Upon first reading this menu item, we had to check that you actually do get all the featured items and it was not a mistake for most under $20! Bargain!

The gyozas were a great start to the meal with six crispy dumplings lined neatly on the plate. These were drizzled with a Japanese mayo and topped with spring onions. The crunch unleashed a delicate filling of cooked vegetables with a subtle spice. These were without doubt, demolished in a matter of seconds.

The Dancing Crab roll took me by surprise.
The description of the soft shell crab gave me textures of a crunchy base and with the smooth avocado and sweet tang by the balsamic reduction, I had high expectations. I was very disappointed by this dish. For one, I could take no pronouncing flavour. There was something missing, and even after adding a splash of soy and some chilli, my friend and I agreed that this sushi was below average and had no real flavour or appeal at all.

The presentation of the roll was delightful with bright orange fried sweet potato topping the roll in a confetti of colour. If only the taste matched the beautiful presentation…

The Rainbow roll was another sushi disappointment, but this one was mainly a fault of my own. I overlooked the “cooked” element of the tuna and realised that this role had tinned tuna instead of the fresh slimy tuna I had hoped for. The salmon and prawn component of the sushi was also a little misleading as there was not a piece of salmon, tuna and prawn in each slice, but this seafood covered the entirety of the roll which meant some slices of sushi you had one seafood ingredient but not all.

Cooked tuna in the Rainbow Roll

The chicken in the Chicken katsu curry was cooked so it still oozed chicken tenderness upon the first bite. Pieces of chicken were delicately laid out and covered in one of the tastiest curry sauces I have had in a long time. The katsu curry sauce was not too sweet or salty and had a nice balance of flavour in which allowed the flavours of the chicken to sing.

Chicken katsu curry with dressed Sashimi salad

The salmon in the Teriyaki Salmon dish was in my opinion on the well-done cooked side. I prefer my salmon medium-rare and even on the rarer side. Nonetheless it was covered in a sweet teriyaki sauce that ticked all the boxes.

The chicken in the Teriyaki Chicken was also cooked to perfection but I did not like the thick deep fried skin on the chicken which to me took away the delicateness of the sweet chicken meat that lay underneath. I would have loved to have only the delicate meat covered in that sweet sticky teriyaki sauce and skipped the deep-fried batter which made me a little disappointed. If you love your chicken with a thick fried skin layer – then mark this as your dish!

To summarise, there is a reason I keep coming back again and again. Value for money which to me is in every dish on the menu except in my opinion - the sushi rolls.

The staff are friendly and accommodating and I swear once or twice I have received a complimentary miso soup with my meal which I love!

This place is tiny inside and seats no more than 20. But every time I have been, there is a consistent flow of customers who all seem very happy with their meals.

Is Donburi William Street on Urbanspoon

No comments:

Post a Comment