Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Don Don Izakaya

130 Dundas Street West
Toronto, ON

I've read some not so great reviews on Don Don Izakaya so when my friends asked me if I wanted to join them I was a little hesitant; but none the less my natural foodie instincts told me I needed to try it out for myself.
Located upstairs in the building right beside Kenzo Ramen and the oh-so popular Chatime.
The decor is comparable to Guu with the same open concept kitchen, dim but warm lighting and communal tables.

The difference here is that when you get seated instead of loud greetings from the staff, you are greeted with a loud don! don! from the taiko drum. (a slight picture of it on the right side near the man in blue)
Look at that flame!

How could I come to Don Don and not try their famous Don Don Special Black Croquette? It's breaded potato cake with shrimp and cod roe with a touch of squid ink and salt. I was actually really excited to try this dish and didn't know what to expect. I split the croquettes in half, the inside looked kind of pudding like. Popped it into my mouth, it was super creamy and the crust was really crisp. It lacked shrimp but the flavour was good with a hint of cheese flavour.

Hoppeta-Yaki, $8.50, I wasn't a fan of this dish but Jess said it was her favourite of the night. It was basically Mashed potatoes as the base for mediocre chicken and topped with a pile of bonito flakes.

Cherry's pick was the Japanese Style Veg Hamburg Steak, $6.20.

This is the Tuna Carpaccio, the tuna was fresh but paper thin. The only memorably thing about this dish was the fried onions. It wasn't a bad dish but it wasn't a fantastic one either.

I read great things about this Avocado Croquette which was service with that sauce you get when you order katsu. I broke into the crispy breaded crust and into mushy avocado with little corn pieces mixed through out. I can know say I don't like warm avocado and the sauce didn't really do much.

Our last dish was the Skewer Combo for $6.00, the beef was kind of chewy and the other skewers weren't that impressive but maybe because by the time we got to it everything was cold. My favourite was probably the chicken.

We also got the Steamed Shabu Shabu, $7.20. We basically paid $7 for 4 thinly sliced pork belly and some bean sprouts.

Honestly I don't think I will be coming back, if I were to pay that amount of money for Izakaya I would much rather go to Guu. Sure the wait time at Guu is ridiculous but I know I'm getting great service, food, atmosphere and my money's worth.

Sorry Don Don but Guu will always be number 1 in my heart.

 Don Don Izakaya on Urbanspoon

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