340 Little Lonsdale St Shop 6
What happens when you head to DonToo at 6pm? Up until one year ago, all you’ll find is a locked door with a ‘closed’ sign. But fast forward one year, and you’ll find the bustling lunch spot open for dinner, serving nothing but ramen, and a small selection of drinks and sides. We all know that the DonToo (like its sibling, Don Don) serves up some lip-smacking meals at lightning pace for lunch, so how does the ramen-only menu at dinner fare?
|Gyoza ($4.8 for 6 pieces)|
We started off with some Gyoza ($4.8 for 6 pieces). I keep forgetting about how hot food is when it’s just come off the stove, and as a result, ended up burning my tongue yet again. Taste-wise, there are like a more delicate version of the kind we make at home, and that’s a very big compliment indeed, because nothing beats mum’s cooking. Bonus points for serving them with a vinegar and soy dipping sauce, as opposed to just plain soy.
|Charshu Ramen ($11)|
And now for the reason we’re here – the ramen. We asked to have our Charshu Ramen ($11) with 300g of noodles. I love how they give you the option of 250g or 300g of noodles with no surcharge. After a 5-10 minute wait, it came out steaming in a heavy ceramic bowl.
Now, what makes a good ramen? In my opinion, it has to have melt-in-your-mouth charshu (preferably lots of it), eggs with a gooey yolk, chewy bouncy noodles, and a killer broth. And does this bowl of ramen meet those standards? By golly it does! The broth was rich and meaty, the noodles were perfectly cooked, and the huge chunks of charshu were fatty and smoky. My only complaint is that there’s some cabbage in the ramen, which strikes me as an odd ingredient, but I’m really just picking bones here. On top of that, the serving was huge, and it was kept piping hot by the hefty bowl. It was the perfect way to warm up on a cold rainy night.
Whilst most of you would probably never dream of taking a date here for lunch, it’s actually surprisingly romantic at dinner. Warm and cozy in the low light, with rickety tables that are almost bohemian, Chris and I found it surprisingly suiting for gazing into each other’s eyes. Now if only there were candles on the tables.
Rating: 14.5/20 – bohemian Japanese