Donburi (돈부리)
4:56 pm , March 25, 2011 2

Donburi (돈부리)

Donburi is a Japanese rice bowl topped with fried vegetables and protein. So naturally a restaurant named Donburi is going to be famous for its Donburi dish. Since Giin is a Donburi fiend, she finally convinced my impatient self to wait in line with her for a bowl. So now you know. This is one of those places with long lines.

But fret not, fellow hungry people. The guys who work here have got it figured out. The line moved quicker than I thought it would. An employee went along the line giving out menus and taking orders, and even directed the traffic to fit as many strangers as possible under the heat lamp. Finally we were ushered into the tiny 2-person indoor waiting area and then to our seats. From line to seat – 20 minutes. Not too bad.


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This place is fast-paced. Efficient. Small. As soon as we were seated, the food we had ordered in line was placed in front of our hungry faces. Steaming vegetables over a big-ass bowl of rice. Apparently the customer favorites are the Katsudon (pork) and Unagidon (eel). As far as alcohol goes, Japanese beer only, probably to keep the eaters rotating and the lingering drinkers out.

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I ordered the Chicken Katsudon and Giin ordered the Mixed, with shrimp and pork. Both dishes were seasoned exactly the same, with crisp breading around the proteins. The other half of the dish, the rice, was also perfectly cooked. Great. The side dishes were simple and fresh. Awesome.

Okay. I have a confession. Thus far, I have found Donburi in Korea to be overly sweet and salty. I have some major gripes with sugar mixed in with savory foods. Isn’t sugar supposed to be added to eliminate over-salting?! I had hoped that Donburi would justify my dissatisfaction with Donburi in Korea, but it didn’t. (While we’re on this topic: Does anybody know a good Pho place around here? With Sriracha. Why don’t Koreans eat their Pho with Sriracha?!) Back to Donburi: regardless, I am going to give this place a blue pin of superiority because the dish was still tastier than any other Donburi I’ve had in Korea and everyone seems to love it.

Mixed Katsudon (Shrimp and Pork) 8,000₩
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Chicken Katsudon 7,000₩
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The Rundown
The best Donburi I’ve found in Korea. Efficient, friendly service. Food, fresh and hot, sweet and salty, crispy and soft! Good vibes all around. It’s no secret though so expect a wait.
15,000₩ for 2.
11:30-14:30 & 15:30-22:00

More pictures can be found here.
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About Dustin Cole

Dustin is a fat food lover. He's been living in Korea for three years and recently finished an MBA degree at Korea University Business School. He is also a portrait, event, and wedding photographer. Check out his portfolio here.
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2 Responses

  1. Quora says:

    What are the best restaurants in Seoul?…

    The absolute best 감자탕 you’ll find in Seoul is at this small place in Apgujeong on 언주로173길, which is parallel to the big 압구정로. (https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Apgujeong-dong,+Gangnam-gu,+Seoul,+South+Korea&hl=en&ll=37.52776,127.031045&spn=0.000655,0.00

  2. Quora says:

    What are the best non-Korean restaurants in Seoul?…

    One of my favorites is a Japanese ramen place called Hakatabunkko, near Sangsu station (93-28 Sangsu-dong, Mapo-gu). The broth is milky, the noodles are thin and wheaty, the meaty is intensely savory, and people line up for up to 45 minutes every day t…

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