Don Don, the tiny Japanese restaurant located on busiest stretch of Melbourne’s CBD – Swanston Street – is known for stable meal choices, fresh food and delicious flavours at lightning speed.
Looking through the street-facing windows won't give you much, but duck under the black awning and you'll enter a hectic, homely space the reveals the mainstay's reason for lasting popularity.
Cosy, wooden panelling and a short counter are all that's between the customer and the kitchen. It's brimming with the ingredients to make up the 11 donburi options available: chicken on rice, sukiyaki don, curry don and more. The limited options enable each meal to be made quickly – perfect for a mid-workday lunch or bite on the run. The speed at which the dishes come out the kitchen has achieved legendary status.
Don Don is always busy, often with long lines that snake out the door. But the aforementioned speed means the wait is always short. Outdoor tables are almost always occupied with enthusiasts, so consider yourself lucky if you nab one. Or just do what everyone else does and sit across the road in the State Library park.
With a few traditional Japanese ingredients such as pickle and traditional condiments, Don Don retains its classic Japanese flavours, while appealing to the masses with a simple, uncomplicated menu.