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Weekly Lunch Pick: Japanese pub favourites at DonDon Izakaya

May 5, 2012
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Weekly Lunch Pick: DonDon Izakaya

A hot bowl of Udon, along with a nama grapefruit sour and black croquettes (Image: Andrew Brudz)

DonDon, the new Dundas Street izakaya, is starting to gain some of the popularity of its two-year-old competition, Guu. But there are a couple crucial differences: DonDon takes reservations, and it’s open for lunch, at which the staff greets guests with the same ceremonial bang of the drum and cry of “Irasshaimase” you’d get at dinner time. While the midday menu doesn’t have the entire range of bar food favourites, there’s still a lot to choose from, including huge bento boxes, sushi and sashimi and a range of appetizers. A refreshing, not-too-sweet nama grapefruit sour ($5.50) comes with a freshly sliced grapefruit half that you squeeze before adding it to a tall glass of shochu and soda. The mysterious-sounding black croquettes are a tasty, multi-culti collaboration with Thuet: they arrive looking like nicely arranged pieces of coal, but the crispy squid ink exterior reveals a piping hot filling of creamy potato, shrimp and cod roe when you crack it open. A bowl of seafood udon soup ($7.95)—loaded with mussels, octopus, squid, a large tempura shrimp, thick udon noodles, seaweed and green onion—makes for a warming and filling February lunch.

Nama grapefruit sour ($5.50)
Black croquettes ($7)
Seafood udon soup ($7.95)
Weekly Lunch Pick: DonDon Izakaya

The cost: $27, including tax and tip.

The time: 65 minutes.

DonDon Izakaya, 130 Dundas St. W., 416-492-5292,


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