travel & lifestyle blog by ruth dela cruz

VIP Access

Osaka’s Don Don Tei now open in the Philippines

March 20, 2024

As Filipinos, our love for rice knows no bounds. We eat rice any time of the day. This appreciation for rice has made donburi one of the favorite Japanese dishes among Filipinos.

I’ll admit, whenever I travel, particularly to my favorite country – Japan, I always find myself gravitating towards rice-based dishes.

Excitingly, Don Don Tei, a cherished Osaka chain, also known as Kineya Don Don Tei, has opened its first store in the Philippines, and I was fortunate to be part of the historic opening. Situated at the 2nd Level of Robinsons Galleria (ADB Wing), this inaugural branch promises an authentic Japanese dining experience, reminiscent of cozy meals in Osaka.

Don Don Tei, which translates to “Rice Bowl House,” began its journey in Abeno, Osaka, in 1988 with branches around Japan, Hong Kong, USA and now, Philippines.

Speaking on behalf of CEO Atsushi Mukumoto, Hideto Nishijima, Managing Director of Business Strategy & Planning of Gourmet Kineya, remarked, “Don Don Tei celebrates the rich culinary traditions of Japan by serving authentic Japanese dishes. That is why we have trained our to staff to meticulously cook and present each dish with grace and respect.”

Hideto Nishijima says Don Don Tei embodies the principle of “Easy Japanese,” offering straightforward, affordable, and utterly delicious meals without the complexity or high cost. Consider us as a fast casual dining restaurant– quick, convenient, satisfyingly simple but served in a very nice presentation.”

Don Don Tei brings its same menu from Osaka, boasting of an array of donburi bowls, from the classic Gyudon and adding some creations that Filipinos love and keep coming back for. Their Tempura Specials, featuring the likes of Special Ebi Tendon adorned with succulent Black Tiger Prawns, alongside Ebi Tendon and Kakiage Ebi Tendon, cater to those who appreciate the delicate balance of texture and taste.

Those who want beef will be drawn to the rich flavors of the Gyudon, Wagyu Yakiniku Don, and Sukiyaki Jyu bowls. They also have a varied selection of pork including Katsudon, Tonkatsu Don with sauce, and Katsu Curry among other delightful pork dishes. With the Lenten season approaching, the menu also offers a selection of seafood options such as Unajyu, Grilled Mackerel, and Salmon Teriyaki. For those who prefer chicken, there are chicken rice bowls including Oyakodon, Chicken Karaage Don, Chicken Teriyaki Don, and Chicken Karaage Curry.

At the heart of Don Don Tei’s commitment to authenticity is the adherence to strict recipe guidelines, from the selection of the rice texture to the use of proprietary sauces, ensuring each dish closely resembles the original flavors loved in Japan.

“Our team, from kitchen to service, has been rigorously trained under Japanese experts. Every ingredient, from sauces to meats, adheres to the strictest standards, ensuring the presentation of each bowl is nothing short of perfection,” Hideto Nishijima pointed out, echoing the same sentiment of CEO Atsushi Mukumoto.

More than just donburi, Don Don Tei’s also offers upgrade options and other extras.

Every Donburi Comes with Miso Soup: Enhance your donburi experience with a comforting side of miso soup, included with every order.

Upgrade to Teishoku: Elevate your meal to the Teishoku version for a feast that includes potato salad, green beans and carrots kobachi, and tsubozuke pickles, turning your donburi into a full dining experience.

Soba, the Buckwheat Delight: Dive into our soba options, featuring buckwheat noodles known for their health benefits. Choose between hot and cold soba paired with tempura or indulge in the rich flavorful broth of their must-try Niku Soba. This soba has noodles in Kake Dashi broth with beef slices, organic egg yolk and spring onion that gives the umami flavor, bringing together a unique taste and texture experience

Refreshing Citrus Drinks: Complement your meal with our Yuzu series beverages, offering choices from peach, raspberry, rose lemonade, to ginger beer, for a refreshing finish.

Hideto Nishijima says the introduction of Don Don Tei to the Philippine market is a milestone in their mission to share the joy of Japanese cuisine. “We’ve seen how food brings people together, and through Don Don Tei, we aim to offer a slice of Osaka’s culinary excellence to Filipino diners. Our dishes are a testament to our dedication to authenticity, quality, and the universal appeal of simple, good food.”

As Don Don Tei prepares to welcome guests in Manila, it promises not just a meal, but an experience that marries the best of Japanese tradition with flavors that resonate with the Filipino palate.

“Just like our CEO Atsushi Mukumoto, we believe that at Don Don Tei, we’re not just serving food; we’re offering a journey to the heart of Osaka, ensuring each dish reflects the authenticity and culinary heritage of Japanese cuisine. We look forward to becoming a beloved part of the Philippines’ diverse culinary landscape,” Hideto Nishijima stressed.

Congratulations Don Don Tei and thank you for having me!

Follow me @ruthilicious for more stories!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *