Dojo: All-pork burger joint serves return-worthy items

SINGAPORE - (THE NEW PAPER) Dojo is an all-pork burger restaurant that opened about a month ago.

It is a tiny place - seats about 30 - near Boat Quay.

I love the audacity of it being a one-protein stop. But Dojo's courage is not misplaced because it serves return-worthy items.

Not every pork dish is equal though. I look for fattiness, juiciness, and that "porky" smell must not overwhelm.

Most of the items on Dojo's small menu were pleasing. There are eight burgers, two sandwiches, two salads and eight snacks offered, so variety may not be Dojo's selling point.

But the flavours from the dishes won me over.

I was told that it's crazy during lunchtime so if you're planning to take your time to enjoy the burgers, going for dinner is best.

Dojo is a self-service place, so there is no GST or service charge.

OILY ON OILY

The Komba Bao ($6) is a play on the classic kong bak pau (or braised pork slider). The marinade was too sweet. But the crispy mantou was a fun touch, and it's an oily piece of pork in an oily bun.

NOT SO LITTLE

Don't expect anything petite from the Little Dragon ($12). There's a piece of pork chop stuffed into the burger. The good thing is that it doesn't feel too heavy and the pork paired well with the cheese.

HEAVY, BUT LIGHT

Of the burgers, the Hadoken ($13) impressed me most. The pork patty was fatty and surprisingly light, even though it was heavy on additions, with a spicy chilli meat sauce, diced onions, cheese and crunchy strips of bacon.

BIG BITE

All burgers come with fries and a drink but you can top up for special fries. We added chilli fries (additional $2) with our Sumo ($13) burger.

The Sumo features a pork patty, roasted sesame dressing, crispy batter-fried pork belly and a salad. It is hefty, making it tough to eat all the elements in each bite. And because it has so many components, the taste came off muddled.

FAVOURITE

My favourite item at Dojo is not a burger but the delicious Pork Grillets ($6). It is fatty pork in a salty, dark soy marinade (the owner declined to elaborate on the recipe), served with a honey mustard dip. The dip didn't add much to the dish.

WHAT: Dojo
WHERE: 72 Circular Road #12-01
WHEN: Monday to Saturday 11am to 3pm, 6pm to 10pm. Closed on Sunday and public holiday.


This article was first published on Nov 19, 2014.
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