Down for donburi at Don Meijin

The Mille Feuille Katsu Don is actually a patty made out of 14 slices of thin pork loin layered one on top of another.
The Mille Feuille Katsu Don is actually a patty made out of 14 slices of thin pork loin layered one on top of another.PHOTO: YEOH WEE TECK
 The Spicy Chilli Crab Tendon offers chunks of snow crab.
The Spicy Chilli Crab Tendon offers chunks of snow crab. PHOTO: YEOH WEE TECK
The Signature Tendon does not offer new flavours or textures.
The Signature Tendon does not offer new flavours or textures. PHOTO: YEOH WEE TECK
The sauce for the Pork Shogoyaki Don is much too sweet.
The sauce for the Pork Shogoyaki Don is much too sweet. PHOTO: YEOH WEE TECK

Thanks to Don Meijin, I made my way back to Ramen Champion in Bugis+.

I am amazed it is still around, considering the many speciality Japanese restaurants that are already in Singapore.

This is proof that the easiest way to excite a Singaporean palate is to say the word "Japanese".

I love how cutthroat Ramen Champion is about its tenants.

  • DON MEIJIN, RAMEN CHAMPION 

  • WHERE: Bugis+
    OPENING HOURS:  Weekdays 11am to 10.30pm, weekends 10.30am to 10.30pm
    TEL: 6238-1011

Each year, the worst performing one - based on sales and public votes - will get the boot and a new stall moves in.

Don Meijin is the latest entry into Ramen Champion. And it has a good chance of survival.

It sells mainly donburi, and it has a couple of standout items that should keep customers happy.

The highlight of my meal was not the much-promoted Spicy Chilli Crab Tendon, but the Mille Feuille Katsu Don ($12.80).

It does not look extraordinary from the outside, but this is actually a patty made out of 14 slices of thin pork loin layered one on top of another, like a savoury kueh lapis.

It is coated with a batter made with breadcrumbs, then deep-fried.

The patty is moist and light, going perfectly well with the runny omelette under it.

You will not even want the rice.

This is not to say that the Spicy Chilli Crab Tendon ($14.80) is not worth eating .

The sweet and spicy sauce is what you will get with any chilli crab dish at the zi char stall.

The sauce is also filled with chunks of snow crab, which adds to the flavour.

This is not one for the traditionalist, but a delightful attempt at integrating local tastes.

I thought the Signature Tendon ($13.80) was ordinary.

The tempura was crisp and the prawns used were fresh. Still, there was nothing new in terms of textures or flavours.

But once the dashi is added to the rice - along with rice crisps and wasabi - the porridge-like dish becomes comforting.

You'll need to pay an extra $2 for the dashi, but it's worth it.

The one dish I am certain I won't want to try again is the Pork Shogayaki Don ($12.80).

The sliced pork collar was covered by a very sweet sauce - from the mirin - and I tasted none of the ginger or soya sauce that was supposed to be present.

This will appeal to those with a sweet tooth but it left a sour taste in my mouth.