Love Me Tendon-ly: Tempura Trove Opens At Bugis+

Hot dish alert: Chilli crab tempura rice bowl

Photos: Don Meijin

For an area whose name hollers its specialty dish, Ramen Champion has dished out a surprising new addition to its directory. Don Meijin touts itself as a specialist in Japanese rice bowls, offering a variety of donburi in its menu – from the well-known katsudon (deep-fried pork cutlet rice) to the increasingly popular tendon (tempura rice).

But what stands out when you dine here are the unique twists on regular donburi dining. These flairs add an extra flavour – literally – to the already yummy bowls.

Tendon top-ups

A must-try is the Signature Tendon ($13.80), the original iteration with a heap of crisp-fried tempura – including two chewy and fresh black tiger prawns prepared by the chef from scratch every day – topped by a drizzle of sweet tempura sauce.

But did you know there’s another way to enjoy this classic dish? If you’re one who loves your rice, add the Ochazuke Set ($2). Polish off the tempura, and mix the rice crisps and wasabi into the remaining rice. Then, pour the piping-hot dashi soup to enjoy your donburi in a totally different way – much like the locals do in Japan.

For its opening special, the restaurant is offering the Signature Tendon for just $8.80, until 12 Feb.

For an added oomph to your tempura, try the restaurant’s marquee dish, the Singapore-inspired Spicy Chilli Crab Tendon ($14.80). Instead of sweet sauce, this donburi is coated in a generous helping of homemade spicy chilli crab sauce, which has been boiled for four hours and filled with snow crab chunks.

The sauce is slightly on the spicy side, so to avoid being overpowered, request to have the sauce served separately as a dip instead.

Thousand layers of taste

Rather than serving the usual deep-fried pork loin seen in regular katsudon dishes, Don Meijin’s chef has innovated the Mille Feuille Katsu Don ($12.80). The pork cutlet uses a total of 14 layers of marinated loin meat that has been thinly sliced, then coated with large breadcrumbs.

The result? A crunchy first bite, before your teeth sink into a burst of juice and flavour within.

Don Meijin, #04-10 Bugis+, 201 Victoria Street.

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