Flaming Don 烤丼 : When Yakiniku and Donburi make merry

Flaming Don   is the latest dining concept by Creative Eateries, the same company that spearheads popular brands such as Bangkok Jam, Suki-Ya and Barossa Bar and Restaurant. As its name suggests, Flaming Don specialises in Japanese rice bowls and strives to provide high quality ones at affordable prices.

The restaurant takes on a self-service concept, whereby customers use kiosks to order their food and make payment. A receipt that displays their queue number will then be printed. While waiting for the food to be prepared, diners can help themselves to free-flow miso soup and beverages. When the food is ready, the corresponding queue number will flash on the screen displaying in front of the pick-up counter. Diners can then collect their food and dig in!

We started our meal with a side of Agedashi Tofu ($4.90), which was served in a portion of 4 and topped generously with bonito flakes. Crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, it's a pleasant way to start off the meal.

We were then presented with the Signature Flaming Beef Don ($17.90) and were ecstatic at the sight of a generous portion of beef cubes topped with a runny onsen egg, fried garlic and mizuna leaf. As we broke the egg, mixed the components of the dish together and eagerly took a taste, it was heartening to discover that the dish tasted as delightfully voluptuous as its image. We took extreme delight at how the beef cubes were extremely tender and exhibited adequate seasoning while the fried garlic was superbly fragrant and had a satisfying crunch to it.

Next came the Australian Wagyu Don ($19.90) and we were optimistic about it. The beef slices seemed to be of a perfect medium-rareness and everything we would ask for in a Wagyu Don. However it was disappointing that the beef slices took quite an effort to chew throughout despite the premium cut of beef used. We held our reservations and the meal ensued.

Moving on to the pork does, we pigged out (geddit?) on the Miso Buta Yaki Don ($9.90) first! The presentation of the dish was extremely appealing, enhanced by seductive grill marks imprinted on the pork slices. As we tried the pork slices, we came to a stark realisation that the fat layers were particularly tedious to chew through and the meat layers retained a certain undesirable dryness.

While beef hamburgs are one of the newest food trends to hit Singapore, Flaming Don are quick to jump on the bandwagon with their own rendition of Japanese Pork Hamburger Don ($14.90). However, after a quick deliberation, we concluded that the pork patty was dry and lacking in seasoning. Regardless, the combination of pork patty, teriyaki drizzle and creamy omelette was a match made in heaven.

Although the Salmon Don ($13.90) is the only seafood based rice bowl offered, it proved to be a stalwart in its category. The salmon both flaky and moist at the same time. We revelled in the combination of the salmon, onsen egg, broccoli and soft Californian rice. Simplicity rules in this configuration.

Apart from rice bowls, the restaurant also offers a variety of ramen, including Char Siew Ramen ($14.90) and Flaming Chicken Ramen ($12.90). Each bowl of ramen comes fashioned with an agitama egg, spring onions, bamboo shoots and the meat of your choice. We tried the Char Siew Ramen and were pleasantly surprised by the richness of the broth, supplemented by black garlic oil for an extra 'oomph'. The Ramen noodles were cooked till al dente, and the char siew slices immaculately thin. It is unquestionably good option for diners who prefer an alternative to rice bowls.

Visit the joint located on the 5th floor of Bugis+ for other more wallet friendly donburi bowls that won't have you footing more than $10 for a tummy-filling meal!

Flaming Don 烤丼
201 Victoria Street
#05-02/03 Bugis+ Singapore
t: 6835 7019

Operating Hours:
Daily: 12pm - 10pm

Words and photos by Belinda Yong who wishes that every time of the day is food o' clock. She loves trying new cuisines and creations,  and prays hard for a higher metabolism.

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