Born out of love for discovering and exploring the food scene, it wouldn't come as a surprise that these group of friends would venture in a restaurant. They only aim for 3 things – value-for-money dishes, great atmosphere and superb customer service. When scanning the menu, you'll see that it's divided into Donburis and Baos, hence, its name Don Bao. And these are what sets them apart from the others as they have a variety of dons and baos.
Donburi or Don is a traditional Japanese rice bowl dish which usually has meat, seafood, vegetables or other ingredients served over warm Japanese rice. There are currently 8 types of dons which people are used to. You can also see that there are 8 types of bao on the menu which is where they played around with the flavors and ingredients.
Other than the dons and baos, there are a number of flavorful Japanese dishes – both on the traditional side and modern – to sample. The Spam Musubi (P110) is a popular snack and lunch food in Hawaii but it has a Japanese touch because of the nori it uses to wrap the Spam on top of the block of rice. There's also the Sliders (P170) which are bite-sized treats to munch on and is new on the menu. But the winner of them all is the Kani Nachos (P180) which is a personal favorite. They fry thinly-sliced potatoes, top them with crabsticks and drizzle with Japanese mayonnaise and cheese. Definitely something to tick off of your food bucketlist.
Everything on the menu doesn't go beyond P300, including these big bowls of rice topped with an assortment of meat. Their best-sellers are the Crispy Chicken Don (P230) with a serving of cabbage drizzled with their signature Japanese mayo dressing. The Special Tendon (P290) is a no-brainer when you love seafood – kani and prawn. It would be a sin if you don't get this!
Aside from these donburis being huge in serving, they still offer an unlimited Japanese rice promo. You get unli Japanese rice without spending more than P300! What a good deal, right?
Speaking of unli rice, it goes pretty well with the Buta Sisig Don (P260). It's the same Filipino food favorite with a Japanese touch. There's also the Hamburger Curry Don (P270) which would make you order for more rice because of the curry sauce. Every bowl is great for sharing or for one hungry customer (we won't judge).
All their baos are sold at P120 but you can get it at P200 when you buy two of them. One of their best-sellers is the Crazy Bao which they entered in the Ultimate Taste Test and won 3rd place. It would be, in my opinion, the most Japanese-tasting bao on their menu as it has kani in eel sauce, Japanese mayonnaise, tempura flakes, tobiko (flying fish roe) and spring onions. All of their baos have interesting names and elements but the P. King Bao which is also a best-seller and a definite must-try would remind you of something to celebrate. It's their version of the Peking Duck, having all the elements of the dish but replacing duck with chicken.
There are only two spicy baos on the menu. The mild Bao Chicka Bao Bao has chicken katsu, housemade kimchi, coriander and black sesame. But if you're one who can handle spicy really well, the Fire Bao will be your favorite bun. It has slices of pork katsu, cabbage, pickled vegetables drizzled with sriracha mayonnaise. To ease the heat, order the Cheesy Bao which is one of the two beef baos on the menu. It has gyuniku, onion rings, spring onions and, well, cheese.
Don Bao being a Japanese restaurant can't be without a bowl of ramen. Right now, the Tonkotsu Original (P295) is the only ramen available but there's a choice for a spicy one if you want some heat. They really don't see themselves expanding their ramen menu yet since they're really focused on rice bowls and buns.
Make sure you still have room for dessert! There are only three kinds of desserts available. All of which are fried baos which is the highlight of the restaurant. Take for example this Fried Bao with Nutella S'mores (P95); they fry the bao and slather on Nutella, toast the marshmallow and sprinkle with graham crumbs. There's also the Fried Bao with Ice Cream and Salted Caramel (P95) and Fried Bao with Milo and Condensed Milk.