Onnki Donburi is bringing a dish that’s been overcomplicated by some back to its humble roots: the bowl. “Onn” means “warm” and “ki” means bowl, and donburi is a traditional Japanese rice bowl dish. It doesn’t get much simpler than that.
In a town where overzealous chefs tend to pack bowl dishes full of superfoods, multiple types of grains, and ingredients that sometimes just don’t seem to go together, here at Onnki Donburi you get a couple basic options like pork, salmon, shrimp, chicken or beef.
The interior is very minimal, perhaps a tad too minimal and bright lighting a bit harsh with all the white, but perhaps this will drive others away from a quick and reasonable lunch at this tucked away spot.
Karaage ($4.90) is one item on a limited menu of typical Japanese tapas which also includes miso soup and seaweed salad.
The crunchy, satisfying chicken is drizzled with a little mayo and scattered with some scallions in a typical fashion.
Galbi Don ($12.90) is a rice bowl topped with Korean-style short rib, large half-moons of daikon, shredded cabbage, and onsen tamago (a soft-cooked egg that adds creaminess and richness) topped with sesame seeds. The galbi is served on the bone, but it tears off nicely.
The Sake Lover ($12.90) is popular likely as much for its pretty presentation of raw salmon as its close resemblance to sake don, a sushi dish of simple salmon sashimi on a bed of sushi rice. Here a clump of wasabi, pickled ginger and a nicely punchy wasabi mayo kick this bowl up a notch.
The Buta Fire ($10.90) is also awesome, pork belly sauced with a house soy they blend extra ingredients into on site. There are no bones to contend with here, just some simple acidic onions and crunchy cabbage.
It’s so named because they torch the pork belly as they pan fry it in the open kitchen that takes centre stage at this simple restaurant.
Co-owners Terry Tae Yeun Lee and Chef J are shooting for a liquor license, researching and developing a lineup of more tapas items for the menu here. In the meantime, seek out this hidden gem for their limited quantities of Magic Chashu (pork belly and egg yolk) and Ebi Triple (deep-fried shrimp) bowls.