Donburi: Authentic Japanese Specialty in Cairo’s Citystars
Citystars, Phase 1
The simplicity of the venue is, impressively, faithful to Japanese aesthetics; clean light wood counters, light wood high chairs and noren – the traditional Japanese fabric – curtains hung alongside the walls. But we were exuberant when we found that the philosophy of maintaining cultural authenticity extended to the food as well.
Donburi aims to deliver Japanese tastes as the Japanese identify and enjoy them in Japan, and the first thing they do right is that they use the correct ingredients.
The chicken in the oyakodon was definitely a top quality cut: it was soft, tender, flavourful and well matched with the eggs and onion. On the tekkadon, we were surprised to find ten whole cuts of the sesame-encrusted tuna. The cuts were marbled, which speaks for itself in terms of the quality. The steamed rice of the tekkadon was flavoured like sushi rice to complement the seared tuna and was accompanied by avocado slices and a hard-boiled egg in the shape of a fish, as well as wasabi in the shape of a leaf and Kikkoman soy sauce. The resulting combination was marvellous, to say the least.
Even though we were very full from the henerous portions of the mains, we were so impressed we decided to try the desserts as well. We ordered the zenzai (30LE), a sweet red bean porridge with rice cakes, and an order of ‘daigakumo’ (22LE), or caramelised sweet potatoes, was served on the house.
We found the zenzai a bit too sweet, but the perfect gelatinous texture of the rice cakes were enough to leave us satisfied nonetheless. The caramelised sweet potatoes were not as crispy as we’d hoped, but the sweetness of the dish still provided a perfect finish to our dinner.
Donburi provides one of the most pleasant and satisfying eating experience for Asian food in all of Cairo. A little bird told us that Donburi is set to roll out some new menu items, including Japanese croquettes and ‘yakitori’, and we can’t wait to go back and indulge ourselves in their wholesome, authentically Japanese deliciousness.