Kapitolyo is one of my favorite food trip destinations being able to work near the area for almost five years. And since it was like eon ago since I last visited it, I was more than excited to discover a new restaurant in the place called Don Bao.
After indulging myself with King One’s hotpot at Macapagal Ave., I hurriedly went to Don Bao where my blogger friends, Jerro (GourManila) and Marge (Coffeehan), were already waiting. A bit late, I arrived with the donburis and baos already served in our table – in a lusciously beautiful arrangement.
Don Bao: Donburi + Bao
Don Bao is a combination of the two words “donburi” and “bao”. As you might expect, they offer an assortment of donburi and bao that can satisfy various tastebuds. Don Bao opened its doors to Kapitolyo’s foodie neighborhood last November 2016. It was founded by a group of young entrepreneurs who happen to be good friends as well – Kevin Te, Carl Ventura, Larrissa Ong and Melissa Tan.
Kevin and Carl joined and chatted with us while we eat. I like how our conversation felt so natural which made me think of the casual vibe of the place. Unlike some Japanese restaurants that are quite intimidating, Don Bao sets a relaxing atmosphere. It’s a very chill hangout place where you would invite good, old friends.
I was actually overwhelmed with the delectable sight of donburis and baos in our table – I was confused which one to try first. But since I’ve read their bao winning the Ultimate Taste Test 2016, I started to grab and switch from one bao to another.
The Seven Baos
Bao is simply a steamed bun filled with different ingredients like vegetables and meat. Stuffed buns sound so ordinary but not until you come across the ones from Don Bao. Seven baos were served to us, each with distinct flavor. I like how Don Bao put different combinations of ingredients that made each bao deliciously unique.
Piggy Bao Ride (PHP)
Let’s start with the Piggy Bao Ride. Katsu lovers will take so much delight on this bun consisting of pork katsu, cabbage and nori covered by teriyaki sauce. I’m not a huge fan of seaweeds but adding strips of nori on top of the pork katsu is a different story.
P. King Bao (PHP120)
Imagine grilled chicken, cucumber, crushed prawn crackers and spring onions sandwiched all at the same time in a soft bun. That’s P. King Bao! And did I tell you it’s smeared with hoisin sauce? Legit flavor overload!
Good Morning Bao (PHP120)
The only bao I ever tried with cornflakes – the Good Morning Bao! Mixed with gyumiku, scrambled egg and tobiko with the addition of garlic mayonnaise, it will really make your morning right.
Go Fish! Bao (PHP120)
As interesting as the Good Morning Bao is the Go Fish! Bao – a crispy fish tempura in sweet sauce and miso mayonnaise topped with coriander, bonjo flakes and pickled ginger. Healthy peeps rejoice with this bao!
Crazy Bao (PHP120)
Wait, there’s more! Get insane with Crazy Bao combining kani in eel sauce, tempura flakes, tobiko, and spring onions covered in Japanese mayonnaise. Salute to the generous shreds of Kani! Now I know why this bao won the Ultimate Taste Test. Again, healthy peeps rejoice! I can eat Crazy Bao everyday.
Bao Chicka Bao Bao (PHP120)
Another bao with a katsu treat is the Bao Chicka Bao Bao. It is comprised of chicken katsu, kimchi, coriander and black sesame. I think I’d prefer this over the Piggy Bao Ride.
Fire Bao (PHP120)
Katsu lovers can celebrate even more with Fire Bao – bao filled with pork katsu, cabbage and pickles even made tastier with sriracha mayonnaise. Between the two pork katsu baos, I’d definitely choose Fire Bao.
Making the other half of Don Bao’s name is donburi. Don or donburi is a Japanese rice bowl made with different toppings like chicken, pork and vegetables. For an affordable price, Don Bao generously serves a delicious bowl of Japanese rice. How generous? You actually get unlimited Japanese rice – you read that right! After tasting all their baos, we tried three of their dons.
Hamburger Curry Don (PHP270)
When we went to Japan in 2013, we eat curry almost everyday. Don Bao’s Hamburger Curry Don reminded me of those happy curry days. I like how the tasty beef patty with the mildly spicy curry sauce come together in a scrumptious bowl.
Chicken Teriyaki Don (PHP220)
With Chicken Teriyaki Don, your Japanese rice is topped with grilled boneless chicken served with sweet teriyaki sauce and Japanese mayonnaise.
Crispy Chicken Don (PHP 230)
Another katsu treat from Don Bao is their Crispy Chicken Don topped with shredded cabbage and sauce.
Wagyu Beef Cubes
Aside from the baos and donburis, we had Wagyu Beef Cubes. Juicy and tender, I’d tell you, you should not missed it when visiting Don Bao! Pair it with a bottle of Asahi beer.
Just as we thought we had so much of great food, they served us with their bao desserts – Fried Bao with Milo and Condensed Milk and Fried Bao with Nutella S’mores.
I don’t really drink alcoholic beverages especially beer – I only do for corporate events. Not knowing what to expect, Sake Bomb sounded so cool! And it did looked cool as we saw them prepare it. On top of a glass of beer are two chopsticks placed in parallel position. In between the chopsticks, a shot glass of sake is placed. Someone needs to slam the table with the fist where the glasses are put that would cause the sake to fall into the beer.
Kevin did the slamming for us and told us to drink the beer immediately, bottoms up. And guess what? I did it! It was my first time to finish straight a glass of beer (especially because I can’t really finish one). It was such a fun finale!
How to Get There
Address: Unit 1 Brixton Victoria Plaza, #1 Brixton Street, Brgy. Kapitolyo, Pasig City
Operating Hours: Mon-Sun, 11AM-12AM
Contact No.: 0998-8638671
Disclosure: Food was courtesy of Don Bao. Nevertheless, I wrote this article with my own insights influenced by my personal experience.