Rice bowls are really convenient, and not to mention somewhat healthy. But sometimes they cost more than I would like; it’s not a habit of mine to splurge on food, which means I often miss out on consuming these delightful bowls.
As with any story, there are heroes. In this case, these heroes come in the form of kind souls who sell their rice bowls at affordable prices. It would be selfish of me not to share them with you, so here are 10 Dons for $10 or less.
1. Yakiniku Beef With Sous Vide Egg (Nuevo Cafe)
It’s not every day you get to see a quality beef donburi at $8.50, but Nuevo Cafe a stone throw away from Paya Lebar MRT manages to do just that.
Their Yakiniku Beef with Sous Vide Egg ($8.50) features fork tender beef coated in a sweet teriyaki glaze. The portion of the beef is definitely not stingy, considering the bowl’s price point. Mix the runny egg in and you’ll have yourself a decadent rice bowl
Nuevo Cafe: 115 Eunos Avenue 3, Singapore 409839 | Tel: +65 9632 6045 | Opening Hours: 8am – 10pm (Daily) | Facebook
2. Wagyu Roast Beef Donburi (Gyu Nami)
Another place you can visit to get your beef bowl fix is Gyu Nami located in Amoy Street Food Centre. The thing about this hawker concept is that they only have one item on the menu, Wagyu Roast Beef Donburi ($10).
The filling rice bowl is presented with thin slices of beef wrapped around a mound of rice and then adorned with three different sauces. While you might think the flavours of three sauces may be too contrasting or dissonant, the sauces worked really well together.
Gyu Nami: Amoy Street Food Centre, 7 Maxwell Road, #02-126, Singapore 069111 | Opening Hours: (Mon – Sat) 11am – 3pm (or till sold out), closed on Sundays | Facebook
3. Mentaiko Salmon Rice Bowl (Lagoon in a Bowl)
Lagoon in a Bowl has the same one-item-menu concept as its neighbouring stall. Although they’re not exactly located side by side, both are located in Amoy Street Food Centre.
The Mentaiko Salmon Rice Bowl ($10) comes with a myriad of health benefits stemming from the butterfly pea tea infused into the Japanese rice. It’s also great value for money, considering the size of the salmon fillet you get with each bowl.
Lagoon in a Bowl: #01-48 7 Maxwell Road, Amoy Street Food Centre, Singapore 069111 | Tel: +65 9119 2619 | Opening Hours: 11am – 3pm (Mon – Sat), Closed on Sun | Facebook
4. Mentaiko Salmon Don (Don.档)
Don is a hawker stall along Foch road which sells a simpler version of the Mentaiko Salmon Don ($9.90) without any additional frills. That’s not to say that it’s any less good. In fact, this don ticks all the boxes when it comes to what you look for in a don.
The size of the bowl is just enough to let you fill your tummy. It also comes with a large slab of fresh, tender salmon accompanied by an onsen egg and some pickled vegetables to help to cut the richness of the mentaiko sauce.
Don.档: #01-02 30 Foch Road, Singapore 209276 | Tel: +65 9180 0955 | Opening Hours: 11am – 9.30pm (Daily) | Facebook
5. Chicken Tendon (Natsu)
When it comes to crispy fried tempura resting on piping hot steamed rice, Natsu will satisfy your cravings for under $10. The variety of tempura at Natsu is honestly pretty impressive, with a good selection of seafood, meats, and vegetables available.
For chicken lovers, the Chicken Tendon ($7.90) will be right up your alley. This tendon comes with a generous portion of chicken tempura on top of other tempura items.
If that’s not your thing, the Veggie Tendon & Onsen Egg ($5.90) is another fantastic option.
Natsu: #B1-K17 The Clementi Mall, 3155 Commonwealth Avenue West, Singapore 129588 | Opening Hours: 10am – 9.30pm (Daily) | Facebook
6. Tendon (TendonGo!)
Another quality tendon you can get for less than $10 is from TendonGo!, located in the food court of Gleneagles hospital. I know it might sound odd, visiting a hospital for the food.
But this hearty tendon will clear up all your doubts and make the trip worth it for you. One bowl comes with ingredients such as lotus root, marinated egg, fish, and shrimp to name a few.
Staying within the $10 budget, you can either opt for the Light ($8.80), or Regular ($9.80) sized dons depending on how hungry you feel.
TendonGo!: #02-21/22 Gleneagles Hospital, 6A Napier Road, Singapore 258500 | Tel: +65 9654 8612 | Opening Hours: 7am – 10pm (Daily) | Facebook
7. Curry Don (Ho-Jiak)
For something that will warm you up from the inside, head to Ho-Jiak along Anson road. This stall sells curry dons at prices that won’t have your wallet crying out for mercy.
They also put a spin on curry dons, so instead of regular katsu curry dons, expect lighter meat items like Pork Shoulder Shabu ($8.90).
The Beef Knuckle Shabu ($9.90) came with a generous portion of tender beef slices. Each piece of beef was so robust and had that umami kick which helped to balance out the sweetness of the curry.
You don’t have to worry about the don getting too boring as the furikake added gives the don an added dimension of flavour.
Ho-Jiak: #02-01 Fuji Xerox Tower, 80 Anson Road, Singapore 079907 | Tel: +65 9298 2896 | Opening Hours: 10am – 6pm (Mon – Fri) , Closed on Sat & Sun | Website
8. Unagi Don (Genki Sushi)
Genki Sushi is often known for its long queues and its efficient and fascinating delivery system. What not many people give them credit for, is just how affordable their dons are.
I know that eating dons at a sushi joint may not be the first thing that occurs to you, but their dons are simple, affordable, and of decent quality. It’s not every day you’ll find an unagi don with a large slab of fresh eel for $9.80.
9. Kaisen Don (Teppei Syokudo)
If you love Kaisen Don as much as I do, you’ll know how pricey some of them can get. Sometimes, you won’t have any control over what seafood goes into the mix. Thankfully, Teppei Syokudo has its ways to make the Kaisen Don truly your own.
The Small ($8.80) Kaisen Don comes with a selection of two kinds of seafood of your choice, tossed with their house seasoning and piled on top of steaming white rice.
Granted, this may not be the most filling don but I find it more than enough to curb my Kaisen Don cravings.
Teppei Syokudo:#B4-57 ION Orchard, 2 Orchard Turn, Singapore 238801 | Tel: +65 6509 9882 | Opening Hours: 10am – 10pm (Daily) | Facebook
10. Smoked Duck Don (Hokey Poki)
As its name suggests, Hokey Poki specialises in Poke. However, their smoked duck rice bowls are also worth trying. For $9.90, you’ll get a generous portion of torched smoked duck and three toppings of your choice, served over chewy purple rice.
There’s a slight sweetness to the purple rice, which helps to counter the intense saltiness of the smoked duck. You can amp up the sweetness of the don by opting for toppings such as pineapple or corn.
If not, complete your rice bowl with a runny onsen egg which will tie in every component together.
Rice bowls are super convenient and wholesome meals which you can consume in a flash. Now, there are even wallet-friendly options. So hop on the bandwagon and DON’t miss out on these amazing deals.