Onigirazu Don: Bite-size onigiri sandwiches & yummy $3.50 donburi at Senja Hawker Centre

Newly-opened Senja Hawker Centre isn’t the most accessible around, especially given that it’s snuggled in Bukit Panjang. However, its impressive array of offerings, such as Onigirazu Don, a Japanese hawker stall specialising in onigiri sandwiches, might just win you over.

Onigirazu Don 16 - senja hawker centre

Senja Hawker Centre officially opened on 11 Dec 2022, sporting 580 seats and close to 30 hawker stalls, ranging from Michelin-recommended Heng Gi Goose & Duck Rice to the ever-famous Amoy St Lor Mee.

It was my first time at the spanking new hawker centre and I was super impressed. It was brighter and more airy than I thought, with massively high ceilings and large fans that generated plenty of cool air throughout the place.

Onigirazu Don 15 - storefront

Run by Jacky and Felicia, a husband-and-wife duo, Onigirazu Don was a home-based business before the pair decided to venture into the hawker scene. 

Yet, despite having famous hawker stalls as its neighbours, Onigirazu Don seems to be holding its own perfectly fine. It’s no wonder, as Jacky has clocked over 10 years of F&B experience, while pastry-trained Felicia has worked in places such as InterContinental Singapore. 

What I tried at Onigirazu Don

Onigirazu Don 05 - onigirazu

Onigirazu is a variation of the humble onigiri. In Japanese, “zu” is used to negate a verb, and in this context, it means to form an onigiri but without moulding it into a ball. And there you have it— the onigirazu, which is essentially an onigiri, but in a sandwich form.

Onigirazu Don offers 4 types of onigirazu, and we decided to order the Spam & Cheese (S$3.50) and Wafuyo Smoked Duck (S$5).

Onigirazu Don 07 - spam onigirazu

The cheapest onigirazu on Onigirazu Don’s menu, Spam & Cheese, came with 2 slabs of pan-fried spam, several pieces of dashimaki tamagoyaki, cheddar cheese, shredded lettuce, mayonnaise, pickles, all of which were packed neatly between rice and a sheet of nori.

Onigirazu Don 08 - spam onigirazu

Though its ingredients were relatively straightforward, there was just something hearty and classic about pan-fried spam that made me enjoy this onigirazu very much. 

The spam had a delectably crisp exterior, while its well-needed saltiness went hand-in-hand with the moist and sticky rice. The dashimaki tamagoyaki was mildly sweet, while the crunchy pickles were piquant. 

As I had fully expected the onigirazu to fall apart due to the nature of how it’s packed, I was pleasantly surprised when everything was still intact after multiple bites.

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Onigirazu Don 07 - spam onigirazu

I moved on to my second onigirazu, the Wafuyo Smoked Duck. The major components of the onigirazu remained the same, except for the choice of meat— instead of slabs of spam, I counted 4 thick strips of smoked duck.

Onigirazu Don 09 - smoked duck onigirazu

While the duck was smoky and meaty, I found it slightly disappointing because as compared to the Spam & Cheese, the Wafuyo Smoked Duck tasted flatter as a whole, and the ingredients didn’t gel together as perfectly.

After some deliberation, my dining companion and I figured that it must’ve been the saltiness from the spam that saturated the rice around it, creating consistently all-rounded savoury flavours with each bite.

Onigirazu Don 04 - oyakodon

While the onigirazus might be perfect for a mid-day snack or even for brunch, Onigirazu Don also offers donburis and Japanese curry for those craving a heftier meal.

We decided to try its Oyako Don, which instantly caught our attention due to its S$3.50 price tag. Turns out, there’s no meat in Onigirazu Don’s Oyako Don— just rice, eggs, onions, pickles, cabbage and rice.

Onigirazu Don 13 - oyakodon

Despite not having any meat, the Oyako Don was still worth its affordable price tag. Not only was I given a generous amount of rice, the eggs and onions had been simmered in a dashi-based broth, creating a delicious savouriness that paired well with the white rice.

I’d figure that this would be great for vegetarians or diners who wish to opt out of meat, but if you can’t live without your meat, go for Onigirazu Don’s other options like Yakiniku Beef Oyako Don (S$7.90).

Onigirazu Don 03 - katsu curry udon

To round off our meal, we got Onigirazu Don’s Chicken Katsu Curry Udon (S$6.90), which came with plenty of crispy katsu, udon, pickles and dashimaki tamago.

Onigirazu Don 10 - katsu Onigirazu Don 12 - curry udon

This was one of our favourite meals of the day. The chicken katsu remained deliciously crispy even though it had been covered in curry gravy, and not to mention, Onigirazu Don had been incredibly generous with the amount of katsu.

The hero of the whole dish, the curry sauce, hit the spot. Rich and flavourful, each slurp of udon was filled with umami salty notes. Every strand of udon was coated gorgeously in glossy curry, and each mouthful came together in a substantial and savoury way.

Final thoughts

Onigirazu Don 01 - onigirazu

I loved that Onigirazu Don sold complete meals like oyakodon and curry dishes, as well as bite-sized snacks in the form of onigirazu. This means no matter whether you’re craving something light to whet your appetite or a meal that’s filling for lunch, Onigirazu Don’s options are there to meet your needs.

There was something so simple about the onigirazu that won me over, and I can imagine having this for breakfast everyday. Though note that Onigirazu Don only starts its day at 11am, so I suppose that would have to be for brunch or a tea break instead.

Oh, if only it wasn’t so far away in the West of Singapore!

Expected damage: S$3.50 – S$9 per pax

10 best places to eat when bustling along the Downtown Line

Price: $

Our Rating: 4 / 5

Onigirazu Don

2 Senja Close, Senja Hawker Centre, #02-04, Singapore 677632

Price
Our Rating 4/5

Onigirazu Don

2 Senja Close, Senja Hawker Centre, #02-04, Singapore 677632

Telephone: +65 8793 7244
Operating Hours: 11am - 9pm (Daily)
Telephone: +65 8793 7244

Operating Hours: 11am - 9pm (Daily)
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