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Jan 11, 2012 12:17 PM

dondon izakaya

It's early, what with the restaurant only being in the process of a soft opening, but has anyone been to this Dundas/Bay joint?

Though I'm a huge fan of both Fin and Guu, I work at University and Dundas- if Dondon's good, it'd be hella-convenient. Plus it's fun to say: "Dondon".

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  1. Since nobody's asked yet I will. Japanese or Chinese owned?

    2 Replies
    1. re: TexSquared

      Beats me. Place just opened.

      From what I can see from Facebook, whoever's running the place (or just the FB page?) is fluent in Japanese.

      1. re: TexSquared

        Toronto Life had a little write up about this place a while ago. There are 3 owners, one of whom is Japanese. But it's the chauffeur service that's intriguing.

      2. Here's a very early positive review from a private New Year's party:


        Apparently Daisuke Izutsu is the head chef! (previously Kaiseki Sakura)

        2 Replies
          1. re: Wench Foraday

            Thanks for that bit of information. This place should succeed.

          2. Food looks good, competition is always good for rising the standard. I will be there soon the next time I down a few southern tier ipas, good drunk snacks.

            The decor is, how shall I put it lightly, high quality chinese bootleg eames chair good. It looks different but at the same time just like Guu.

            2 Replies
            1. re: aser

              "high quality chinese bootleg eames chair good" That may be my favourite decor description of all time. :)

              Looking forward to trying this place. My favourite meals in New York are at the many izakayas and robata grills scattered throughout the city. So the more, the merrier here in TO.

              1. re: aser

                I went last night.

                It's too early to judge the food and service, which have the usual opening kinks to work out. The room was beautiful though, especially when you think of the mess that was One Up.

              2. I ate here tonight. Great decor and friendly young staff. Not as loud as Guu but still boisterous. Attentive and helpful service as expected for a new place. Favorite order was the mackerel in miso (although not a fan of all the bones). The Japanese dog was tasty but not as good as Japa dog in Vancouver (also the bun was excessively charred...bread is delicate, watch the heat). The salmon seared over hay was interesting (think sashimi with strong smoke flavor). Most of the skewers I had were disappointing (no special sauces; mostly very bland and flavorless). For example, the skewered quail eggs were boring. Avoid the grilled gizzards which were horrific (I like gizzards but these were flavorless and very difficult to chew...anyone like their gizzards cooked medium?). You go to izakayas for the yakitoris no? I was going to try the desserts but decided to stop the show at this point. Overall, a mediocre first impression foodwise.

                I would rank my izakaya experiences to date as follows, starting with best: Tokyo, Vancouver (including Guu), Toronto/Guu (surprisingly not as good as Vancouver version), Toronto/Fin Izakaya, and now DonDon (menu needs a lot of work).

                2 Replies
                1. re: mad4hops

                  Is this open to the public now? What are the prices like?

                  1. re: szw

                    Yes it's open but I would avoid it until word of mouth reports more consistent good eats. Prices are on par with other izakayas here but I would not pay one cent for food that does not satisfy me at some level.

                2. I'm always excited to try any new Izakaya in town. I mentioned heading down to my family when my daughter commented that her friend just went a couple of nights ago. Her remark after the meal ' Don't Don't'. Food kind of rough, not even as good as Fin Izakaya!
                  Now, I'm having second thoughts!!