It’s been awhile since I’ve enrolled in a course. Even though it’s just a 3-day course, and it’s a course meant for working professionals. Still, the concept of carrying a backpack and dressing casually had been a distant memory. So when work sent me to a 3-day class downtown, I had to scout out my lunch spots. And then there was Kita no Donburi right across from the campus (I was at the Morris J Wosk Centre for Dialogue).
Let me first start by saying, it’s weird to eat alone. I don’t like sitting by myself and all I have is my phone, emails and social media. Occasionally I like to chat with my dining companion too, you know. Not having made any friends in class just yet, I had to eat alone at Kita no Donburi.
On the first day, I ordered the Chanko Don. It caught my eyes right away on the menu because it just had everything – beef, chicken, prawn, tofu, enoki mushroom, shitake mushroom – all ingredients I love! And it came with a miso soup. It was a satisfying rice bowl. It had some nice umami flavours from the combination of tempura sauce and seafood dressing – it was sweet, it was salty, it had a hint of seafood/seaweed. The beef was the shabu shabu kind, so it was thinly sliced, which helped soak in the flavour from the sauces. It’s really fun to eat because every spoonful gave me different combination of ingredients (it would drive Mr. crazy though, as he likes having a little bit everything in one bite). What would make this even better would be a soft pouched egg, so I would stir in the runny egg yolk into the rice bowl. That would be soooo good!
I returned the next day, and tried something else. The Chicken Karaage (appetizer version) was a decent portion. The chicken pieces were cooked just right and they were piping hot as I bit into them, but the breading was a bit thick for my liking. The accompanying red and white sauce was called the “All-in-One” sauce. It tasted like a paprika aioli, which had a very subtle hint of spice. I think the chicken karaage at Hi Genki and Mogu were better.
I also ordered a Spicy Tuna Roll. This is one of my go-to rolls. I used to have a favourite place for spicy tuna roll; it’s very unique because they added crunchy tempura bits in the roll. That sushi place is closed now. Anyway…this was a decent roll. I wish the spicy sauce was actually mixed in with the tuna, but the sauce was actually on the plate; so I had to make sure to swirl around the plate to get the sauce. Otherwise, the roll itself was pretty light in flavours. Overall the texture of the roll was on the mushy side, so I did appreciate the addition of edamame beans for some crunch.
At Kita no Donburi, you have to place your order at the cash register first. You’ll be given a number on your receipt and they’ll call out the number when food is ready. If you’re dining in, then you can find a seat and wait for your number to be called and your server will bring over the food. I thought they were able to pump out food really quickly. I was able to be in and out within 40 minutes.
Another thing to note about the restaurant, is the listing of calories on the menu. On day 1, I basically picked out an item with the lowest calories but of decent portion. The Chanko Don is 690 calories. (Side note: They also list that the rice bowl has 750g of rice.) I didn’t care as much on day 2, so I ate almost the entire sum of my daily intake in one meal (haha don’t ask me for the exact amount!)
Kita no Donburi is a popular spot for nearby students and working professionals. The food was quite good and the menu is priced relatively reasonable for the downtown area (most items are under $10). And the service was speedy. I would come back for lunch again.
Kita no Donburi
423 Seymour Street, Vancouver