Japanese rice bowls taste pretty forkin’ amazing. Well-rounded meals with big flavors, and convenient to eat wherever you please — nice. The good ones also tend to cost a pretty penny, though. Not so nice.
Recently launched meal delivery company Don Play Play, however, wants to provide proper, well-made Japanese rice bowls that are convenient — they offer delivery all over Singapore, even the far reaches of Tuas, Jurong Island, and Sentosa — and at (relatively) affordable price points.
We tried their offerings recently, and if you’re as into Japanese rice bowls as we are, then you’ll be chuffed to know: Don Play Play actually delivers the goods. The meals arrive in nice, hearty portions and — we were pleased to find — taste just as good as what any decent Japanese restaurant would serve. Plus, every one is priced under $13 a pop.
The Truffle Beef Yakiniku Don ($12.80) has a 63-degree onsen egg and 8-hour sous vide Australian grain-fed striploin slices blanketing seasoned Japanese rice, and their homemade truffle soy sauce is appropriately rich. The Chicken Yakitori Don ($10.80) offers sautéed mushrooms, edamame, four sticks of yakitori, 63-degree onsen egg topped on garlic fried Japanese rice. There’s even a legit Unagi Don ($12.80) option with a large, succulent chunk of grilled eel accompanied by (let’s say it together) 63-degree onsen egg on garlic fried Japanese rice.
Good stuff, but let’s unpack Don Play Play’s origin story (it’s relevant, we promise).
The company is the brainchild of three individuals with lots of notable experience in the F&B industry. Two of them, Darren Pang and Kenny Huang, co-own a catering company that serves meals daily to students in the National University of Singapore (NUS) — Huang, in particular, has had kitchen training in a Japanese restaurant.
The third member, Kimberley Yeo, is a food blogger who is also known for having set up a supper stall in NUS, a specialty waffles pop-up stall called Kaffles, and Beach Road café Mean Bean & Wicked Grind.
We also learned from the team running Don Play Play that they’re keeping it inclusive to the Muslim crowd with halal ingredients — no pork, no lard, and no alcohol used in the preparation of the dishes. For folks wanting full peace of mind, however, the company says that it’s currently working on proper Halal certification.
But of course, there’s a catch. Well, a couple of them.
There’s a minimum delivery order of $64 (that amounts to about five bowls), and that doesn’t include the $10 delivery fee (if your order is above $128, then that delivery fee gets dropped).
Customers can avoid the minimum order by choosing to pick up their bowls themselves, but pick-up points are only available at NUS on Tuesdays and Nanyang Technological University on Wednesdays.
Ah, and the don-liveries are only available from Tuesdays to Fridays. But, you can actually put in orders outside the delivery schedule — that’ll just require contacting Don Play Play directly for that special request, though.
We’re also hearing that more entrees and sides will be added to the menu in the coming months.
If you’re curious about trying the bowls, but you’re put off by the commitment to fulfill that minimum order, then you’ll be glad to know this: There’s a one-day special being held next Thursday — a buy-one-get-one-free deal at The Metropolis with no minimum order needed.