Don Tojo is pretty much the Don Don’s of Carlton. Quick, fast and easy Japanese food. The menu isn’t very diverse with a few pork, beef and chicken dishes, curry and noodle soups but they excel in what they do.
The Buta Teriyaki Don is basically slow cooked pork on rice with teriyaki seasoning. I liken it to slices of roast pork with the teriyaki flavouring. It’s quite nice, though the pork I find a bit dry and lacking in vegetables or other accompaniments but it’s cheaper than your typical Asian/Japanese food so it makes sense.
Cheap, tasty Japanese food.
164 Cardigan Street
Carlton VIC 3053
Rice Workshop is still one of my favourite Japanese fast-food places in Melbourne. Luckily, I’m spoilt and there is one in Box Hill so close by for me that I regularly order their Japanese curry or sometimes just a Green Tea or Black Sesame soft serve when I pass by.
It’s similar to Hanaichi in that food definitely comes quick, and it doesn’t necessarily mean it lacks anything in taste. Their Beef Curry even in a small serve can be sufficiently filling, with generous amounts of curry and beef. However, what I find it lacks in is potatoes or some vegetables to make it a more balanced meal. Other than that, I really do love the curry there.
Not on their main menu, they sometimes offer the Unadon or their Fried Eel, which has a lovely aroma to it. Definitely just for fans of eel, which I am not.
Rice Workshop have a few difference variations of their Beef Rice Bowls, along with Chicken Rice Bowls, and the curry you can order it with Chicken or Pork Katsu, Grilled Chicken or even Tofu as a vegetarian option, and of course, some Udon and Soba options as well. I find their selection of dishes to be great and honestly, price wise it’s good value too.
Tasty dishes, fast and good value.
Shop 57 Box Hill Central (South Precinct)
1 Main St
Box Hill VIC 3128
Monga Izakaya (Monga Sweet Lounge) in Glen Waverley serves primarily light meals or snacks. They offer a selection of grilled/skewers, sushi, deep fried options, raw and cooked seafood, noodles and rice dishes as well as Shabu Shabu (Hot Pot) and Bento boxes (Lunch only), and a Sake and Dessert menu to boot.
One thing of note here is their servings are probably disproportionate to their pricing as you might find elsewhere on Kingsway, similar to tapas I would think. Although their Bento boxes/Lunch menus items do look more value for money.
I ordered the Ochazuke with salmon, which is something I haven’t actually come across in many Japanese restaurants before. Ochazuke is basically a rice dish in which green tea, dashi and hot water is poured onto the cooked rice and mixed with several other ingredients. It’s almost like the Cambodian Porridge which is also cooked rice with a seasoned stock added to it. Monga’s Ochazuke comes out steaming hot, and I found it quite pleasant although a tad salty but at least it was seasoned well.
Even though, we didn’t get a chance to try their dessert menu, their Dinner menu isn’t too shabby. Price conscious folks may stay clear of Monga Izakaya but for those wanting some light meals with drinks on the side too, and dessert to top of the meal I think this is a good place to start.
Glen Waverley VIC 3150
Don-Udon recently opened in Box Hill and joins the other Korean restaurants now established in Box Hill along. I’m guessing there is a sizeable Korean community here as there are also many grocery stores around too. Unlike the Box Hill Korean BBQ, Don-Udon doesn’t offer BBQ but they have plans to do hot pot in the winter months.
Currently they offer a great selection of Korean and even a few Japanese dishes ranging from Udon noodle soup, Stir Fried Udon dishes, Ramen, Korean and Japanese rice dishes and even a few sizzling and clay pot dishes for something a bit different.
We ordered the Bibim Bap in Stone Pot that is served scolding hot. It comes with beef, vegetables and fried egg with Korean chilli paste on rice. The stone pot retains heat remarkably well so if you’re ordering, it’s best to not touch the bowl. I love clay pot/stone pot dishes as the rice cooks and turns into this crunchy delight. All the ingredients here are fresh and especially tasty with the slightly sweet beef. A really nice, light dish.
Don-Udon also offers soups in clay pot. I think Korean soups with rice are one of my favourite type of dishes. I could really have warm, spicy soup with rice all day, everyday. The soup here is a Seafood Silken Tofu Soup (Spicy) with mixed seafood, vegetables and of course silken tofu. I loved the flavour of this soup, it’s spicy enough if you consume all of the soup and it’s basically like this gradual hotness that lingers throughout the meal. Very satisfying. The seafood here are basically a couple of small (very) prawns but the tofu is the main protein here. Although the soup is a tad oily, I loved the soup all the same.
The Donkatsu Udon is your typical Japanese dish with crispy deep fried pork, with a clear stock soup. Subtle flavours from the soup and maybe a bit of Togarashi just adds a bit of spice to give it a bit more seasoning. A pleasant dish that even betters Ajisen Ramen in Box Hill.
Don-Udon is my go-to Korean eatery in Box Hill. Flavours hit the mark, friendly staff and all for a decent (the standard) price. It’s just a bit of a shame that this restaurant isn’t more frequented by customers. It’s slightly out of the way, a few minutes walk from the main shopping hub in Box Hill but close by to the tram stop and the many Computer Gaming places. I’d say it’s definitely worth the small effort to visit.
951 Whitehorse Road
Box Hill VIC 3128
Opens for Lunch and Dinner