One of my Japanese friends saw the glowing review of DonDon in this week's NOW and got excited. I went for Sunday lunch together with this another Japanese friend and other friend. My Japanese friends have spent their entire working careers in kitchens, including in Japanese restaurants.
After a couple of things I wrote on a napkin " If xxxxxxx-san cooked this, I would be surprised and disappointed". I wasn't stronger because I have very little experience with Japanese cooking, it was only the beginning and from respect for the two companions who did know. Also I am modest , polite and reserved.
But the food got on my nerves, or rather the unrelentingly consistent disparity between the review and the food, and I wrote "Good for the cafeteria at an elementary school"
Towards the end I scratched out "elementary school" and wrote in "kindergarten".
At the end of the meal I asked one of my Japanese friend's opinion and was told "I won't come again". This reserved statement was out of respect to the the third friend who was picking up the tab. I then showed my notes . I was told that the standard in a Japanese elementary school or kindergarten would be higher.
I cannot recall a review where there has been such a great disparity between the enthusiasm of the review and the quality of the food. I don't understand how such a disparity is possible.
So what was the food like? Sweet, overcooked, clumsy, oily, stingy, boring, talentless, left- over like. And something had a huge dose of MSG in it , probably the terror yukki sauce. Nothing, nothing was good. I had a grapefruit at home after.
Oh yes. The prices seem low, but there is so little on the plate that it is expensive even if you were to like the stuff. But here the Jackie Mason joke is wrong and dieting has never been so easy.
The good news is that the lunch menu is limited and what you thought that you would like which had been mentioned in the review is not available at lunch so these items won't disappoint you. But the booze menu is very long and available throughout the day.