DOPA is hands-down, Sydney’s dopest Japanese donburi eatery.
Set in Sydney’s newest ‘street-eats’ precinct, Darling Square — its 70-seater venue with banquet, bar and outdoor options provides the best in casual dining.
If you don’t know of donburi, it’s Japan’s most loved one-bowl-meal, that’s both satisfying and convenient for a hearty lunch, or quick dinner.
Head chef, Khairi Amir’s menu is inspired by the streets of Tokyo, offering more than twenty variations of the Japanese rice bowls. You can choose from classics like teriyaki chicken and katsu pork or go for something different with the cheeseburger wagyu; wagyu beef tongue; glacier 51 tooth fish; or even ling cod.
My guest and I decided on the Sanford King Salmon, which comes lightly grilled, and their standout dish — the Wagyu Beef Bolar Blade bowl with a high marble grade of 7-9, fresh rice, and a soft egg. The meat sourced is exceptional, it literally melts in your mouth.
For a compact eatery in a casual setting, DOPA’s food definitely doesn’t compromise on quality. The experience reminded me of how it’s like to be in Tokyo, where you can walk in to an understated restaurant, and somehow score one of the tastiest meals of your life.
All the donburi bowls can be ordered as an optional set, with miso soup, plus salad to round things out. We didn’t leave without an entrée serving of Agadashi tofu, and tempura’d eggplant to complete our authentic Japanese feed.
If there’s one thing Japan’s known for, it’s their decadent desserts. On our visit, we opted to share the Tiramisu parfait, which was large enough for two and just the right amount of sweet. Although, they also dish out kakigori shaved ice desserts, loaded milkshakes, puddings, and giant matcha cookies. As far as drinks go, DOPA serve refreshing “ades”, such as Yuzuade, Peachade and Raspberry-ade that’ll wash down your meal like a charm.
Even if you go for the novelty of it, you’ll love the retro-japanese manga art on their menu, including their super-cute mascot Dopa Boy. DOPA’s décor is completely on point, featuring clean lines, timber and pastel finishes, with pops of red. Go here with a group of friends for lunch, or even for a good food/no pressure dinner date. It’s dope.
Jill is a Sydney-based journalist who loves to eat, as much as she loves to travel. Follow her on Instagram.
DOPA Don and Milk Bar is open daily for lunch and dinner. For more information, visit their Facebook Page.