Brixton Station Road
This is a really useful addition to what Brixton has to offer, with simple but tasty Korean and Japanese food from a short menu. It’s aimed mainly at the takeaway market but there’s space at a couple of counters with high stools for those who can’t wait to taste the food. It’s housed in a small shop front that’s had a chequered history. The planned burger bar failed to open because of problems with the ventilation.
You can choose between donburi (Japanese rice bowl dish); bibimbap (Korean mixed rice); or hirata buns (Japanese steamed buns), and all come with a variety of meat or vegetables.
I’m an unashamed fan and so I’m working my way through the entire menu. So far we’ve tried the Chicken Katsu Curry and the fried kimchi (see photograph), however annoyingly the chicken was a bit too dry and the curry sauce was under-seasoned.
The bibimbap is really the star of the show, with seven versions on offer. It’s also the least familiar, so it’s worth explaining that it’s a bowl of warm white rice topped with sautéed and seasoned vegetables, with gochujang (chili pepper paste) and soy sauce. A raw or fried egg and sliced meat are common additions. It’s all stirred together thoroughly just before eating. In fact, I had just started the stirring bit before remembering to take the photograph, so it looks a bit messier than when first presented.
This is a spicy dish – it’s meant to be hot and it is. But if not hot enough then add more sriracha sauce.
Finally there are the hirata steamed buns with four types of filling – both the spicy pork and classic beef were both well flavoured and, also, very good value for money at £3.25, or two (enough for most normal appetites) at £5.95.
There’s a choice of drinks available, most of them canned and unfamiliar and they often hand them out for free on big orders. Don’t forget to shake the tin for the rice punch or you get a nasty surprise as you drain the last dregs…
They’ve only just opened and they are still finding their feet so service can be a little slow at busy times. Occasional dishes require a bit more salt but it is filling and really good value ( donburi and bibimbap both between £7.45 and £8.45). We are trying to be sparing with our use of plastic this year and here it was easy the food is served in recyclable containers, (paper and wooden utensils). Well done Donburi.