What makes a good rice bowl?

Updated: Mar 25

Let’s face it: A rice bowl needs to be, well… pretty.

Or at least colourful enough and stacked high with different toppings.

If there’s just one topping, it looks… sad. 😬

“We eat with our eyes first, so the presentation,” answers Ken Tan, Chief Sh-nacker of DOCO Donburi, when asked about he usually looks for in a rice bowl (or tray too, as the images below show – but you get the drift).

DOCO Donburi is a fast-food restaurant in Singapore created by The Fish Sh-nack, a brand of crispy fish skin available in the following flavours: Salted Egg, Truffle Salted Egg, Seaweed, Cajun, Original, and Mala.

They’re known for their donburi or rice bowls, which feature toppings such as grilled beef, honey miso chicken, garlic butter shrimp, truffle mushrooms, curry, onsen tamago, their Fish Sh-prinkles and more on a bed of Japanese rice.

(DO stands for donburi, and CO stands for coconut. They have coconut shakes.)

DOCO Donburi
Here's the grilled beef...

DOCO Donburi
... and honey miso chicken

Another is “how the taste in the bowl blends”, Ken points out.

It’s true. It’s fun and satisfying when you get soft, chewy, crunchy, saucy, moist, salty, sweet, savoury and all that in a giant spoonful.

The crunchy is easy – you don’t even have to cook. You can buy your favourite brand of crisps or cracklings. Of course, if Ken is to be followed, he’d want you to go for their Fish Sh-prinkles.

His rice bowl also has to have an onsen tamago, a Japanese-style soft-boiled egg. “It must be unbroken; otherwise, we’ll give you another on the house,” he promises.

I agree with his suggestions so far. Do you? Here are a few other things that Ken believes make up the ultimate or ideal rice bowl. 😊

It might help you assemble your own at home, when you think your meal needs a little something.

#1 Non-conformity

“Who says you need traditional donburi ingredients in a bowl?” Ken wonders. So always include toppings you’ve never had before.

#2 Overlord

By "overlord", he means "The egg is key in the bowl itself, so it rules over all the other ingredients!"

The egg also completes the dish. “The yolk is what binds all things good in the bowl. You can have two but never without.”

#3 Composition

“To properly eat the bowl, you have to mix it up. Never eat things in the bowl individually.”

#4 Texture

This is where the crunch comes in. Choose your own, or just rely on the Fish Sh-prinkles.

“They give you that extra crunch in every bite. That way you’ll never feel bored,” he says.

#5 Ambition

“The more the merrier,” Ken maintains. Do three, or just “get the Sh-mega, where you can have the best of (all) worlds”.

(The Sh-mega allows you to pick three proteins, from beef, chicken, fish, mushroom and shrimp.)

DOCO Donburi
It's packed alright

#6 Fulfilment

“If any donburi doesn’t fill your stomach, then don’t bother coming back,” he admonishes. I suppose this means there’s no point in having a donburi like that again.

“It’s called a rice bowl for a reason,” he stresses.

Here are some examples to get you started then. 😊

(From top: Truffle mushrooms, garlic butter shrimp, grilled muar otah, curry with your choice of protein, and chicken cutlets and fish cakes)

Feel free to add more. Sauce it up too. 👍

For more on DOCO Donburi, go to their Facebook and Instagram. Order from take.sg/s/6590499926, or WhatsApp +65 9049 9926 for the menu.