DonDon, a new downtown izakaya, to feature reservations and a chauffeur service for patrons who’ve had too much to drink

DonDon, a new downtown izakaya, to feature reservations and a chauffeur service for patrons who’ve had too much to drink

DonDon’s logo, which says “DonDon” in Japanese 

The runaway success of Guu, first on Church Street and then in the Annex, highlighted a demand in Toronto for Japanese food that went beyond the ubiquitous cheap (and not-so-cheap) sushi joints. When DonDon Izakaya, a new restaurant at Dundas and Bay, opens in late October or so, it will attempt to meet some of that demand, albeit without Guu’s general boisterousness and no reservations policy. Instead, owners Tony Wong and Anthony Phang, of Sushi Time on Queen, and Kazu Maruyama, editor of the Toronto Japanese website Bits, hope to provide a quieter atmosphere and a lower price point.

The 150-seat restaurant will be open for both lunch and dinner, and the open kitchen will pump out izakaya-style dishes, specializing in yakitori (Japanese skewered chicken) but also serving sashimi and vegetarian dishes. Like any good izakaya, DonDon—which is apparently slang for “more” in Japanese—will boast a large selection of sake and several Japanese beers. It’s reassuring, then, that the restaurant will offer something that might be a first in the city, even if it is “a common feature of izakayas in Japan,” as we’ve been assured—a chauffeur service for patrons who’ve had too much to drink.

DonDon Izakaya, 130 Dundas St. W.