Opened in December last year to much hype, this sprawling 24-hour Japanese discount megastore has everything you want; household items, beauty products, toys, electronics, groceries and more. Don Quijote, or more endearingly known as Don Don Donki, is basically the Japanese (and more atas) version of Mustafa.
I went there on a weekday late afternoon and was happily welcomed by their cheerful jingle “When I’m free, I take myself to Don Don Donki…I’m in paradise, it’s a wonderful place for me.” As I wandered through the aisles in my happy bubble, I was overwhelmed by items that are true to the Japanese reputation of inventing quirky solutions.
Let me show you 7 strange yet wonderful products that I found in Don Don Donki!
Cogit Steam Sauna Esthetic Poncho – $15.90
Yeap as this picture illustrates, this poncho helps you to perspire during a bath soak so that you can detox and lose weight through sweating out all that toxins. It is your own personal sauna system! The English explanation describes it as ‘Beauty Time in a bath – just concentrate sweating.’
Somehow, I do not think it is necessary to induce perspiration in hot and humid Singapore. You would probably get the same results just by stepping out into the sweltering heat in the mid afternoon and carrying an umbrella!
Cogit Sauna Germanium Fat Burning Mask – $29.90
Even though covered in pink glitter, this mask screams of Sado Masochism and freaks me out slightly. Made of Nylon, Polyurethane Esterfoam and Germanium Fabric, this full-faced mask claims to burn the fats on your face, smoothen and soften your skin, tighten the lines, shape it up and make it small! As the current beauty trend dictates, to have a small V-shaped face is considered to be beautiful.
An easier alternative to plastic surgery, ladies who want small faces can strap this on. Just be careful to warn your family members before you walk around the house in this. Otherwise, this would also make an excellent Halloween costume as the equally-crazy girlfriend of psychotic killer Jason Vorhees from Friday the 13th.
Ishihara Cheese Katsuo (Bonito) and Maguro Cheese (Tuna) – $4.90
On the first look, these cheese pairings look like an acquired taste. Maybe I am used to eating cheese just as it is or smeared onto a plain cracker. But the Japanese are known for experimenting and so I gave them a nibble, albeit with some apprehension. To my surprise, these cheese snacks are really quite delightful!
The maguro is seasoned with a shoyu-mirin combination and does not overpower the taste of the cheese. The katsuo is smoky salty with a hint of sweetness. The texture of the cheese is soft and chewy, and the taste is a mixture of probably a mozzarella and a gouda. A delicious, somewhat healthy cube of savoury goodness, especially when paired with some refreshing Japanese beer.
Skater Japanese Plastic Bread Slicer – $10.50
This plastic bread slicer is compact, easy to use and offers 4 different thickness cut (1cm, 1.5cm, 2cm, 2.5cm). Just set it to your desired thickness, lock it and slide your knife through. So convenient!
We may not need this bread slicer in Singapore because most of the bread we buy on the shelves are already sliced, unless you have the luxury of time to make your own bread at home. However, you can also use this to cut perfectly-even slices of ham or hard cheese.
This product is great for perfectionists who like things to be precise.
Munyu Munyu Do Re Mi Fa Cat – $14.90
I am not a cat lover but these adorable chubby cats with their kawaii faces caught my eye as I strolled past them. Munyu munyu in Japanese means squishy, so these are squishy musical cats. How cute!
The Munyu Munyu Do Re Mi Fa Cats are a series of eight unique musical toy instruments that makes a “Meow” musical tone by gently pressing on the mini feline’s back. Each colored cat has its own solfege and individual chord. Put them together to play them like an animal orchestra.
Each cat also comes preloaded with a different song, such as “When the Saints Go Marching In,” “Amazing Grace,” or “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.” By flipping the switch to song mode, the cat will change notes and sing its tune in accordance to the rhythm in which you squeeze it.
This would make a great toy for children who loves music and cat lovers!
Hello Kitty and Disney Weiner Sausage Cutter Mold – $3.50
In Japan, it is common for mothers to make exquisitely cute boxes of bento for their children. They believe that this box of edible art can make their children happy and it really does! These sausage molds are easy to use, affordable and will make an indispensable tool for cute bento-making.
Just press the sausages onto the mold to create the face of Hello Kitty or Minnie Mouse on them! When finished, put the pick inside the sausage to give it a cute “hair ribbon”.
Kinshachi Nagoya Akamiso (Red Miso Lager) – $9.80
Produced by Morita Kinshachi Brewery, this red miso lager is their most-decorated beer in both the Japan Asia Beer Cup and International Beer Competition, winning 7 awards to date! More than just a novelty gimmick, this red miso lager of 6% alcohol is a unique creation that can be drank on its own but goes even better paired with Japanese cuisine.
Its colour is a deep red-brown, most probably from the miso in there. The taste is nutty, earthy and rich, with a mild soy-like aroma. The miso flavour actually goes along well with the beer and adds a smoothness and a tad of saltiness to the drink. Kanpai we say!
The megastore is like a paradise indeed, as its catchy song goes. There are tons to see and I left the store feeling amazed! Did you see any other quirky Japanese inventions in Don Don Donki that missed my eye? If so, share it with us in the comments below!
Address: Orchard Central, B1 & B2, 181 Orchard Rd, Singapore 238896
Operating Hours: 24 hours daily