Japanese eatery DOPA opens in Bondi as the Devon Group expand East

Haven’t stepped into Devon Cafe? That’s like saying you’ve never tasted the magic at Bills – and we don’t know anyone who willingly misses out on that deliciousness. Devon, the legendary eatery born in the Surry Hills, has decided to sprinkle its foodie stardust over Bondi Junction.

Executive Chef Zachary Tan (formerly of Guillaume at Bennelong and Pier) and Executive Pastry Chef Markus Andrew (renowned for his work with Adriano Zumbo at the Star) headed over to Japan for a research trip hitting up the best eat streets in Tokyo. The result? Enter DOPA – where efficiency, craft, and purpose take center stage.

DOPA is fast, slow food that is so local, even the rice is on a first-name basis. It’s heartwarming to see the attention to detail in sourcing. Rice is from the Riverina region in NSW. The hens enjoy 1500 per hectare at their home in Molong and these eggs produce stunning scrambled eggs (see more on that below).  Southern blue fin tuna is sustainably caught in Tassie and Beef Bolar blade Wagyu grade MBS 7-9 from Canunda in South Australia. We love seeing attention detail and transparency. 

We find the distinctive redbrick fitout of DOPA near the escalatores in the foodcourt. Donburis are the headliners – this is like deciding what to binge-watch on a Friday night!

We kick off our feast with sides of agedashi tofu on a bed seaweed along with a pot of edamame. The salmon sashimi don has generous slices of NZ King Ora salmon, but the real heartthrob is the glorious egg don. It’s a masterpiece of culinary finesse – soft, creamy folds of scrambled egg creating a sexy doona for the rice below, all tangled up with savory seaweed. It’s so simple, there’s no room for hiding – just perfection with seasoned rice, dreamy egg, and a sprinkle of furikakke goodness.

The curry don beckons, and it’s my favorite. Why? That golden sauce isn’t grainy, gluggy, or heavy – it’s the J-pop B’z of curry sauces. Crispy, sliced chicken thigh, a spoonful of chicken, gravy and warm rice.

Bondi means catering to the vegan and veggo crowd, we skip the Bondi Don (vegan patty, tare, seaweed, vegan cheese, and a ‘secret’ sauce) for the Veg don. Tempura-style veggies, including teriyaki eggplant, pak choy, and tofu, crowd the stage. Can you ‘over-don’ yourself? Maybe, but we’re fearless. Enter the Soba Salad – carrots, shredded daikon, egg crepe thinly sliced like snow, juicy soba noodles, all topped with grilled King Salmon. Add a good lug of Chukka dressing, and it’s a well-oiled party in a bowl, especially with Dopa’s new line of drinks, including yuzu brewed iced tea.

Wait, we almost forgot the signature cheesecake – two fluffy cloud-like rectangles of matcha and original cheesecake – a tag team of east-meets-west sweetness. We wash it all down with DOPA’s home-brewed iced tea, with Yuzu stealing the show as our favorite.

Dopa isn’t just a quick fix; it’s a reminder of the quietly addictive nature of super tasty food that’s kind to the earth, the environment, and our waistlines.

DOPA Bondi Junction at Westfield Bondi Junction, 500 Oxford Street
Hours: Sun-Weds: 11am – 5pm, Thurs: 11am – 8pm, Fri-Sat: 11am – 6pm

About the author

Karen’s corporate job back in the UK had included entertaining clients in some of the best restaurants. This ultimately sparked a curiosity 'Just how do they do that?' (she confesses she was brought up on meat and vegetables, so this was all very exciting). Currently a Mr & Mrs Smith 'Tastemaker', she’s flashpacked around the world, learning about wine, experiencing different cultures and cuisines and had a two- year love affair with it all. Originally from England, she finally settled in Australia and continues to be besotted by food, wine and travel preferring to focus on the luxury end of town (thread count does matter).