Daidoco is a Japanese Deli-style spot in downtown Victoria. Serving up an unusual and often changing menu of Japanese soups, salads and seafood creations.
Daidoco is a Japanese lunch joint down by the Bug Zoo, and a fantastic cultural and culinary experience. The atmosphere is modest but elegant, with a cafeteria style counter. Some items are made-to-order, but usual come with 5 minutes making it perfect for half-hour lunches. The staff is pleasant and polite (not boisterous and entertaining like the Guu folks on Robson) and while there may be a bit of a language barrier, they make up for this with signs listing all the ingredients of each dish (most ingredients are organic, and meats are all free-range and local). Price range is under $10 for a light lunch, no more than $15 if you're really hungry. This is one of the healthiest lunches in Victoria, so while the portions may be a bit smaller, you still come away totally satisfied by the nutritional content.
I ordered Poke-Tuna, marinaded albacore in sesame oil and soy sauce with organic greens, green onion, celery, nori seaweed - light spicing - an excellent starter. $4!
The main was the special of the day - a sauteed rockfish with an exquisite organic baby greens sauce with steamed cabbage, kale and fajioli beans. $7!
The dining room is comfortable and relatively quiet (excellent for lunch meetings of less than 4 people), a bit of tasteful jazz in the background. I sat at the window bar - perfect to eat and go.
I brought my plate back to the counter, and the chef was geniunely grateful for my having eaten there and pleased that I had a great experience. It wasn't gratitude in a ching-ching we'll make more money sense - but the gratitude of someone who knows their craft and the business generated through their venture is merely the vehicle with which to share the love. I wish them many years of success!
And I don't say that lightly.
This is NOT your typical Japanese restaurant in Victoria. The Chef makes what he makes, and has enough ingredients for the day. When the food runs out, they close the doors and go home. The menu has about 5 items on it from the grill, and four or five side items, from which to choose. I have never eaten Tuna Tataki like this before, and every item he makes comes out with love in it. It opens at 11 a.m., and only runs from Monday to Friday, but it is worth hunting down. They're in the Victoria Nootka Court by the entrance to the Bug Museum. When I first discovered this place, I ate there every day for two weeks (it's a long story). Honestly, if I could, I would eat there every day of my life. Make sure you get there before 1, or the food will like be gone.
If you love absolutely fresh and want to experiment with a limited menu of many "today only" items, this is the place!
The tako don (grilled octopus on rice) is the best I've had. Slightly crispy around the edges, moist interior and with a glaze that's not too sweet or salty like so many other places.
Toasted rice cakes are a perfect compliment to the "a la carte" dishes.
I just wish it was closer to my work place.
I have been going to Daidoco since it first opened a few years back. Run by a wonderful, sweet couple, it has been amazing to watch their business grown and see new staff added to meet high restaurant volumes. The chef originated from the old Zensushi in Victoria; this man knows how to cook amazing rice, scoff if you may but good rice is what makes or breaks a Japanese dish.
Using locally sourced, mostly organic ingredients, Daidoco is a true Victoria gem. This is not your run of the mill Japanese restaurant, but a Japanese deli, you won't find tempura on this menu! Keep in mind, Daidoco is a weekday lunch spot only, and its busy. Set in a small, wooden interior restaurant in Nootka Court, with nautical themed and rustic furnishings. Get there early or you won't get a place to sit; by 12:30 most of the menu will be sold out. It is a counter service restaurant, the food takes about 5-10 minuets to arrive in most cases. Only enough food that can be sold that day is prepared, once its gone, its gone. This policy may bother some people, but the food speaks for itself. Lovingly prepared, with simple yet complex flavors, the food rarely disappoints.
All food at Daidoko is reasonably priced, with menu items ranging from $2-8. Make sure to try the Salmon Don, it is constantly a stand out dish. Lately, I have been opting for two salads, and miso soup. Salads are unique each day, with interesting ingredients and flavors. The miso soup is made from scratch, some of the best available in Victoria.
If you enjoy fresh flavors, unique and well made food, you will not be disappointed. For me, I'm hopping they bring back the rice burger this summer.
I went to Daidoco expecting something tasty. We just got salty and sour. The place is tiny, and was packed with customers, mainly European and American tourists. The service is fine with a smile. The menu is perplexing because there is only a few choices. The portion sizes are on the small side, even for the donburi. The sushi rice is overly sour and too firm, like it had been left in the fridge too long. All the dishes should have a more light taste. We should have gone to Fujiya. (Which we did, the next day, and the sushi rice is done right there.)
I love this place for it's "specials of the day" format. Inexpensive sides you can put together as you feel.
One of my faourite dishes is the Unagi Don- beautifully cooked eel with a glaze that's neither too sweet nor salty as in many other places. It's wonderfully crispy along the edges and moist inside. Yumm.
When i get side dishes, I love to order the golden toasted rice cakes instead o the usual steamed rice. Great contrast of texture and wonderful "toastiness". Yummm This is the only place I know of where they're available.