As I step through the door of Dozo, it’s an instant calm of serenity away from the hustle and bustle of Soho behind me. The tables are low down on the floor as is customary in Japan to eat on at ground level. At first glance I missed that underneath the tables had been cut out to imitate the seating experience we are used to in the UK. For future diners at this restaurant and I do recommend you become a future diner, I would suggest wearing trousers or at least something one feels that they can nimbly slide up and down from the table without causing any embarrassment to themselves or other diners. It is after all, a nice establishment.
I must admit I have never tried a Japanese cocktail, for shame, so I was over the moon to try Shochu; a Japanese vodka. It was mixed with fruit juice and a Japanese yogurt, the yogurt threw me as it was so light I would never have guessed it was there but it blended perfectly. Sake, the traditional Japanese wine, was sweet and reliable as always.
For starters we had the Tofu steak with garlic miso, it was served as 3 large rectangles of Tofu with a light crispy batter and a delicious sweet, chilli sauce. Hard to manoeuvre into ones mouth with chopsticks though as any grip on the tofu saw it sliced through as though with a samurai sword. The Vegetable gyoza, a classic Japanese starter, couldn’t be faulted either.
The Dragon maki was more a piece of art than a main course, it consisted of pieces of perfectly created avocado, asparagus, tobiko, ikura sushi with eel sauce as the long body and a jumbo prawn creating the head at one end and tail as the other of the ‘dragon’. As one of the most expensive dishes on the menu it was well worth the price tag as it tasted as good as it looked, with perfectly chosen slices of fish carefully prepared and placed lovingly on the plate.
The Rainbow maki was another beautiful creation made up of 7 different kinds of mixed fish, crabmeat, avocado and tobiko. It gets its name from the brightly coloured fish eggs on top of each piece of sushi. The Asparagus tempura was almost perfect with slices of asparagus being lightly battered and rolled in rice, the only flaw were the light lines of mayonnaise that had been dressed on top. Mayonnaise belongs with cheap American fast food, not high end sushi and I felt that it ruined the dish. The Futomaki saved the day for the vegetarian sushi, keeping ingredients interesting with a mix of pickles, sweet bean curd, cucumber, egg, carrot and avocado.
We had been eagerly told by the staff throughout our meal that the Gindara Saikyomiso (grilled black cod to you and me) was on its way to us. We had to wait until right at the end before it was finally brought out and boy was it worth the wait! It had a sweetness to it, not unlike honey, and was unbelievably fresh. Every mouthful just melted away in my mouth and is one of the best sushi dishes I have ever had.