Dozo (Old Compton St): where second chances made sense

I wasn’t too keen on Dozo the first time my friends and I went. But life’s all about taking chances and giving second chances so it was only apt to give this Japanese restaurant on Old Compton Street another try. I also wanted to figure out why it’s much quieter than its competitor a few doors down the road (where the queues are seriously mind-boggling) considering Dozo has better looking interiors and quite frankly, better-mannered staff.

Started the meal with salmon skin salad (£7.80) because 1) I’m a sucker for salmon skin (it’s a healthier alternative to chicharon) and 2) the salmon skin rolls were a highlight of my last visit. The leaves are pretty much shop-bought but the generous helping of salmon skin was good enough for a bit of patience.

Sashimi ala carte come in threes. Maguro (£6.50), Salmon (£4.80) and Butterfish (£7.80). The price is heaps cheaper than high-end sushi legend Roka, but the fish tasted fresh and were thickly cut. The butterfish was an absolute delight to eat; it was silky and melt-in-your-mouth wonderful.

I think the robata is where Dozo does a lacklustre job. Following from last visit’s dry pork skewers, we tried the enoki bacon and the gyu (beef fillet) skewers (£2.20 a stick). The former is mostly bacon (good for carnivorous punters!) but the mushroom is lost and wilted whilst the latter was too dry to even warrant a photo.

Dozo offers gindara saikyomiso (£26.80) and at 4/5 the price of Roka’s amazing black cod I reckon this isn’t a bad deal – considering you get two massive fillets! Admittedly, this cheaper alternative is pretty decent but I do miss the freshness of Roka’s own.

Overall, Dozo’s second chance was more hit than miss. I think the sashimi was decent enough and the service was pretty good. If you’re asking me to compare it to its competitor down the road, I’d say skip the queues, pay extra, have better food and service.

Dozo Sushi (Soho)
32 Old Compton St, London W1D
Ave pp: £25
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  1. 10th August 2015 / 1:21 pm

    I've got this on my list of places to try, but it has to be said no where really does live up to Roka in terms of taste.
    Lots of love,
    SilverSpoon London

    • 10th August 2015 / 1:27 pm

      Agree, Angie! The vibe is heaps different from Roka too. x

  2. 11th August 2015 / 1:08 pm

    Ooo Dozo sounds like an excellent cheaper alternative to Roka – LOVE fish skin/all skin (get so annoyed when people peel it off), and that sashimi looks pretty damn good to me! Lots of love, Andrea xxx

    Andrea's Passions

    • 12th August 2015 / 2:44 pm

      Definitely go for the sashimi but stay clear of the bento boxes! x

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