Dozo Sushi: where we played bento tic-tac-toe

So a few weeks ago I found myself craving sushi/sashimi and wondered on the social networks where I could find new places for decent inexpensive Jap fare in town. A restaurant responded to my random tweet
…so my friends and I went over to Old Compton Street to check them out.
Dozo Japanese Restaurant is set on two floors and one can say they’ve made a cool setting for such small space. They have normal dining tables and Japanese-style dining tables where a sunken area gives you the illusion of sitting on the floor and funky lights.

I like it when tea is complimentary.

For starters we had salmon skin rolls (£4.30 / 6 pieces) which I loved! The salmon skin was very crispy and flavourful. I don’t like mayo drizzled all over food (especially sushi rolls) but on this occasion it balanced the salty skin and added a much needed creamy texture.

Soft shell crab rolls (£8.80 / 8 pieces) were okay. There was quite a lot of crab filling - always good in my book - although I prefer the salmon skin rolls.

I wanted to try their grilled stuff so I ordered some spicy pork belly skewers (£2.30 per skewer). Unfortunately, it was dry and the sauce wasn’t too spicy. It was also a bit cold when it was served.

On to mains. Initially I thought of getting a sushi/sashimi platter but the girls all ordered bento boxes (£13.80-£16.80) and I wanted to join in the fun so I ordered one for myself too. They all came with salad, rice, and a decent miso soup (which I practiced camera tricks on and failed).

Here’s a really bad angle of G’s bento box. It’s a massive feast. We all ordered different boxes so we got to try loads of stuff!

Oh, except I didn’t get to try G’s salmon teriyaki.

The soft shell crab was a bit salty but I liked it because it had lots of actual crab meat.

T’s mackerel in sea salt was okay but I think the star of her bento box was the chicken teriyaki which of course, I forgot to photograph (because I helped her finish the whole thing).

D had some soft shell crab and katsu curry in her box. I liked the sauce and the chicken was quite succulent.

I ordered the surf and turf bento (£16.80) because it reminded me of family lunches/dinners in Saisaki EDSA (during its prime, golden days) where my dad’s favourite server would always greet our table with plates of Saisaki steak, salmon belly and tempura.

I liked the ginger sauce on the steak but the sirloin was quite tough, which I thought was a shame.

The tempura looked like it had lots of potential. The prawns were massive and I thought they were going to be juicy! Twas a bit unfortunate that the batter overpowered the sweetness of the shellfish. It wasn’t so crispy and was a bit underseasoned too. Boohoo.

Overall, Dozo was… a bit of a hit-and-miss. I quite liked the sushi rolls (yep, still thinking about that salmon skin maki), and though the bento boxes are quite pocket-efficient I reckon they could be better with a wee bit of tweaking here and there. It would also be fun if they offered a “make your own” bento - there were so many things we wanted to try but couldn’t because everything was pre-paired (hah!).

Perhaps next time I’ll come back to try other stuff. Maybe their strength is in their sushi/sashimi.

Dozo Sushi
32 Old Compton Street, London, W1D | +44(0)20 7434 3219
Ave spend pp: £25
Dozo Soho on UrbanspoonSquare Meal

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