Working in Soho I am spoilt for choice when it comes to food and with new places popping up so often there’s an abundance of restaurants to take your pick from. I’ve been burned before in getting too attached to places however, so I try to spread the love around. My lost loves include Mooli’s and Mangosteen. I literally cried when I realised they weren’t coming back.
After mixing it up and trying everywhere and anywhere, there is one place in particular that not only do I keep coming back to, but it actually gets me a bit excited because it really is a treasure trove. I love this place and its food is exquisite. It’s in the heart of Soho on Old Compton Street and although the tables are a little hard to sit at, the hollowed out ground that you have to crouch your way into, definitely not a good idea to wear a skirt to this establishment, it’s worth the unladylike wrench to get yourself in there.
I love that this place is packed with Japanese people, proving that if the cuisine’s own approve, then it really is the real thing, the service is simple, quick and a no fuss kind of approach. And the menu; well that is to die for.
I’ve ordered many things from here, but will give you a run down of a select few.
Salmon and Avocado Cut Roll is always a staple when I go to a sushi place, it’s the base of a good place. So much can go right and equally it can all go wrong. This however is spot on. The rice is soft and a touch warm. The avocado is ripe and unbelievably soft, it’s perfection. And the salmon is fresh and cut into a perfect, tender chunk.
The Crunchy Spicy Tuna Roll. Beautifully presented, this has been rolled in crispy tempura flakes to give a dusting over the outside. The drizzle over the top is an incredibly delicious, spicy mayo that really sparks a contrast with the shredded cucumber in the roll. The tuna is succulent, the whole dish is well put together and has not only strong flavours but is a truly artistic design.
Chilli Chicken Ramen. Holy crap this is good. I had previously been across to Bone Daddies that has all the culinary finesse of a 16 year old Saturday jobber at Burger King, but with a queue of hyped up trendy idiots out the door and down the stinky street. Let me tell you, scrap the bum numbing stools at Bone Daddies and try this ramen out for size as it is incredible. It’s spicy, it’s salty, it’s got all the ingredients you want and more. It’s comforting and yet also feels healthy. Incredible ramen and a portion to match.
The Volcano Maki – Eel, leeks, bonito flakes, eel sauce, avocado & mayonnaise. This is a little pricier at £15.80 but if I’m honest I would pay three times that just to lick the bowl. THIS IS IT. This is the dish you dream of, you think it doesn’t exist with most of the tasteless, nondescript dishes that are out there and then this comes along, swoops you off your feet, butters you up and makes you realise that actually nothing else matters more than the mouthful you are about to witness. Witness it you will, and savour it as you don’t get a taste like this often. Stacked up and presented like a sculpture comes this roll, smothered in a sauce that can only be made of magic as it tastes so good. The sauce is creamy, mayonnaise like, with a sweet soy drizzle and a smoky flair to it that becomes all-encompassing.
Dozo has a second branch along Old Brompton Road which I’ve yet to visit, but will and if it’s anything like its Soho sister, I know I’ll be in for a treat. There’s very few sushi places that are worth going to in London…I say this because I’ve lived in New York and Sydney and my taste buds know the best there is. A food snob yes, but at least it makes me give the best recommendations.
Try Dozo and don’t leave without trying the Volcano Maki. That’s an order.
Dozo – 32 Old Compton Street, Soho, W1D 4TP
Tel: 020 7434 3219
Follow them on Twitter @DozoLondon