This restaurant next to Finsbury Park station established its reputation soon after opening in 2008. It’s still nigh on impossible to get a table without booking – even on our early-evening midweek visit, several hopeful diners were turned away. All’s not lost if you don’t bag a seat, however, as they do offer takeaway.
The dining room – like the menu – blends Korean and Japanese influences; there’s a Shinto lantern by the door, and Hangul calligraphy and Korean masks on the walls. Prices are impressively low: a capacious bowl of yukkaejang was a mere £3.50. Thick with chilli flakes, the broth contained a generous quantity of deliciously tender shredded beef. A mountain of bokum bap (fried rice) came studded with crisp-fried pork belly pieces, spring onions and scrambled egg. The plump grains were resonant with ground black pepper and sesame oil.
The Japanese side of the menu offers sushi, sashimi, tempura and donburi dishes. Dotori isn’t known for its sparkling service, but we found the staff warm and efficient. Even on an off-day, it’s hard not to be forgiving, thanks to the well-prepared and well-priced food.