Best restaurant I have been to in London in a very long time. It is also excellent value for money. I have been searching for a decent replacement to the much loved but now defunct BuSan, the Korean restaurant in Highbury in Islington whose owners have now retired, and this is it. It has a great mix of Korean and Japanese food, and many items I have not tried before. It is small, tightly packed, loud and studenty. The food is excellent. The service is a bit over-worked and they are difficult to get on the phone, but you can't have everything. If it was less crowded it would be more expensive. This is not the place for a romantic night out, but it would be a good place to go with friends for some great food.
© Tricia de Courcy Ling
Time Out rating:
Time Out says
Posted: Tue Sep 24 2013
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.
Dotori 3 Stroud Green Road
- Venue phone:
020 7263 3562
- Opening hours:
Lunch served noon-2.50pm Tue-Sat. Dinner served 5-10.30pm Tue-Sat; 4.30-10pm Sun
Tube: Finsbury Park tube/rail
Main courses £6.50-£11. Set meal £25 4 courses
- 3 Stroud Green Road
- 020 7263 3562
- 3 Stroud Green Road
Average User Rating
3.8 / 5
- 5 star:9
- 4 star:4
- 3 star:0
- 2 star:0
- 1 star:4
This place is a tightly packed little gem. The food is excellent and the staff are never rude and always do their best. All the negative comments on here about the service are in my opinion nonsensical, the reason for any of those occurrences are purely down to the popularity of the restaurant and its manic busyness - they are trying their best to accommodate as many people as possible in a relatively small space. If you can't get a seat or have to wait for a table, even if it means coming back another day, do it!
Took ages to discover it despite using the station all the time. Super restaurant, great little side dishes and really affordable soups (the Yukaejang was great, spicy, generous portion) which means even if your a bit strapped for cash you can have a nice dinner. If you sit at the window counter you can watch some of the crazies in the pub over the road too.
This place is amazing, I still can't believe it took me a year of living in Finsbury Park before I visited. The prawn bibimbap, bbq beef and all of the sushi I have sampled have all been wonderful. The sushi is so fresh (note: it tends to come out after the rest of the food). If you're not sure what to have, the Japanese & Korean Set menu A for 2 is delicious and great value at £26. The seating is quite cramped but you hardly notice once you start eating....and I think the place has a warm atmosphere. The staff are incredibly hard working and not at all unfriendly. You need to book a good few days in advance to get a table.
Awful. Booked a table for myself and two guests- arrived 5 minutes early and they'd already given it to someone else. Ruined evening, terrible service.
Best Japanese restaurant so far.We really recommend it.It is just lovely.We tried almost everything on menu and never was disappointed.Me and my boyfriend are both chefs so......Enjoy!!
The food here is seriously good. I am going to try and eat here again tonight, but it will probably be fully booked. Agree with comments below on service.. They simply don't have the space or manpower to cater to everyone, but if you get a table the food more than makes up for it. Seriously - who gives a crap about the service if your food arrives on time and its cheap and amazing?! I don't go to a restaurant to speak to waiting staff.. In a sea of chicken shops, this is easily Finsbury Parks best restaurant (by a country mile). Try seasons too - another great restaurant nearby.
Really good food for a really good price, the service was friendly. Could not ask for more in a local restaurant. Will definitely be back again. Just a word of warning... book in advance, we went on a Tuesday night and there was still a big queue past 9:00 pm.
This is a real 'cheap-eat' winner - the set meal is the best value in London. The service isn't great but they are not rude, just understaffed and rushed off their feet. If you are looking for attentive service then you have to pay for it. Definittely will go again and again.
The food is good, but the service so poor that the experience was thoroughly miserable. Will not be going back.
Great food, but let down by poor service. It's not that the staff aren't friendly, but they don't seem to mind providing inattentive service. In the past I have had to wait quite a long time for food and had an order for my girlfriend turn up ten minutes after my food arrived. On my last visit, I waited a good 5 mins by the door being ignored by staff. When I approached a waitress, they told me that my reserved table was not available and I would have to wait for a table to become free. After waiting a while, my girlfriend and I left. We explained why we were going to a waitress and she didn't seem that bothered that customers were walking out. I think I'm going to give up on this restaurant. Dotori could be so much better if its staff just tried.
Some of the best and most reasonable Korean food I've eaten in London. Bulgoggi was melt in your mouth. Lovely service and pretty space. There was a queue out the door after we sat down on a saturday eve. Fantastic!
Excellent food, very authentic atmosphere. And it's too popular! So if you want to go there, even on a week night, you need to book at least 2 days in advance - we called on Wed to book for Thur night and can only get a 9pm slot.