Dotori

Restaurants , Korean Finsbury Park
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 4 out of 5 stars
(31 user reviews)
96 Love It
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Dotori
© Tricia de Courcy Ling

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.

 

Venue name: Dotori
Contact:
Address: 3 Stroud Green Road
London
N4 2DQ
Opening hours: Lunch served noon-2.50pm Tue-Sat. Dinner served 5-10.30pm Tue-Sat; 4.30-10pm Sun
Transport: Tube: Finsbury Park tube/rail
Price: Main courses £6.50-£11. Set meal £25 4 courses
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Average User Rating

4 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:18
  • 4 star:5
  • 3 star:1
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:6
LiveReviews|31
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Von B
tastemaker

Definitely my favourite Japanese restaurant in London! I went for dinner with 5 other friends, ate rounds of sushi until we couldn't eat anymore and drank delicious sake all night and we were all shocked at how affordable the meal was when the bill came.

Ian M

Fantastic food at reasonable prices. Sushi and Korean - what more could you want.

Lu
tastemaker

As my other half says - the Korean BBQ pork will change your life. I actually prefer the sushi which is some of the freshest I've had in London - and not just the same old avocado and salmon, they're have a few more unusual fillings. My only criticism would be it's very difficult to get a table, but this is due to the small number of settings, which actually help add to the intimate feel. Be sure to book!

Chlo Fo
Tastemaker

Absolutely love this place - it's one of the best places to find Japanese and Korean food in London. I have worked my way through most of the menu now and haven't found anything I don't like! Top recommendations are eel maki rolls, deep fried squid, bulgogi, glass noodles and tempura prawns. Thanks to the guy below for the note about the tip, I will ensure to pay this in cash next time! Highly advise booking in advance as you're highly unlikely to get a table if you just rock on up. 

Matt S

This restaurant is lovely. And delicious. BUT... the 'discretionary service charge' automatically added to your bill DOES NOT go to the staff. Which I find appalling. Please consider asking for it to be removed and leaving them cash instead. I hope the owners consider changing this policy to fall more in line with what I think their customers would want.

Rafik M

If you want amazing tempura prawns with a light crispy batter, Dotori is the place. From the HWEDEOPBAP a Sashimi served on a dome of rice covered in a circle of raw vegetable thins served with a spicy and sweet sauce, very fresh. Stop in for a Special Bento Box with a selection of Teryaki (chicken or Salmon), yaki gyoza, Tempura prawns and 4 pieces of Sushi - extremely filling. Lastly if your a fan of Korean BBQ I would recommend the Dakbulgoggi, which comes with a side of rice and lettuce with some peanut sauce. 


Definitely worth booking a table be it by yourself or in a group the food will have your coming back again and again.

Poppy L
Tastemaker

Dotori is amazing! Reasonably priced with some of the best bento boxes I've tried. Both the Korean and Japanese menu are great, both with particularly fresh fish. Try the Crunch Roll (deep fried king prawns with cucumber and a sweet soy sauce) and any of the ramen's! It's pretty small (so avoid large groups) and easy to miss, but it's definitely worth looking out for!

Tara P

It's hard to put into words how enthralled we were to go to this restaurant. After checking numerous reviews with a fine tooth comb, we knew this would be a struggle, but as they say, don't forget the struggle don't forget the streets - the streets being where I wish I had been for the approximate 2hours and 36 minutes I was in Dotori and the struggle being the whole dining escapade. 

I didn't think we would get a table. I said to my tall friend 'Hey, maybe we should try somewhere else', but him being the sexist pig he is and not listening to a damn word I say, we went anyway, AND LOW AND BEHOLD, we got a table. I thought for once, maybe I'm wrong, maybe he can have this one, but oh how right I was, yet again.
I think it took approximately 1 hour and 8 minutes for our food to come, which was madness. It's Sunday, freaking Sunday! My tall friend made many joke about the salad being our dinner, I didn't find it funny but laughed anyway because I didn't want him to feel bad for making me wait so long to eat, I was freakin' starving and it was 100% his fault. 
Anyway, he got tired of waiting and went to the bathroom, but he's really tall and has long legs and he pretty much got stuck between two tables and almost cleared the couple next to us' table of their delicious food that I wasn't allowed to eat.
So off he went whilst I was at there almost crying with laughter/awkwardness at the whole situation.
When he came back, I was glad because that meant I could escape for a bit but banged my knee on the creepy knee high table next to the door and it really hurt, like REALLY hurt. I googled the symptoms and I think I should have gone to hospital but I was just so hungry, I had invested the time in waiting for my food, I couldn't quit now, the race was almost over. 
And then, the food came. And it was really nice. Not worth the wait but nice all the same. 2/5 burgers rating. 

Laurala
Tastemaker

A perfect night consists of a few rounds of bowling at Rowans Bowl next door and a meal at Dotori. We were lucky to get a table last minute. And this was a Tuesday, so make sure you book in advance. The menu is looooong. Overwhelming. Too much. Didn’t even want to go through it so we decided to go all Korean and share one of the set menus. Seaweed rolly thingies, fishy pancakes, chicken, meat and some more meat. Simple and delicious!

Lemon Jelly
Staff Writer

One of the best Japanese restaurants outside central London. Very good value for money and ideal for a quick informal dinner

Steve B
Staff Writer

One of the best restaurants in town and a must-visit. Really great atmosphere and most importantly delicious cuisine. It's a busy place but staff seem to always be on top of it, service was great. The set menu of Japanese & Korean delights is highly recommended

Keith J

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.

Richard M

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!

Sacha

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.

Emma

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.

Dean

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.

anna

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!!

Scott

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.

Felipe

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.

Joanna Elizabeth

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.

Valerie

The food is good, but the service so poor that the experience was thoroughly miserable. Will not be going back.

Robin

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.

Dani

great Korean food at great price! Highly recommended. Especially their Korean set meal

anonymous

The food was good but the service was so poor that I am not sure if I want to return.

Elle

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!

Phy

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.

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