Dozo Sushi and Sake Bar
Dozo is a fairly standard Japanese restaurant with an emphasis on drinks. It's located in the restaurant-heavy area of Hwy 7 and Commerce Valley and East Beaver Creek in Markham. Aesthetically the restaurant offers a nice enough experience but the food leaves a little to be desired.
The menu is bound in an actual book filled with colourful photographs of nearly everything they serve. It's written in English and Japanese but lacks descriptions of what the dishes are even when they're not pictured. As I peruse the menu, I see that Dozo serves a lot of the same sorts of things that most mid-range Japanese restaurants do, but with a much wider range of drinks as half the menu is devoted to beverages like fruit slushes and sake.
Between the two of us, my friend and I share four different dishes which sets us back around $35 plus tax and tip.
The Fried Shrimp with Noodle ($9) promises to be a unique alternative to tempura. The shrimp comes wrapped with very thin crispy noodles that have a nice little crunch to them, but really just taste deep-fried.
Next come the Takoyaki (octopus balls - $6 - top photo). Like most Takoyaki in TO, they're filled with more batter than octopus and are a bit too much on the gooey side. The outside is crispy, but overall too greasy to recommend.
We also order the House Roll ($7) which is filled with salmon, fish roe, and mayonnaise wrapped in thin slices of cucumber. It's light and refreshing but lacks flavour.
The Dozo Makimono ($10) is covered with various types of fish and filled with asparagus,
cucumber, avocado, fish roe and fake crab meat. The fish taste bland - probably not as fresh as it could be - and even the rice seemed a little subpar. Normally sushi rice has a subtle sweet and vinegary taste to it. But this one was too dry and the pieces fell apart easily.
A seemingly cool and sleek space, Dozo's decor has kitschy touches and a pink and purple colour scheme that make the space feel more relaxed. There are black and white images of goldfish on the walls of the booths, bright pink lighting, and various silver ornaments that seem in no way connected to one another except that they adhere to the colour scheme.
The decor itself seems like a metaphor for the dining experience - visually interesting at first glance but ultimately disjointed with too many shorts cuts and cheap finishes.