How many Londoners are aware that only 20 minutes from central London there is a cosy enclave of 20-or so Korean restaurants? Not too many, if this highly popular restaurant is anything to go by.
It’s Korean/Japanese which means that sushi is served alongside bowls of bibimbap and Japchae.
It’s on the corner of Stroud Green Road, an unwelcoming part of north London just across from Finsbury Park tube.
So what’s it like? Well, its tiny. Inside capacity looks like it can seat 24 diners. Waiters hurry up and down delivering food on tables no bigger than a chessboard.
The small size won’t be a problem, however, if you are Asian-sized, but some people are going to have difficulties. Last Monday two Australian women looked awkward as they moved, crablike, into their seats.
On our first visit we tried a tempura bento box and bulgogi bento. Ingredients were good and the tempura was deliciously crisp.
There were no offerings of kimchi but we were given a bowl of iceberg lettuce before our food came.
On Saturday we went back to try something Korean. We ordered Saewoo Dolsot. It was a hefty sized bowl but lacked some of the vegetables you would normally find, such as beansprouts. The prawns benefitted from the gochugang sauce which we stirred liberally into the rice. It was good but by the time we had finished the restaurants was feeling incredibly claustrophobic. In true Asian style, we dined and dashed, but not before paying the bill (a not unreasonable £11.95, for the Dolsot and a glass of Ice GreenTea).
Dotori, 3 Stroud Green Rd, London N4 2DQ
Who goes there? Cool kids with money to spend and groups of middle-aged locals.