Dozo is a Japanese fusion restaurant located within Valley Point shopping centre. The setting is semi-pretentious and luxurious, and besides the main dining room, it provides separate rooms for private dining. The colors and deco are more out of a pretentious Chinese restaurant, rather than Japanese: vivid colours, abundance of soft furnishings and fancy wallpapers. The dim lighting creates a pleasant atmosphere. Being in a group of 4, we got our own private dining room, which definitely benefited to the whole experience. I would highly recommend that you go with a group of friends and book a private room in advance.
The food deal is good value for money, pricing a 7 course dinner at 59.80++. You get to chose each course from a selection of about 5 dishes each. I must say that I found it difficult to compose my own meal since there were too many things I wanted to try, and there were quite a few conflicting choices. You can never complain about being spoilt for choice! After ordering the food, we were served a glass of ice cold fruity juice together with the amouse bouche.
I must say we weren't incredibly impressed with the amouse bouche, which included smoked salmon topped with whipped cream, a pan seared scallop, and some foie-gras. I found that the whipped cream was a tad too sweet to be paired with the salmon, and the scallop too dry (probably pre-cooked). One of us also complained about the fact that the fruity drink which was served with the dish was so strong in flavour that the scallop couldn't really be tasted after savouring it.
One of the best dishes I had that evening was also their signature dish. We all ordered the same cold dish, the beef tataki with shaved Parmesan and truffle mayo mosaic. The beef was nicely marbled, soft and thinly sliced. It was wrapped around a crunchy wafer whose drier texture actually enhanced the flavour of the beef. I would have this again.
The steamed fresh bamboo clam, which was served as a side dish, was not as good a choice. The cooking style was more Chinese than Japanese or western, and I just found that the chopped garlic just covered any other flavour. The other side I had, the tempura battered soft shell crab, was up to expectation, served with a nice dipping sauce.
I personally loved the crab bisque cappuccino style. This was served in a coffee cup, and was extremely dense and foamy. The flavour was quite intense, but less striking than the texture.
Coming to the main dishes, the Sake infused grilled unagi on hot stone was very good. Served as described on the menu, the sake was poured onto the eel right at the table, creating a show of steam raising from the hot stone as the alcohol evaporated. The rice that was served with the dish was flavoured with unagi sauce. This was probably the closest to Japanese food that I ate on the night. I had a baked Atlantic cod in basil sauce which didn't quite score it for me, when compared to the other dishes; wrong choice, I wouldn't recommend it.
The beef tenderloin on "Pu-Ye" and granite hot stone was even more outstandingly presented, and with a flavour to match. The beef was tender and juicy, nicely seared and crispy on the outside. This would be my recommended choice for most. The herb-braised lamb shank was also very good, succulent and full of flavour.
Overall, I think Dozo is well worth it, so long as you set your expectations right. Don't expect Japanese food but rather some Japanese style flavours here and there - and don't expect Andre' Chiang. But you can certainly expect pretty good fusion for a very reasonable price, within a comfortably sumptuous setting that differentiates this place from most others.