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Moody low lighting adds to the electric ambience of Dozo Izakaya's polished, chic interior. The venue functions as more of a lounge than a restaurant. Well-suited to lazing, Dozo is fitted with comfy booths and service is professional but languid - encouraging visitors to Dozo to stay and enjoy, rather than the usual 'eat up and move out' attitude of Taiwan's fast table-turning restaurants. Open as late as 3AM on the weekends, with last orders at 2AM, guests can sit comfortably and enjoy the slow-paced escape of dining in Dozo.
The environment is kid-friendly but certainly more trendy-upscale than homely. With live entertainment, Dozo is an exceptional venue is terms of pleasing both parents and their little sidekicks. This upscale Japanese restaurant-meets-lounge regularly woos diners with delectably dynamic evening drum shows. For a better view of the live Taiko drum shows that take place in Dozo, twice in the evenings on weekends, reserve a VIP room. These tatami mat rooms are elevated, with glass walls to allow inhabitants to peer through at the performers below.
Dozo's cuisine is best described as Japanese fusion. With a menu in English and Chinese, it's a wonderful environment of east meets west. Besides classic Japanese dishes, the menu features eclectic dishes like Italian-style fried udon or a stone bowl of Korean-style rice. Among the favourite bits to bite is the Seven Spice Flavoured Tuna Pate` - a smooth, zingy tuna pate` served with freshly crisp romaine lettuce. With a great variety of tofu and vegatarian options for non-meat eaters, the extensive food menu offers something for everyone. Dozo's menu of sweet treats is tiny, but so are the dishes. And priced fairly reasonable, it's great to get a few different desserts to nibble at when the main meal is over.
On the drinks side, Dozo's more adventurous tables are adorned with four-liter Orion draft beer dispensers. For something with more of a kick, try the fruity Mitsuware (whisky, peach syrup, honey and soda) or the sugary and zesty samurai (shochu, whisky, triple and lemon juice). Considering the lavish setting of this delightful venue, it's a suprise that cocktails at Dozo are notably affordable. The usual upmarket spirits are also at arm's reach - whisky, champagne and, without doubt, sake.
Beautiful presentation, live entertainment and good service make this place great value - worthwhile, yet upsacle restaurant suited to celebrations or special nights out. On Guangfu South Road, near Civic Boulevard and just around the corner from Sun Yat-Sen MRT station, Dozo is easy to find and difficult to leave.