I met with my friend for lunch at Darling Square a couple of months ago. I had wanted to try Dopa by Devon for a while, and the weekend provided the perfect opportunity as parking was more readily available. I parked at Novotel Sydney Central, which was $9.20 for weekend parking.
I had the Grilled Glacier 51 Toothfish Don, which was $38 for the est with miso soup and some salad and pickles, plus an exorbitant Sunday surcharge. Toothfish is one of the rare and somewhat unknown treasures of the sea, and until quite recently a forbidden animal, owing to a lack of a sustainable way to capture it. It was only recently that an Australian fishery out of Heard Island has been able to apply sustainable fishing techniques to bring the joy of this fish to the table.
The toothfish serving in Dopa’s toothfish don was huge and the texture just so delicate. It really melted right into my mouth, and the taste of the marinade complemented rather than overwhelmed the fish. It was only my second time eating toothfish, and I thought it was equal to the toothfish I had at Sokyo for a much higher price. It was much better than the toothfish I had at Zushi Barangaroo.
While expensive and with a nonsensical weekend surcharge, I really enjoyed the toothfish don at Dopa. I want to bring my girlfriend here soon.
SEPTEMBER 2020 UPDATE #1
I brought my girlfriend here. We had the toothfish don (again) and she loved it. There definitely wasn’t as much toothfish this time, which was a bit disappointing, and I have the photographic evidence to prove it. I also thought the toothfish wasn’t cooked as well, but was still better than Zushi Barnagaroo.
We also had the Scrambled Egg and Furikake Don ($8). Wow. This dish really went far to show just how good and wholesome a simple meal can be. The eggs were perfectly soft and fluffy, and made for a great topping for the warm rice, and the furikake provided a great tasty addition. To use a now overused phrase, the scrambled egg furikake don really warmed me up from the inside. It was just so wholesome, and cheap!
My partner enjoyed the yuzu green tea more than me.
SEPTEMBER 2020 UPDATE #2
Damn it, we went back. This time we were a bit too full already, having had a light meal at A1 Canteen in the morning.
The Mentai Salmon Don I didn’t really enjoy. It was a far cry from the other light, fresh, unami dishes that Dopa serves. The spicy mentai mayo was too thick and overpowering. I liked that it helped to cook the salmon a bit, and I did really enjoy the salmon component. It was overall too tasty and I wouldn’t recommend.
We also had the A5-7 Wagyu Don with shallot and ginger. I thought the thinly sliced beef was quite tender, however I thought that the ginger and shallot, a mainstay of Chinese BBQ cooking, did not work well with the beef. It split the meal into two components in my mind – the light Japanese taste of the beef, seaweed, and egg, and the salty and strong taste of the ginger and shallot to be eaten with rice. My girlfriend did not get to enjoy this dish as she was moving the car and by the time she got back it was cold.
Overall Dopa is one of our new favourite places. It offers well priced, homely Japanese fare. They never have any uni available when I go but I hope one day they will and I will be able to update this post. Yum.
Dopa Donburi and Milkbar
Shop 5/6, 2 Little Hay St, Haymarket NSW 2000
(02) 8060 4861