I want to share some photos from a restaurant I went to two weeks ago called Dora-Q. For those of you who don't know, I am fascinated with Japanese culture, I also love food, so when I have a chance to experience both at the same time it makes me very happy. I am slowly learning how many Japanese restaurants there are in Halifax and this one is simply fantastic. The restaurant can be found on the east side of Brenton Street (just off Spring Garden Rd), all you need to look for is the maneki-neko (beckoning cat in Japanese). Upon entering from the street, you're met with a set of stairs that lead you down to the entry way of the restaurant. When entering the dining area, you will have to pass under the noren, a low hanging curtain with slits cut into it making for easier entry. A noren traditionally used to protect form sun, wind and dust, and often displays the shops name or logo. Once through the noren, there is a formal sitting area and the order counter is to the right. Unlike most restaurants where you wait for a server and get menus, at Dora-Q, you pick your spot, set your stuff, and go straight to the counter. When ordering, one can feel a little overwhelmed if unsure of what to do. Instead of a traditional menu that is printed and handed to you, there are wooden tags above and along the wall opposite of the counter. These tags feature many different meal options that are not sushi, such as agedashi tofu, katsu don, iidako, and croquettes. But don't fret if sushi is your preferred Japanese cuisine, because there are plenty of sushi options as well. The staff there are some of the most polite, eager and hard working people I have ever met. We had some of our items ready before we were sitting down after paying, and our whole order was completed in about 4 minutes. When the final item was brought to the table we were met with a genuine "sorry for the wait".
The staff there are some of the most polite, eager and hard working people I have ever met. We had some of our items ready before we were sitting down after paying, and our whole order was completed in about 4 minutes. When the final item was brought to the table we were met with a genuine "sorry for the wait". Dora-Q has quickly become of of my favourite places in Halifax because of their manners and how you clearly feel the dedication they put into their work. One other thing the restaurant has, is a large assortment of Japanese snacks, drinks, and literature. There are also a number of sweets on sale for people to try and one I cannot recommend enough is the daifuku. I have loved daifuku for many years and until recently only had low quality mass produced kinds. Last year a man in Wolfville made daifuku at Cut's Meat Market, but he stopped coming to Wolfville because of the long commute. After seeing the Dora-Q carried it I immediately bought some. I had the first one gone before I even got home and it was one of the best I'd ever had. The mochi had a subtle sweetness that I'd never experienced before, and the anko was the perfect consistency. When I finished my meals, I always make it a point to head over to the counter, after placing my dishes at the designated pickup spot, and saying thank you to the cooks. If you are feeling a little brave after finishing your meal, a good gesture, in any Japanese restaurant, is to say "gochisosamadeshita" (once more for the cheap seats in the back, "go-chi-so-sa-ma-de-shi-ta). It is commonly said after every meal and translates into "thank you for the meal" and it is perfectly okay to give a slight bow out of respect. It is safe to say, I will be visiting Dora-Q as much as I can in the future.