If I had a penny for every time someone had recommended Bridport’s Dorshi to me.. I’d probably have around 7 or 8 pence.
But in all seriousness, the East Asian-inspired restaurant seems to have been making an impact amongst local foodies for quite some time and we were keen to discover whether or not the eatery lived up to it’s reputation. So, last week we decided to venture over into neighbouring Dorset to give the place a try for ourselves..
Dorshi’s location isn’t exactly obvious, unless you’re a Bridport resident and know where to look. Luckily for me, my partner is a local and he was able to point us in the right direction (down a very unassuming looking ally). When we arrived, the place was more or less empty downstairs but was teeming with activity upstairs in the cocktail bar. It turns out that we were extremely lucky to be able to grab a last minute table, as we later learned that the popular restaurant quickly fills up and many other hopeful diners were turned away at the door due to not having booked.
It’s fair to say that the Dorshi menu is fairly limited. However, having said this there’s definitely enough on offer to tempt your tastebuds and the dishes that are available appear to have been well thought through. The menu is divided between crispy or steamed Dorshi dumplings, small plates, larger bowls, and desserts. As a rule of thumb, we’d recommend treating the menu like tapas and ordering dishes to share between you. This way, not only do you get to sample more of the food on offer, but it also reduces the possibility that you’re going to get food envy!
Steamed Organic Pork, Leek & Ginger Dumplings / Crispy Free-Range Chicken, Lime & 4 Pepper Dumplings
We started off our meal by sharing two lots of dumplings: one crispy and one fried. Both baskets were incredibly tasty and packed with flavour; although the chicken ones had the edge for me as these were particularly delicious. It was immediately apparent from my first bite that the chefs at Dorshi are well-versed in Asian flavours and I would quite happily tuck into a basket of their dumplings as I sit and write this review.
Tiny Tempeh Bun
Next up we shared one of Dorshi’s ‘small plates’ and opted for the Tiny Tempah Bun. I’ll admit, neither of us knew what this really was from the description alone (organic tempeh steeped in black pearl tea, millet & cashew cream with a sake sauce) and neither of us understood any better once we had eaten it! All I know is that it was tasty, veggie and came in a brioche bun. Indeed, while I enjoyed it’s well balanced, if slightly unusual Asian flavours, my partner wasn’t a fan at all and allowed me to polish it off to myself.
Off The Hook Noodles
For the main event we enjoyed a hearty bowl of spelt noodles in a fish broth with 7-spice onions, tomato oil and delicate fried fish. This time, my partner was the one who refused to give up the dish, and so I only got to try a little bit of the moorish broth at the end. Needless to say, these noodles were a hit!
The Allotment / Kimchi
We also ordered ‘The Allotment’ from the Specials menu and a side order of kimchi. As a lover of Korean food, I was satisfied that Dorshi’s kimchi was very nicely done (albeit a lot less spicy than a lot of kimchi i’ve tried before) and The Allotment contained some of the best cooked greens I’ve sampled in a long time – tender, flavourful and not too filling.
I can certainly see why Dorshi has earned an enviable reputation for it’s food. It’s dishes are simple and clean, yet they bring unique East-Asian flavours to the table. The restaurant itself is modern and stylish, and food served at just the right pace. Likewise, you’re hardly going to be breaking the bank when sharing dishes priced at around £6-12 a pop.
If you’ve read this review and you think you’d like to try Dorshi out for yourself, then I recommend you book in advance because the place can get busy. Dorshi is worth the trip and if East Asian-inspired cuisine is your thing, you won’t be disappointed,