An ideal day for sushi chef Taka Kishikawa would be sunny skies, low winds, and a fishing rod in his hand. Dock Asian Eatery’s veteran chef is as skilled with a rig and bait on a boat as he is wielding a sharp sashimi knife in the kitchen. Lucky for him, his love for fishing and his career as a sushi chef practically go hand-in-hand.
Originally from Japan, Chef Taka moved to the U.S. decades ago to continue his work as a sushi chef. Fortunately, moving to the east coast state of New York, Chef Taka was able to maintain his hobby of fishing. His favorite fishing spots are in Long Island, specifically East Hampton and Montauk, where the water is clean and the area serenely quiet.
“Fishing is something I will continue to do wherever I go as long as my body permits me to,” Chef Taka said. “Where there is an ocean, I will go fishing.”
Chef Taka, who is the executive chef and part-owner at Dock Asian Eatery, grew up in a southern fishing town Fukuoka. Most kids who grew up there, he explained, went fishing for fun. Young Taka got his first taste of catching his own fish when he was three years old after an older childhood friend took him to the town’s sea shore.
Although the trip didn’t go quite as planned, he remembers it fondly.
“We boiled a bunch of potatoes as bait for the fish… More than half [of the potatoes] ended up being eaten by us,” Chef Taka shared.
Now, Chef Taka uses techniques that are a bit more sophisticated when he goes fishing. He preps the rig and bait depending on the location where he is fishing, which yields different catches, and brings delight in experimenting with new methods.
During the summer season, his hauls mostly consist of fluke fish and trigger fish. In the fall, bonito fish are most commonly caught on his rod. While he enjoys fishing by himself to enjoy the natural, quiet surroundings on the boat, he usually goes on trips with a few friends who are also chefs.
Being professional cooks, the advantage to their catch is, of course, the stunning meal that results after. Chef Taka and his culinary fishing buddies often cook up their fish as a filet or sliced into beautiful layers of sashimi.
“I love all fish, but I think fluke is my favorite. The process of fishing for fluke is very fun and the taste is great too,” Chef Taka said.
After it first opened in December of last year, Dock Asian Eatery has been serving up authentic Asian dishes in Bushwick. The menu is split into three specialized menus: Thai, ramen, and sushi. Chef Taka, having been a sushi chef for more than 30 years, oversees the quality and taste of the restaurant’s sushi, sashimi, and hot plate Japanese dishes. Naturally, Chef Taka enjoys preparing the sashimi dishes the most.
Meanwhile, the Thai section, which boasts a delicious Chiang Mai noodles dish, is expertly crafted by Thai Chef Amornrat Aksaranan, who also co-owns Dock Asian Eatery. Chef Taka’s own son, Shogo Kishikawa, who has been cooking Japanese ramen since he was 16, has taken over the ramen menu.
The restaurant serves delicate slices of refreshing sashimi with soy sauce, wasabi, or ponzu. They also offer a nice dish of a western take on the classic tai carpaccio which consists of red snapper sashimi flavored with olive oil, rock salt, and lemon. Curious to try? Head over to Dock Asian Eatery on Wyckoff Avenue.
Dock Asian Eatery
22 Wyckoff Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11237 (off the Jefferson St stop in the L train)
All images courtesy of Dock Asian Eatery.
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