When people think of Asian fare, they usually think delicious and convenient. The recently opened Dock Asian Eatery is no exception. Located right off the intersection of Wyckoff Avenue and Troutman Street, the Asian eatery boasts three distinct types of cuisine—Thai, sushi, and ramen—which coexist in a single menu.
Thai chef Amornrat Aksaranan, sushi chef Taka Kishikawa, and his son, ramen-making extraordinaire Shogo Kishikawa are the brains behind Dock’s elaborate offering. Serving multiple cuisines under the same roof is hardly a novel idea but it is a bold concept to take on.
However, what sets Dock Asian apart from similar Pan-Asian style restaurants is the team’s recipe for success: having one master chef focus on a designated section of the menu. This one-chef-one-menu system allows patrons to jump between different types of Asian fare without worrying that they are compromising on quality or taste.
“This kind of concept is quite a challenge,” Aksaranan, a veteran restaurateur who also owns Chai Thai Kitchen in Manhattan, said. “It was kind of tough thinking about how we were going to do the sections… but so far it’s good. Customers understand what we’re doing.”
What they are doing is creating authentic Asian flavors that they hope brings different people in the Bushwick neighborhood together. Created by a group of longtime friends working in the culinary business, togetherness is what inspired the restaurant’s name and logo, which resembles the harbor’s sturdy loading dock. These harborways are a symbol of cultural exchange and social connections, things that the Dock Asian team hopes are expressed through the hearty, nuanced flavors of their dish collection.
Dock Asian’s commitment to quality is obvious in every bite off the menu, no matter which section of Asian cooking your heart desires. The restaurant’s unwillingness to pander to an Americanized palette, which is the standard play at most Asian restaurants, is refreshing. Evidently, that principle also makes for better dishes that taste closer to their Eastern origins.
“How American people know Japanese food and what we know as Japanese food is quite different. So we are trying to go back to the traditional roots,” General Manager Yoshi Kakkino said. Another longtime friend of both chefs, Kakkino co-owns the restaurant with Aksaranan and Taka Kishikawa, too.
The camaraderie shared by the group of friends behind Dock Asian also adds to the restaurant’s appeal and makes it clear that the new establishment is in it for the long haul. Among the restaurant’s Thai menu selection, standouts include Aksaranan’s home-style peanut vegetable dumplings and Chiang Mai noodles. The vegetarian-friendly dumplings and the warming bowl of noodles made with chicken broth, both play up the strong northern flavors that the Thai chef grew up on.
If you are craving a brothy bowl of noodles with a side of sushi, you are in luck. Originally from Japan’s Fukuoka prefecture, Taka Kishikawa has been making sushi since he was a 16-year-old. Now an executive chef at Dock Asian, the seasoned cook brings his masterful skills to serve the freshest slices of sushi and sashimi that you can find in North Brooklyn.
Taka Kishiwaka’s section of the menu also includes a variety of Japanese hot plates. Something meat-loving patrons should not miss is his beef steak dish. The savory steak is cooked to perfection and seasoned with Japanese-style soy sauce, served on a bed of garlic rice, potato, and egg.
When looking for the right person to entrust with Dock Asian’s ramen menu, Aksaranan and Taka Kishikawa looked no further than Taka’s son, Shogo. An experienced chef in his own right, Shogo has spent a decade perfecting his ramen-making skills. The hot ticket dish in his section of the menu, Shogo said, is the tonkotsu ramen. The delicious pork-stock broth of the dish was inspired by the young chef’s favorite bowl of ramen back home in Japan.
“It’s a very small family-owned ramen shop. But I loved the taste of the tonkotsu ramen and wanted to replicate that here,” Shogo said of his inspiration. Another customer favorite is the spicy miso ramen.
In terms of setting, Dock Asian’s romantic industrial gives it a homey yet hip feeling. The beautiful interior design was created by another member of its extended family—Aksaranan’s architect husband.
Since its opening in December, the combination of Dock Asian’s uncompromised dishes and comfortable seating has attracted an eclectic mix of clientele made up of young professionals and older families.
There are some exciting new developments in the works at Dock Asian Eatery to lookout for this summer. The chefs are preparing to mix up their menus with seasonal dishes with the warmer weather coming up. There will also be a new outdoor seating space opening soon and a vibrant cocktail menu to boot.
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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