This pan-Asian restaurant in trendy Bushwick didn’t hit the mark.
Brooklyn, by all accounts, has some of the best food in NYC. However, for various reason, a visit to Brooklyn was not in the cards during this trip and we had not make do with a brief stop during our bus tour of the NYC boroughs. I knew, by looking at the reviews, that the bus would stop for lunch at either the Timeout Market or Wyckoff & Flushing in Brooklyn, and that we’d have about an hour to have lunch and get back to the bus. I thus was prepared with a list of possible restaurants to visit at either location. That section of Bushwick is really full of restaurants and bars, but a very large proportion of them do not open for lunch, so our choices of well-reviewed restaurants within walking distance, was actually smaller than you might think if you know the area. We decided on Dock Asian, as Mike was in a mood for Thai and there wasn’t anything else particularly exciting on our list.
Dock Asian is not a Thai restaurant per se, though its chef is Thai and many of the dishes in the menu are also Thai dishes. Still, they also serve some Chinese, Japanese and Vietnamese dishes. It might just be that those are better, but I wouldn’t count on it.
We started with the chicken satay ($10) and here is where our disappointment started. The chicken was tender and moist, but it lacked flavor. The accompanying peanut sauce was very generic, it almost tasted bottled. It really lacked the complexity that the best peanut sauces have. The dish wasn’t bad, I’m not sure we’ve ever had bad Thai food, it just was below average. This dish came with four skewers, but I didn’t think of taking a picture until after we’d eaten three of them.
I had the beef pad khing ($15) lunch special as my main. It consisted of beef sautéed with mushrooms, onions, scallions, ginger and red bell peppers and was served with rice and a choice of salad or a spring roll. Once again, I found it to be pretty generic. It was tasty enough, but something that you can easily put together in a few minutes yourself for a fraction of the price. Of course, this was likely my fault for ordering a stir fry – but I thought the sauce it would be cooked in would be more compelling. The spring roll was equally unremarkable.
Mike ordered the panang chicken ($16), which comes with white rice. He chose to have it medium, and it was exactly as a medium spiced curry should be: too spicy for me but not for him. The problem, once again, was the flavor. It was fine, but not developed enough. Definitely below average in comparison to the hundreds of panang curries he’s had in his life (we are old and this is his favorite dish).
While the food wasn’t stellar, the restaurant itself was very cool. It had an industrial (lots of metal) / modern feel, and it did look very hip. There is sitting at tall tables downstairs and more upstairs.
Service was competent and friendly. Menus are also your typical QR codes, but they do have paper menus if you ask.
Our expectations of Thai food might be particularly high given the plethora of high quality Thai restaurants we have in California – recently, we were equally disappointed by a well rated Thai restaurant in Vancouver, Washington. But two other tourists from our bus tour who also ate there were equally disappointed with their meals.
Dock Asian Eatery 22 Wyckoff Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11237 (718) 821-3900 M-Su Noon - 10:15 PM