Kinoko, a new restaurant showcasing American-style Japanese temaki, similar to a sushi hand roll, is opening in Greenpoint this spring. Kinoko will be located at 179 Meserole Avenue, at the corner of Newel Street, in the space that previously housed the bar and grill Slick Willy’s.
The chef and owner of Kinoko, Kelseay Dukae, explained that the word “kinoko” translates to mushroom in Japanese. Dukae said that she feels mushrooms are an important and prominent ingredient in vegan food, and she plans to serve several vegan-friendly dishes at Kinoko, in addition to local and ethically sourced fish and seasonal vegetables.
Two vegan temaki options that Dukae said will probably pop up on Kinoko’s menu are one with panko-fried oyster mushrooms, yuzu kosho mayo, and hot agave, and one with jackfruit sneauxcrab, cucumbers, and spicy mayo.
Another example Dukae provided is the salmon temaki with pastrami cured hot smoked salmon with whipped scallion cream cheese and cucumbers (that just might give Acme a run for their money.)
In addition to temaki, Dukae will cook up other East Asian fusion food, incorporating hints of her Creole roots. Dukae highlighted a gumbo ramen, which she describes as “Nola meets Japanese.” Plus, she will have her mom, Jerilyn Ackel, by her side, who she calls “the gumbo queen.”
You might have guessed that Dukae is a New Orleans native. She has run a catering company and food pop-ups in California, New York, and New Orleans, and also teaches private sushi classes where she shows students how to make vegan sushi that she says is just as “delectable as traditional sushi.”
Dukae’s Kinoko has previously taken the form of a sushi bar in New Orleans, which New Orleans Magazine included in its 2021 list of ‘Best Sushi in the City.’ Kinoko has also been featured on Eater. Most recently, Kinoko was a vendor at right here in the neighborhood at Williamsburg’s Smorgasburg.
“My main focus will be the new location, however, I still plan to do Smorgasburg and continue to do lots of catering and private parties,” Dukae told Greenpointers.