Greenpoint’s long-awaited Kinoko (179 Meserole Ave.) is opening its doors on January 5, 2024 in the space that was previously Slick Willy’s. 

Owner and chef, Kelseay Reed, was originally hoping to open her restaurant last summer, but “National Grid had other plans for me,” Reed joked, explaining that the restaurant’s lack of a gas meter inevitably set back construction for Kinoko.

“I am a sole woman owner, without partners to lean on and had to figure out most of this on my own,” Reed said, musing that she is glad its over and that she can finally share her restaurant with the neighborhood.

Chef and owner Kelseay Reed outside 179 Meserole Ave. before she transformed it into Kinoko. Photo: Kelseay Reed

Kinoko, which translates to “mushroom” in Japanese, will offer a distinctly original (and slightly quirky) mix of New Orleans-influenced Cajun cuisine and Japanese specialities, unlike anything else we’ve seen in the neighborhood.

The food is not only unique, but sustainable. “We are primarily using all local and sustainable fish, local wine, sake and beer and local mushrooms,” Reed told Greenpointers


Reed said that she is keeping Kinoko’s mushroom-heavy menu small, but will offer a rotating selection of seasonal specials. For example, during crawfish season, she plans to have “proper Cajun crawfish boils” and fried seafood po’ boy sandwiches.

Temaki samples from KInoko. Photo: Kinoko

Kinoko’s current menu starts with a few small appetizers like persimmon and golden beet whipped feta with shitake mushrooms and walnut chili crunch. There’s a Little Gem salad with avocado and red miso dressing, Louisiana crawfish and lump crab rangoons, and chicken karaage with hot honey, Steen’s cane vinegar coleslaw, and wasabi ranch, plus croquettes with lion’s mane mushrooms.

The next part of the menu is focused on Japanese temakis, which are similar to hand rolls. The temaki section is divided into “farm temakis” and “fish temakis.”

The farm temaki section includes a vegetarian option with jackfruit, cucumber, tenkasu, spicy mayo, chives, and vegetarian crab, plus a temaki with panko-fried oyster mushrooms, yuzu mayo, and hot honey.

The fish temaki section includes three options. There’s bluefin tuna from Montauk with crispy chicken skins, pickled daikon, and chives. There is one with panko-fried gulf shrimp from Louisiana with remoulade and dill. The third contains fluke from Montauk, Steen’s cane vinegar ponzu, and wasabi.

The menu concludes with two ramen dishes. The first is called “Jer’s Gumbo Ramen” and contains gulf shrimp, andouille sausage, chicken, okra, soy egg, scallions, and nori. The second is “Kinoko Gumbo Ramen” and has oyster mushrooms, shiitakes, okra, mustard greens, soy egg, scallions, and nori.

The vibe at Kinoko “is a direct reflection of the food,” Reed said. The atmosphere will be casual, fun, and playful, with nods to New Orleans in spirit and decor, plus Japanese-inspired accents. 

Persimmon and golden beet whipped feta. Photo: Kinoko.

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