Grub/Spirits Restaurant Reviews — 06 August 2010
A Restaurant Review: Dokebi

199 Grand Street, near Bedford Avenue, Williamsburg, (718) 782-1424
Getting There: L to Bedford Avenue


The art of food fusion is a risky trade with the result being either great praise or a restaurant filled with people scratching their heads.  Dokebi of Williamsburg is certainly not the latter.  The spacious layout of Dokebi provides room for all types of parties.  Most of the table tops are fitted with the traditional, do it yourself grills for the specialty meats they serve.  We paid a visit to Dokebi on an early weekend afternoon for lunch.  The main draw was the sign out-front promising traditional Korean tacos, hence the fusion.

Once inside, we were seated at a large table facing the street, with plenty of room to spread out.  The waitress on duty quickly came to the table with a friendly disposition.  It didn’t hurt that one of the friendliest things that she mentioned was that Kirin was $3 on draft, and watermelon Soju (a delightfully light fruit induced liquor drink) was just $4.50.  Plus, the restaurant offers a happy hour special all day long, (noon until seven pm) and when a place has impressive drink specials like this it always helps to enhance repeat business, especially for this customer.

An important perk to mention about Dokebi, and most Korean restaurants in general, is the little plates the server brings out to you before your food arrives.  At Dokebi we were served fresh kimchee, pickled cucumbers, and a very flavorful sautéed tofu in a mild, yet spicy sauce. After taking several minutes to study the menu, which was featured both on a chalk board and presented to the customer, we made our decision.  We felt it important to try a combination of both traditional and fusion items on the menu.  If this is your first visit to Dokebi, we recommend the pork belly, short rib, and roast pork tacos ($3.50 ea), and when given the option to order either Korean or Mexican style, go with the Korean.  These sauces are rich and savory and most importantly, radiate the Korean culture.  The vegetables on each of the tacos were both crunchy and fresh.  In fact, this was the first time we have had tacos with sprouts on them; an inventive touch.

The stews at Dokebi are hearty and offer patrons a cornucopia of different flavors.  We sampled the kimchee stew ($12), served with lean pork and mixed vegetables, which was sized appropriately for one hungry eater or two light ones.  When the steaming hot pot arrived at the table, the meat and vegetable medley sizzled and filled the air with pleasantly familiar aroma. The pork was deliciously lean and quite tender and the sauce was lighter allowing the true salty flavor of the meat to speak for itself.  The meal was excellent.

There are many different types of Asian restaurants in our area, but one needs to look beyond the typical and try something that might sound a little different. Who knew a Korean taco would be so delectable?  When you have options like succulent pork belly and short ribs, the choice is easy.  Dokebi promises a relaxing meal, interesting new tastes, and a great happy hour.  We can’t promise you no hipsters though.  Sorry.

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