It’s all in a name
The name “Somkit” translates to English as “Wish Fulfillment." After 14 years in the business, a Thai and sushi bar in downtown Dixon has achieved its wishes and more.
The beginning of a successful business
The restaurant business was started in May of 2007 by the current owners' family, Jack Treerawat and Aim Pitawan Yindeeroop. Jack’s parents, Sam and Udi Somkit, moved to Dixon in 2007 and saw an opportunity for a small restaurant in the heart of downtown Dixon. They started their first restaurant, Touch of Thai, at 221 W. First St. Wings & More now occupies this space. It featured a full Thai menu. Within a short time, the community showed overwhelming love and support. In 2008, the owners saw the need for expanding the menu by adding sushi. At the same time, they remodeled and updated the interior to accommodate the new sushi bar with a modern design style.
Touch of Thai became even more successful with the help of their son, Jack, and his wife, Aim. Raised in Thailand, they moved to the states to pursue their careers. In 2005, Aim attended college in Chicago to study business and communications, where she met her husband, Jack. They married in 2008. Jack and Aim commuted from Chicago and Dixon to work in their careers and help the family. Eventually, they moved to Dixon full-time to be a vital part of the family business.
New name and address in 2017
In 2017, after ten years at the 221 W. First St. location as “Touch of Thai,” the owners decided to relocate across the street to 214 W. First St. The business also rebranded and reestablished under the name Somkit to honor the late Sam Somkit. It was easy to continue to be inspired through this new location by all of the hard work Sam and Udi had put into developing the restaurant concept, the menu, and the loyal client base. Continuing to honor his name and legacy was their biggest drive for the new brand and address.
An added feature at the new location is a drive-up window on the alley-side of the restaurant. Pick up a great evening's meal on the way home from work.
Upon walking in, I was in awe of the beautiful design and touches of the space. Exposed brick walls with floating shelves displaying various alcohol choices, a glass drink rack suspended from the ceiling above the homemade bar, black ceilings with exposed pipes and hanging lights made it the perfect mix of industrial and modern space. A large canvas photo hangs boldly in the bar of the original curator and chef that started it all - Sam Somkit.
Unique cocktails for every taste
We were seated near the middle of the restaurant and started looking over the drink menu. The matcha drinks immediately caught my eye. The Matcha Lemonade struck my fancy. It is a mixture of Tanqueray gin, mint matcha powder, and pineapple and lemon juices. The drink menu also featured creative drinks such as the Tiki Blossom, Rendezvous Punch, The Alamo, Lychee Martini, Manhattans, and plenty more. Fresh ingredients are used in each cocktail. We started with a deep-fried spicy tuna roll, Matcha Lemonade, and a martini.
The menu is the star of the show
The menu is expansive, with over 20 starters of soup, salad, and many sushi rolls. Then onto the entrees, makimonos, chef’s specials, sashimi and nigiri, Japanese entrees, and bento boxes. We were overwhelmed in the best way possible, reading each food description and trying to make our choices. We chose the Green Turtle roll--consisting of a delicious mix of tempura shrimp, salmon, spicy mayo, wasabi tobiko shrimp--and an entree of Salmon Teriyaki.
Leftovers? Not a chance.
We admired the rest of the clean and vibrant space as we sipped on our cocktails and waited for the food to arrive. Our first set of sushi appetizers came out quickly and were better than we could imagine. After downing the first round of sushi rolls, out came our dinner. The Salmon Teriyaki was cooked to perfection and displayed neatly over white rice. Other entrees included Chicken Teriyaki, Beef Teriyaki, and Shrimp Tempura. The food was excellent and cooked to perfection. Because of this, we didn’t have any leftovers to take home--just full and happy bellies.
Not only was the food top-notch, but so was the staff. From the bartenders, sushi chefs, wait staff, and hosts, you can tell they enjoy their work.
Explore downtown Dixon
We explored Dixon's downtown by stopping at cute boutiques and antique shops along First Street. We weren't disappointed in our finds.
If you're looking for weekend plans or a day trip for some amazing food, head to Somkit and Discover Dixon!
214 W. First Street
Dixon, IL 61021
Tuesday through Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.