Tag Archives: sushi wichita ks

Ninza Sushi Bar

5 Dec

For being in a landlocked state, Wichita has a fairly decent sushi scene. Over the last several years the additions of Wasabi and Kanai have really raised the bar for what diners expect in their raw and delicious Japanese fare. Ninza, which opened earlier this year is making a name for itself as another solid sushi option.

Tucked away in a strip mall at Tyler and 13th, Ninza is not very visible from the main roads, but  just drive around the parking lot for a while and you’ll find it. Inside the restaurant is an open floor plan with the option of sitting at the sushi bar for your meal. The atmosphere at Ninza is a bit more laid back compared to other sushi joints. The music was not blaring and the noise level was tolerable.

The Snow Coconut Roll

The Snow Coconut Roll

While looking over the menu I noticed that the quantity of  Ninza’s offerings were not quite as daunting as others can be. Nothing is more frustrating than turning through pages of complex maki rolls trying to figure out what in the world to order. Ninza offers a good variety of classic, baked, and tempura maki rolls as well as sashimi.  Some of the maki rolls are rather creative utilizing such ingredients as fried garlic, cream cheese, mozzarella, and peanut butter. Besides sushi, Ninza offers some unique appetizers and salads including a Japanese burrito, deep fried jalapeno with cream cheese, pickled octopus salad, and salmon skin salad. For those that for some reason don’t order sushi at a sushi restaurant there are a couple of options, but not many.

On our visit we decided to try three different maki rolls starting with the classic California roll, a baked Snow Coconut roll, and a tempura Honey Stone roll. We also ordered one of their specials that night, ramen style noodles. The California was average and

Real Ramen Noodles: No Microwave Needed

Real Ramen Noodles: No Microwave Needed

was certainly overshadowed by the other two rolls. The Honey Stone was very similar to the Stonehenge that is available at Wasabi. It had fried crab, tempura shrimp, avocado, and cream cheese. Although it was not as good as the Stonehenge it was a nonetheless delightful. The Snow Coconut was my favorite of the night. The roll consisted of shrimp tempura, coconut flakes, peanut butter, avocado, crab, and cilantro. While this combination may sound questionable it was actually very good. It reminded me of deconstructed  Thai peanut sauce with the coconut, peanut butter, and cilantro playing nicely together. The large plate of ramen noodles was a hit with our son, although much of it ended up on the floor when he decided he needed to use chopsticks. The noodles were tossed in a light sauce with a few sautéed veggies. My only complaint was that pickled ginger and wasabi paste did not come with each roll. I enjoy clearing out my sinuses with some wasabi.

I wish Ninza were closer to our house because it is another good option for sushi in town. Hopefully we will head back soon to try some of the more exotic appetizers and salads they have to offer as well as the roll  served in a ring of fire. Just check out some of their pictures on Facebook if you need any more convincing to visit.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ninza-Sushi-Bar/487908747938606

Ninza Sushi Bar on Urbanspoon

Wasabi and Old Town Sushi Bar by Wasabi

21 Dec

NOTE: Since the time of this review we have visited both the north Rock and Old Town Wasabi locations and have never been disappointed. Our favorite roll is the Stonehenge, a mammoth deep fried roll filled with crab, avocado, shrimp tempura, cream cheese and topped with masago.

Although Wasabi has had an Old Town location open in Wichita for a while, it took the opening of an eastside location for us to finally make a visit. About a month ago Wasabi opened up on North Rock Rd. in the old Bossa Grill location. They did a decent amount of renovation to the restaurant space, adding a Sushi Bar and Japanese styling to the interior as well as the obligatory TV that for some reason was tuned to the Chiefs game. We had a large group with us on a Sunday afternoon, but luckily the restaurant was fairly slow. Perhaps that is why there was some loud music coming out of their sound system. I don’t know what is with some of these trendy Sushi places(Ahem, Sumo) and their proclivity to play loud annoying music, but Wasabi was jamming it out on this particular afternoon.

The Stonehenge: A Don’t Miss Maki Roll

Perusing the menu at Wasabi was a rather daunting task. They have a very extensive list of sushi and maki rolls including many specialty rolls to choose from. Besides sushi, Wasabi also offers other Japanese and Asian dishes such as yakisoba noodles, bul go gi, bi bim bab, and teriyaki plates. I was feeling adventurous and decided to order the 10 Piece Chef’s Choice Sushi and California Roll dinner. Steph decided to try a non-sushi dish and ordered the Tempura Shrimp Udon Noodles. My meal came out with a wide variety of sushi present. I had crab, salmon, tuna, and halibut pieces that were all rather tasty. My Cali roll was served with shredded crab meat, instead of the typical chunks, and was equally delicious. Steph and I both enjoyed her large-portioned shrimp and noodle bowl, although the shrimp were a touch overdone. It had a good mix of veggies and shrimp with the right amount of sauce. The portions at Wasabi are large, which enabled me to sample some other rolls that our party had ordered. By far the best one I had was the Stone Henge, a giant roll stuffed with crab, tempura shrimp, avocado, and cream cheese. If that weren’t enough it was deep fried and topped with a sweet masago sauce. This is definitely a roll you can’t miss when paying a visit to Wasabi. Toward the end of our meal the waiter brought out two dishes that were compliments of the chef. He gave us a raw tuna salad and a beautifully crafted ball of thinly sliced avocado that was stuffed with a crab mixture. I believe it was called an Avocado Ball and I highly recommend it.

Overall I was impressed with Wasabi. It is certainly a good value as far as sushi goes. Their rolls are large and reasonably priced. If you order a side salad and some miso soup you have a filling meal for around $15 dollars. While I still give the edge in Wichita sushi to Kanai, it is a good option for the eastside of town.

Wasabi Japanese Restaurant - East on Urbanspoon

Hana Cafe-Wichita KS

13 Aug

To commiserate the last day of summer break Steph was in the mood for sushi, so we headed to Hana Cafe. Hana is located in Old Town Square which happens to be a great place for chain free restaurants. You have Hana, Imbiss, Sabor, Caffe Moderne, and Lucca all in one convenient  location. This was our first time visiting Hana since its recent renovation and we were impressed with the changes, although the entrance looks like you are going into a dance club.

As you enter the normal glass door from the sidewalk you find yourself in a small entry area with a windowless door that must be passed through in order to feast on Asian delights. Upon entering we were met with an upscale looking interior with a bar and divided dining area. They had clearly done quite a bit of expansion and renovation to the former space. We were seated in one of the oversized booths and began our menu deliberations.

We decided to try one of their Korean specialties, Bi Bim Bap as well as  some maki sushi. Hana cafe offers a “bento box” lunch special which is like the Japanese version of a frozen dinner except that it’s not frozen and it doesn’t taste like steamed socks. You simply pick from one of several maki rolls and it comes served in a  partitioned box that includes and egg roll, salad, and steamed rice. We ordered a shrimp tempura roll with our bento box and tried a crunchy California roll as well. The shrimp  tempura roll was fine, but nothing spectacular. The crunchy Cali roll was very good served with a sweet sauce drizzled over the top. The best part of the meal was the Bi Bim Bap, which is a Korean dish with rice, eggs, spinach,  carrots, sprouts, and your choice of meat. It is also served with a bowl of moderately spicy sauce on the side. This sauce must be mixed in with the rest of the food to get the full experience. I really liked the Bi Bim Bap, but Steph thought it was a bit too spicy for her.

Wichita has an ever growing list of sushi places and I think that Hana is one of the better ones. They do not have as large a selection as other places, but their prices are reasonable and their proximity to delicious gelato at Caffe Moderne are big pluses. Don’t forget about their Korean dishes because they are solid choices as well. So the next time you are preparing for a wild night of clubbing, just head toward all the pretty lights of Old Town Square and check out one of the aforementioned chain free places.

Hana Cafe on Urbanspoon

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