Tag Archives: Sushi

Kanai-Wichita KS(A Near O.D. on Sushi)

9 Jul

We were looking for a special restaurant for our anniversary recently and had narrowed it down to two West side places. Unfortunately, our first choice must not have any working clocks in their establishment, because they were closed when we arrived 30 minutes before their listed closing time. Luckily we had Kanai as our back-up, a place we have been wanting to check out for a while. Kanai is a newer Japanese and Sushi restaurant located way out there at 119th and Maple. In its short time in Wichita, Kanai has quickly become one of the best places to get sushi and it is easy to see why.

As we walked into the nearly empty restaurant we were promptly greeted by the hostess as well as the Sushi chefs. The restaurant is nicely decorated on the interior with a small bar as well as a sushi bar on one side. The other side has a mix of tables and booths for your sitting pleasure. The only TV in the place was playing a soothing tropical fish DVD. That really set the mood. Our waitress brought out a sample of their Japanese version of chicken salad with fried tofu and sesame oil flavor. It was a nice start to our meal. Their menu covers a lot of bases as far as Japanese and sushi dishes are concerned. The sushi menu is rather expansive and has many unique maki rolls, including one that features a whole lobster tail. We had a difficult time deciding which maki rolls to go with, but soon narrowed it down to 4. We decided to try the crunchy California roll, a snowcrab and avocado roll(Dragon roll), a tempura shrimp and asparagus roll, and the snowball roll which featured asparagus and a crab mixture on top. We also ordered some tempura calamari because we were both pretty hungry.

While we sipped on $8 dollar cocktails our food was prepared by several sushi chefs. The calamari was brought out first in a large bowl. This was not your typical little rings of squid, there were nice thick strips that had been fried in a delicious tempura batter. A scallion sauce was drizzled over the tempura for added flavor. We both enjoyed the dish, but wished the sauce would have been served on the side because some the calamari got a bit soggy. Our sushi came out soon after we had finished the calamari. Two large platters were placed before us with 4 large rolls of unparalleled beauty begging us to devour them. I started off with the snowball roll and was impressed. The crunchiness of the asparagus complemented the creamy crab mixture which was elegantly placed on top of the roll. The tempura shrimp roll was very good as well with fresh asparagus balancing the fried shrimp nicely. Next was the Dragon roll which was excellent and good-sized. It was topped with a delicious sweet sauce with bits of what our server told us was Unagi. Unagi is freshwater eel, but don’t let that turn you off from this roll. With the sauce there is no real discernible flavor from the eel. Just think of it as a mushroom. The final roll was a colossal California roll that had been dipped in tempura batter to make it warm and crunchy. It came out as six huge pieces that required some fine skill to eat with chopsticks. It was wonderful of course. The most impressive part of our dinner was the sushi rice. Sometimes when attempting to dip the piece of sushi into soy sauce and shove in your mouth the piece has a tendency to fall apart. None of these rolls did that, because the rice was perfect. I have read that the real hardcore sushi chefs of Japan study for years to learn the art of making sticky sushi rice and I think the chef at Kanai has done that. His rice was perfection.

While consuming all this delightful food I became increasingly aware that my stomach was reaching capacity. I tried to wiggle into the corner of the booth in an effort to ease the pressure, but there was no denying the power of sushi. It has a way of sneaking up on you “like a thief in the night” so to speak. Thus, stuffed and satisfied Steph and I managed enough power to roll ourselves out of, in my opinion, the best place for sushi in Wichita.

Kanai on Urbanspoon

Kwan Court-Closed

6 Sep

This week we hit one of our favorite restaurants in Wichita, Kwan Court. If you have lived in Wichita for any length of time you have probably been to Kwan Court or at least heard of it. If not, you should probably get out more often instead of reading food blogs all day.

Kwan Court is an Asian themed restaurant with a wide range of menu offerings ranging from traditional Chinese options to seafood, and sushi. Steph and I both agree that they have some of the best sushi in Wichita. We understand that many people are hesitant to try sushi because they automatically assume it is raw fish. Steph actually doesn’t eat any rolls with raw fish, so don’t be afraid to try our suggestions. We have also introduced several of my family members to sushi at Kwan Court and they have enjoyed it.

This past Saturday we branched out a bit when we ordered our sushi-we stick to the maki menu. Just a FYI: when you order sushi at Kwan Court you also get a small bowl of miso soup and cucumber salad. The miso soup contains seaweed and tofu. It comes in a little bowl and you drink straight from it. Neither of us are big cucumber fans, but this is the only time Steph will eat them. They are cut into small pieces and mixed with seaweed and crab. I am not a big fan of it, mainly because I don’t like cucumbers. For sushi we ordered our favorite roll: the shrimp tempura roll. It is small pieces of tempura shrimp wrapped with the traditional algae and rice. We believe there are some other ingredients in there as well but cannot currently remember them. The other rolls we tried for the first time were the spider roll and the BBQ scallop. The spider roll is basically some crab meat and cream cheese rolled up in rice. The idea of the roll is simple, and yet the flavor was great. We aren’t quite sure why the scallop has BBQ in the name because we couldn’t taste any, but we still ate them all. Other rolls we have tried in the past include: the California roll (shout out to Steph’s sister Rachel who holds the family record for the most California rolls ever eaten), the Kwan Court roll (also called the Kansas roll, the meat in this roll is cooked steak), the shrimp roll, and the Philadelphia roll. Stephanie does not suggest the Philadelphia roll though because it is uncooked salmon with cream cheese.

We also like to order a dinner entrée when we eat there. Twelve pieces of sushi isn’t quite enough for a person’s dinner. This particular night we ordered the usual, Honey Crispy Walnut Shrimp. Yes I said Honey Crispy Walnut Shrimp. It is probably one of my most favorite dishes ever.  The menu describes this dish as “a creative ensemble of crunchy walnuts and fresh plump shrimp topped with a rich velvet smooth sauce that carries you where you want to be.” We can tell you that the sauce they use in this dish is amazing and it does carry you were you want to be. OH JOY!  Phil has been known to lick the plate. We tend to order this dish just about every time we come in because we love it so much. In fact when we see it on other restaurants’ menus we don’t order it because we know we will be disappointed because it won’t be as good.

We have visited Kwan Court several times and have never been disappointed. Try it out if you haven’t and if you have never tried sushi try one of our suggestions and you will enjoy it. And if you don’t like your food they have a large aquarium and lobster tank that you can entertain yourself with. By the way, they have a great Sunday buffet that is also exceptional, plus they have a nice old lady who plays the piano.

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