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.
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
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.