Tag Archives: chinese food wichita

Ming’s Cantonese Restaurant

17 Apr

The south side of Wichita often gets overlooked when it comes to decent dining options, but the truth is there are a number a small establishments that can hold their own against any place in town.  Ming’s Cantonese Restaurant, located on Seneca between Harry and Pawnee, is one such example. This well established Chinese restaurant has a devoted following and the food to back it up.

The first thing you notice about Ming’s is the outstanding 50s-Vegas-style yellow sign that grabs passerby’s attention as they roll down Seneca looking for sustenance. Inside you will find a pretty classic American Chinese design motif, complete with the Chinese Zodiac calendar place mats that are always good for explaining why your relationships don’t work out. Clearly you should have married that Ox you dated for 5 years. The dining room has plenty of seating both for small and large groups.

Top Notch Lo Mein with Foil Chicken

Top Notch Lo Mein with Foil Chicken

The menu at Mings is extensive, but not overwhelming. Every American Chinese stir fry dish that you have come to love is offered, including several varieties of Lo Mein, Chow Mein, Egg Foo Young, Sweet and Sour(insert desired protein), and Kung Pao. Most dishes are also offered on a lunch menu and there are family style options as well.

After some extensive internet research, I decided to go with the Chicken Lo Mein. This was a big leap of faith for me because typically I am not a big Lo Mein fan. I find most versions to be fairly unsexy with their lack of flavor and veggies. The lunch version comes with fried rice and a choice of appetizer, so I went with the intriguing ‘foil chicken’, hoping that I hadn’t just ordered something that contained shards of aluminum. The Honey Glazed Shrimp caught Steph’s attention mainly because she was hoping it would be similar to Kwan Court’s famous Honey Walnut Shrimp that we both still pine for. She chose crab rangoon for her appetizer.

Honey Shrimp

Honey Shrimp

Once our food arrived I was happy to see that the foil chicken was actually just white meat chicken pieces wrapped in foil packets. There was a teriyaki-style sauce on the chicken that made it tasty. For a lunch serving, there were ample portions of fried rice and Lo Mein on my plate. The fried rice was certainly freshly made, but overall I thought it was just average in taste. The Lo Mein on the other hand was very good, mainly because of the noodles. Typically the rice noodles used for Lo Mein are sticky and overcooked, but the Ming’s variety were cooked to slightly chewy al dentesque perfection. The brown sauce was a savory shot of MSG that proved to be much better than at other restaurants. There was a good amount of chicken pieces, however I would have liked a little more veggie action. The Honey Glazed Shrimp will not win an award for presentation as the thick glaze sat awkwardly upon the bed of fried shrimp, but taste wise it was excellent. After mixing the glaze together with the shrimp and rice we were left with a sweet and delicious combination that faintly resembled our Kwan Court memories. The crab rangoon were an unexpected delight as well. Instead of being overly sweet and laden with cream cheese, these were savory with more crab(probably imitation) flavor.

Ming’s proved to be a solid south side restaurant that is certainly worth the drive if you don’t live in the area. Their fast and friendly service along with ample menu options makes it one of the better Americanized Chinese joints in town.

Ming's Chinese Restaurant on Urbanspoon

 

 

 

 

 

Yen Ching(CLOSED)

9 Jul

Amidst the ever changing intersection of Rock and Central sits Yen Ching, one of Wichita’s older Chinese restaurants. The building certainly sticks out with its decorative green pagodaesque awnings and some strange stone bridge in front of the entrance. Inside, the classic Chinese restaurant motif continues with various statues, paintings, and furniture.

Hot Soup on a Hot Day

I doubt the interior here has been updated since 1990 and for evidence of this I submit the vintage cigarette machine that is proudly displayed in the dining room. Although devoid of smokes, it is a reminder of the good old days when anyone could buy cigarettes from a machine. Yen Ching’s dining layout is just as unique as the interior design. The main dining area consists of about 10 tables, but there is also a balcony type level with additional seating.

We went to Yen Ching during the noon hour and were presented with the abbreviated lunch menu. It consisted of about 15 of your typical Chinese dishes and a few appetizers. All of the lunch dishes come with egg drop soup, a salad, fried rice, and a crab rangoon. I decided to try the Shrimp Chow Mein, while Steph ordered the special of the day, which was a combination plate of Sweet and Sour Pork and Chicken Chow Mein. The egg drop soup and salad appeared quickly after we put in our order, but neither of us were impressed with the first course. The egg drop was ok, but it is tough to enjoy soup  on a 100 degree day. The salad was basically just some lettuce with an average ginger sesame dressing. We liked our appetizer order of eggs rolls better than the soup and salad, but they tasted a bit bland.

A Heaping Dish of Shrimp Chow Mein

Our main courses were much more enjoyable. Both dished contained generous servings of the main entrée as well as fried rice and a crab rangoon. I was very happy with the Shrimp Chow Mein dish. It had plenty of well cooked and fresh tasting shrimp, a good variety of stir fried veggies, a savory sauce, and wonton chips. Although I would have liked  more pieces of broccoli, the wonton chips made up for that shortcoming. They provided an extra crunch and were a unique addition to the dish.  The Sweet and Sour Pork was a hit with both of us. Besides the fried bits of pork, slices of pineapple and veggies were mixed in the dish. The Chicken Chow Mein was just as good as the shrimp, although if you are not a fan of dark meat, like Steph, you may want to steer clear of it. Last but not least, the crab rangoon. Unlike most rangoon, they were not overly sweet, but very creamy and rich. I could have easily eaten several more of them.

While we were not completely blown away by the food at Yen Ching, they still turn out a decent product. With a lunch menu ranging from $6-$9, it is a good value that will leave you rather stuffed.
Yen Ching Chinese Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Cafe Asia

4 Feb

Tucked away deep in the far corner of Normandie shopping center at Woodlawn and Central lies a literal hidden gem, Cafe Asia. Without much signage, it is entirely possible for one to circle the strip mall endlessly searching in vain for the Asian restaurant. I’m sure many a hunger-crazed soul has given up their search and opted for the highly visible Little Caesars. Luckily my internal GPS came through for us and we were able to enjoy the delights of Cafe Asia.

Inside you will find a small dining area that looks similar to many of the family run Asian restaurants around town. They are very proud of Malaysia as evidenced by the numerous travel posters that adorn the wall. Once seated our party was quickly served baskets of fried wontons and a delicious sweet strawberryish dipping sauce. It was a solid way to start off our meal. The menu is good sized for a small place and has something for everyone. If you are just looking for good ‘ol Chinese dishes they have those, you can get your Thai fix with some curries and Pad Thai, and they also offer Malaysian dishes.

Steph ordered a combination plate of Lo Mein with shrimp, chicken, and beef, while I opted for something called Chow Kueh Teow, which apparently is a “famous Malaysian” dish. The Chinese dishes on the menu are served with an egg roll and crab rangoon. Being a connoisseur of crab rangoon I thought Cafe Asia’s were just ok, but their egg roll was good.  When the main dishes came out, we were both greeted with a large amount of food.

How About a Big Dish of Chow Kueh Teow?

The Chow Teow was a tasty dish that consisted of wide rice noodles, sprouts, egg, and plenty of beef, chicken, and shrimp. The ingredients were coated in a brown sauce that was well seasoned, but not overpowering. The chicken and veggie Lo Mein did not disappoint either. The thick noodles were cooked perfectly with no mass of clumped up noodles that one can sometimes get when ordering Lo Mein. Once again they did not skimp on the various parts of the meal. The sauce was a bit on the bland side, but tasted much better than when Dillons drowns their Lo Mein in soy sauce.

After our experience at Cafe Asia, we decided it will become our new place for Chinese/Asian take out. So farewell Great Wall and Dillons, we will no longer need your services, except maybe when we have a crab rangoon craving. If you are in the mood for some type of Asian dish and lots of it, look no further than Cafe Asia.  If you didn’t already jump in the car immediately at the mention of fried wontons with dipping syrup then now is your time.

I attempted to take a picture of the hours of operation at Cafe Asia because it was the only way I would remember them. Unfortunately I took the picture with a phone camera, leaving much to the imagination. Here is my interpretation: Basically they are closed on Sunday and Monday, closed for lunch on Saturday and Tuesday, and then there is a break between 2:30 and 5 on the other days(Although it could be 4:30 or maybe 6pm?). During the week they close at 8pm, but on Friday and Saturday they don’t close till 9pm. Got all that? Just go around noon for lunch and around 7 for dinner and you should be ok unless of course its a leap year and then you’re out of luck.

Tell Me What the Hell This Says and Win A Prize

Cafe Asia on Urbanspoon

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