Oh Yeah China Bistro a hidden gem
Oh Yeah China Bistro is a hidden gem in northeast Wichita.
The restaurant is tucked into a commercial strip behind other restaurants on Rock Road, so not many people know about it. However, after you give Oh Yeah a try, its likely to become one of your favorites.
Oh Yeahs interior is upscale, and the owners have opted for cloth instead of paper napkins. The menu is extensive, and almost everything can be made without meat or vegetarian style. In fact, in a previous life from 2009 until 2011 the owners operated the restaurant as a vegetarian place called Zen.
On our most recent visit, we ordered the appetizer sampler, which consists of two spring rolls, two cream cheese Rangoon, two chicken wings, a potato croquette split in half, salt-and-pepper potatoes, and seaweed medley. The spring rolls and potato croquette were my favorites. The seaweed medley and cream cheese Rangoon were just average. I was not a fan of the chicken wings, which were completely covered with red sauce that tasted excessively sweet. My husband liked the salt-and-pepper potatoes, which had good flavor, but they just seemed like soggy potato chips to me.
One of the appetizer items that I wished was part of the sampler platter is the restaurants fortune dumpling. The dumplings, which you can get either boiled or pan-fried, are filled with pork and mushrooms. We tried the pan-fried version on a previous visit and were impressed with the flavor and quality.
We usually share the Oh Yeah fried rice because the portion is more than enough to feed two people. We like to get it with chicken, but you can get it with ham, beef, shrimp or any combination of the meats. You can also order it plain or vegetarian style. Ive had the Oh Yeah fried rice with meat and without, and it tastes equally delicious both ways. The flavors are so amazing that you dont miss the meat.
We always tend to order the same dishes, so on our recent visit, we decided to try something on the menu that we havent tried before but that would still seem familiar. We ordered General Tsos with chicken, but its also available with soy or shrimp. Although the Oh Yeah version of General Tsos is good, it isnt much different from the version served at other Chinese restaurants.
Besides the delicious fried rice, spring rolls and pork dumplings, the best part about Oh Yeah is the selection of freshly squeezed fruit juices. Not many restaurants in town offer fresh fruit lemonade and fresh fruit juices. Ive tried the mango lemonade and the pineapple lemonade. Both are refreshingly tasty.
Oh Yeah also offers smoothies and boba teas in addition to soft drinks, flavored teas and alcoholic beverages. The beverage options are just as extensive as the rest of the menu.
If you want to check out Oh Yeah I recommend going at lunchtime. It has great lunch specials from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays. The lunch specials are served in a bento box and include soup, egg roll, crab Rangoon, garden tempura, steamed or fried rice and your choice of entree. The prices vary slightly depending on your choice of meat (or lack thereof), but the lunch specials are an excellent value all the way around. Even if you dont like Asian or Chinese food, the restaurant is still worth a visit.
At the very least, go for the juice.
Three restaurants that are expected to open in June
1. Wasabi west, 2402 N. Maize Road: It takes time grow the perfect Wasabi. The first one, at 942 E. Douglas, was initially planned for January of 2010, but opened in June. The latest one, which is nearly finished at New Market Square near Logans Roadhouse, originally was to open in December of last year, but now its looking like early June, a manager said. Theres also a Wasabi at 3242 N. Rock Road.
2. Freebirds World Burrito, 410 N. Hillside: The first Freebirds World Burritos, a franchise of a chain based in Texas and California, is almost finished at Central and Hillside, a few doors down from Great Wall. Its a Chipotle-like place that allows people to build their own burritos, tacos and more with lots of organic ingredients. The restaurants website, freebirds.com, now says the restaurant will open on June 20.
3. Twelve Restaurant & Bar, 12111 W Maple St.: The former Shorty Smalls space is getting a makeover and will soon be home to Twelve Restaurant & Bar, which will specialize in American fare such as steaks, seafood and chops. Owner Bryce Kuhn says he hopes to be open by June 23.
College Hill Creamery opening soon
College Hill Creamery will open next month at 3700 E Douglas, in the spot in Clifton Square that formerly housed Mend Physio Therapy. The ice cream shop will serve 24 flavors of ice cream and is owned by College Hill resident Caleb Shannon. He has a different day job and his hired a manager to run the day-to-day of the business, which will specialize in hand-dipped cones fitted with giant malt balls in the bottom to prevent leaks. The shop will open at noon on June 1.
Shannon got the idea to open the shop when he noticed that College Hill was lacking in ice cream options. My niece and nephew were in town about six months ago, and we couldnt find anything in that area other than chain places, he said. We decided that College Hill is that that kind of neighborhood, with the parks and a pool, that would really be able to use more of a local ice cream store. Single scoop cones will be about $2.50 The store also will make ice cream sandwiches to order.
Itll be open from noon to 8 p.m. daily.
Cajun buffet at Oeno
Oeno, the wine bar at 330 N. Mead, will put on its annual Cajun buffet, featuring music by the Mudbugs Cajun & Zydeco Band, on Saturday night. The buffet will feature gumbo, a crawfish boil with corn and potatoes, red beans and rice, dirty rice and more and will cost $20 a person, which includes cover to watch the band. Those not taking party in the buffet pay $5. The buffet starts at 7 p.m., and the band will play from 8 to 11 p.m. For more information, call 316-440-5000.
New barbecue food truck
Big Daddys Smoked Shack, owned by barbecue expert John Nielsen, is a new addition to the local food truck fleet. Back in 2009, Nielsen had a restaurant called Big Daddy and Lil Mamas Smoke Shack, which operated at 828 W. 11th in Riverside, the spot that now houses Squeezers Palace. That restaurant closed, but Nielsen has been dreaming about the food truck ever since. Nielsen has converted a 24-foot RV into a mobile food truck, and he sets up from 4 to 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays at a spot at 4800 W. Central.
Soon, hell expand his Saturday hours to 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. On Friday, hell also be open for lunch from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 1947 Founders Circle, near Via Christi on 21st Street just off K-96. He hopes to add more truck time as the business grows, and hell be updating followers as to his whereabouts on his Facebook page. Big Daddys, which also caters, serves brisket, ribs, pulled pork, chicken, turkey and things such as smoked stuffed jalapenos and smoked mushrooms. For more information, call 316-871-1438.
Now open: Hopperoni Express
Wichita Brewing Company & Pizzerias food trailer the Hopperoni Express also has hit the streets. The trailer is fitted with a full-sized wood-fired pizza oven and will park at various places, seven days a week, serving 10-inch pizzas. For the first few weeks, the trucks manager former kitchen manager Stephen Zinda plans to take the trailer out once a day, either at lunch or dinner time. The location will be posted on the Hopperoni Express Facebook page.
Eventually, he plans to have it out for both lunch and dinner daily. For now, the trailer is offering two of Wichita Brewing Co. & Pizzerias best-known speciality pizzas: the Around the Horn, which is a supreme pizza, and the Gregorian Feast, topped with Italian sausage, roasted garlic, mushrooms, caramelized onions, mozzarella and red sauce. Patrons also can order single topping pizzas with items such as sausage, cheese, pepperoni or the restaurants signature hopperoni : pepperoni infused with hops. The pizzas are $6 for a single topping or $8 for a specialty. Wichita Brewing Co. & Pizzeria is at 8815 W 13th St. For more information about both businesses, call 316-440-2885.