Dining With Denise Neil

Rock Road is down a restaurant, but a Topeka restaurateur is expanding into the space

Some like it Thai Hot

Bann Thai restaurant owner Wanwaree Jackson decided to a have a spicy food eating contest after seeing similar competitions on the Food Network. She found six competitors, most of them regulars, who decided to brave her Thai hot recipe.
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Bann Thai restaurant owner Wanwaree Jackson decided to a have a spicy food eating contest after seeing similar competitions on the Food Network. She found six competitors, most of them regulars, who decided to brave her Thai hot recipe.

Less than a year ago, Mike Choy took over the space at 2121 N. Rock Road that was vacated when longtime Adrian’s Cafe owner George Matta moved to Lebanon to pursue a music career.

Choy opened his GangNam Kitchen, an offshoot of his downtown restaurant Gangnam Korean Grill & Bar, there in October 2017.

On Saturday, Choy closed GangNam Kitchen so that he could focus on another Wichita food venture he’s considering. But another restaurant should be operating out of the space by September.

It will be called Tuptim Thai, and it will be a second location of a restaurant that opened in Topeka three years ago.

Nancy Shih of Re/Max handled the deal.

Tuptim Thai owner Howie Chandra said he’d been looking to expand into Wichita and liked the Rock Road space. His Wichita location will be run by Victor Nawawi and Johnny Chandra.

He hopes to have it open by mid-September.

Tuptim Thai specializes in pad Thai and has a full menu of other authentic Thai dishes, Chandra said. You can see the full menu here.

The restaurant is popular in Topeka, Chandra said, and TripAdvisor reviews support his claim. Most reviewers rate Tuptim Thai as “excellent.”

The restaurant will have a full bar, will serve both lunch and dinner and will deliver within a four-mile radius, Chandra said.

Meanwhile, Choy says he is going to keep his downtown GangNam Grill open.

“We’re doing pretty well over there,” he said.

He also promises to elaborate on his new opportunity once he gets things finalized.

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