Dining With Denise Neil

Two Asian food businesses are rolling into Wichita with stir fry, curry and more

Take a tour of one of Wichita’s hidden gems

Dining With Denise takes you through Wichita's largest Asian grocery store, Thai Binh Supermarket.
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Dining With Denise takes you through Wichita's largest Asian grocery store, Thai Binh Supermarket.

Two food trucks specializing in Asian food have been trekking into Wichita this spring.

One is a Dexter transplant by way of Sedgwick that has been serving stir fry dishes since 2013. The other is a new truck by a Derby resident who once owned a restaurant in Wichita.

Here’s a closer look at two of the newest participants on the food truck scene in Wichita.

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The new Thai Rific food truck calls Derby home but is trying out the Wichita market. Courtesy photo

Thai Riffic Food Truck

Chalanda Schleinz is the former owner of Thai-Riffic Cuisine, a restaurant that operated at 2020 S. Rock Road from 2013 to 2015. After the restaurant closed, her former customers kept urging her to get back in the food business, so in December, Schleniz opened a food trailer and gave it the same name as her former restaurant. Since then, she’s been regularly setting up in the parking lot of the Derby Lowe’s.

Now, though, Schleinz said she’s ready to venture in to Wichita. Her first Wichita service is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Friday at Celebrity Cruises, 4729 S. Palisade.

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Crab Rangoon are one of the specialties of the Thai Rific Food Truck. Courtesy photo

Schleinz, who was born and raised in Thailand, said that she’s sampled many Thai restaurants in the area and found them lacking in authenticity.

“There are a lot of Thai restaurants around here owned by other people from other countries, but when you’re born and raised in a country, you know what the food is supposed to taste like,” she said.

So far, Schleinz said, her most popular dishes are egg rolls, giant spring rolls and chicken satay on a stick with curry seasonings. People also like her basil fried rice, red curry and Tom Yum soup.

To keep track of the Thai Riffic Food Truck schedule, follow its Facebook page.

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Wok Hei Noodle House has been around since 2013 but only recently started serving in Wichita. Courtesy photo

Wok Hei Noodle House

It was 2013 when Cory Zimmerman started his stir fry business in Dexter, a small town about 70 miles southeast of Wichita. Back then, it was set up in a tent, but about two years ago, he moved it into a trailer. He’s built the business by setting up at festivals all over the country.

Now, he’s ready to stay closer to home. Zimmerman, who moved to Sedgwick about a year ago, is now working on establishing himself in the the Wichita food truck scene. Last weekend, he participated in his first Food Trucks at the Fountain event, and he’s also working on joining the Wichita Food Truck Coalition.

His truck specializes in stir-fry dishes made with either rice or noodles mixed with carrots, broccoli, peas, onions, ginger and garlic. Customers also can get chicken breast or pork added to their meals. The dishes are served in easy-to-carry Chinese take-out boxes.

Zimmerman’s son works with him in the trailer, and the food is prepared in a wok near the front window so people can see exactly what they’re getting.

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Stir-fry noodles and veggies are the staple of Wok Hei Noodle House. Courtesy photo

Zimmerman said he’s had a front row seat to the growth of the food truck industry, and he’s happy to note that tastes have changed. When he first started, corn dogs and funnel cakes were the staples of mobile food businesses. He wanted to do something different, something a little healthier.

“We decided to do the noodles and vegetables, and as we have grown and done this, we see we are getting a wider range of people wanting it.”

To keep up with the Wok Hei Noodle House schedule, follow its Facebook page.

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Denise Neil has covered restaurants and entertainment since 1997. Her Dining with Denise Facebook page is the go-to place for diners to get information about local restaurants. She’s a regular judge at local food competitions and speaks to groups all over Wichita about dining.

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