Dining With Denise Neil

Two eateries that just opened serve cuisine not common in Wichita

Wichita has gained a couple of new places to eat over the past several days.

One is Krua Thai at Wichita, the new Thai restaurant that took over the space at 7603 W. 21st St. where Sit @ Thai Bistro had operated from 2009 until late August, when it closed.

Krua Thai just opened in west Wichita. Denise Neil The Wichita Eagle

The new restaurant, which opened for business on Thursday, is owned by Ben Wongprom, Sam Sihanath and Ta Sihanath and modeled on Wongprom’s restaurant of the same name in Stuart, Florida. Sam is his cousin.

The restaurant will have white tablecloths and upscale dishes, many of them featuring seafood. One of its signature dishes will be the Crispy Duck Pad Thai, which is one of the top sellers at the Florida restaurant, Wongprom said. The new restaurant’s hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays, so you’ll have to wait until tomorrow to try it.

You can see the menu below.

Simit is a round, Turkish style bread that is served at the new Aria Bakery. Courtesy photo

The other is Aria Bakery, a unique new shop that opened on Saturday in Normandie Center, taking over the space at 6476 E. Central that was formerly occupied by Sweetly Scrumptious.

The bakery serves Turkish and Persian-style baked goods, both savory and sweet, many of which aren’t available elsewhere in Wichita. Its specialty is Barbari, which is a golden flatbread covered in sesame seeds, but its bakery case is also filled with things like baklava, cream puffs and Simit, which is a bread that’s twisted, circular and covered in sesame seeds. There are also Persian-style cookies and cakes.

The restaurant is owned by Omid Hashemi and his wife, Mahshid Alipour Hashemi, who came to Wichita from Iran and missed the fresh-baked bread they enjoyed in their country.

The bakery has a few seats inside where people can sit and enjoy. The hours are 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays. Because it’s opening week, though, Aria is open today, even though it’s Monday.

Krua Thai at Wichita menu

Krua Thai dinner menu Page 1

Krua Thai dinner menu page 2

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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.