Thursday, February 28, 2013

Japan Express: Wichita's Hidden Secret

Everybody who eats out has a short list of places they consider their “Go To” for whatever type of food they are looking for. For each genre of food or a location in Wichita, there are always places I will try and stop by once a month. One of these places, I’ve been meaning to write about since Day One and two years later after starting this blog now is a good a time as ever.
Over ten years ago, a fraternity brother introduced me to a “new spot” (for me at least) while going to lunch after classes. I believe his words to me went something along the lines of “Their teriyaki chicken is the shit.” My memory is a little fuzzy, but he might have said gnarly, radical, or ‘make em say uggghhhhhhhhhhhh’. I forget.
The spot? Japan Express.

2250 N Rock Rd Ct, Wichita, KS 67226
Phone: (316) 682-3183
www.japanexpress.us/
It’s a little restaurant in the shopping center located at the northeast corner of 21st and Rock Road where Dillon’s is at. Japan Express is located at the west end of the strip. It’s a pretty small place that seats roughly 35 people. There are 12 tables, 9 two tops and 3 four person tables.
For the nine years I would go there, I would always order the large teriyaki chicken bowl (as opposed to the medium size which is the only other option). You could order the white meat or the dark meat and for the longest time I would switch it up because I never knew the difference between the two meats. They never taught me that in marketing classes.

Heaven in a bowl

My friends would order an assortment of different items from the menu from yakisoba to chicken yakitori to obento to the dumplings. The options are endless at Japan Express. It wasn’t until recently that I added their Hot and Sour Soup to my staples there. Their Hot and Sour Soup is one of the best in Wichita. I’ve had it at many places in Wichita and I’d rank my favorite three places (in no particular order) as Thai Traditions, Yen Ching, and Japan Express.
I don’t think I have to comment much on their Teriyaki Chicken given that I’ve ordered it consistently for over a third of my life. Wait…..I will comment on it. Best Teriyaki Chicken in Wichita hands down. If Rachael Ray and Bobby Flay put their minds together and created the best teriyaki chicken they could come up with, had it blessed by the pope, and served to me by Kate Upton, I still think Japan Express would taste better. Remember…..we are going for taste here.
This was not served to me by Kate Upton
On the walls, they display a bunch of artwork. I don’t know much about artwork but the prices they are trying to sell the pieces for are a little high for what I’d spend given the art.

Would you pay $450 for this?

So aside from the food and the wall decor, I must mention that there is a nice little older lady that works there quite often at the cash register. Seriously one of the nicest ladies I’ve met. I don’t know her name, she doesn’t know me, but it always brings a smile to my face every time I see her there. She is always so kind and polite it gives me hope that there is good in this world. I talk about her all the time, its borderline creepy and similar to an Alicia Keys music video except I’m not looking to date this nice little older lady.

On a serious note, if you’re ever in the area you HAVE to give Japan Express a try. It’s one of the best hidden secrets in the northeast side of Wichita. I have not met a person who has gone there and didn’t like it. If I did, I’m guessing they went to school at Creighton and don’t know good food when they see it.
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2 comments:

Dana Simon said...

Their fried rice and crab ragoons (sp?) are the bomb diggity as well!

Anonymous said...

Z was also the one who introduced me to Japan Express. Definitely a great place!