Last chance for Chinese: Two long timers closing

Farewell, Golden House. Photo by Julie Mah.

Farewell, Golden House. Photo by Julie Mah.

Fans of Chinese food in Wichita are running out of time to eat at two old favorites.

Golden House, a carryout Chinese spot at 504 S. Broadway that’s long been a favorite of downtown workers (including many at the Wichita Eagle) is closing at the end of the day on Saturday. It’s been in business for 16 years, but the owners are retiring and moving to Atlanta. A Sonic will open on the property by the end of the year.

Also, Yen Ching — which was my favorite Chinese restaurant when I first moved to Wichita — also is closing after 30 years at 430 N. Rock Road. The lease is up on the space, and the landlord has decided to give it to Qdoba Mexican Grill. Owners aren’t exactly sure when the restaurant’s last day will be and say it depends on how quickly the stock runs out. It’ll at least be open through Sunday, Mother’s Day, but will close sometime between Monday and May 18.

The closings bring to mind a question someone recently asked me. Where should Wichitans go these days if they want a nice, sit-down Chinese meal and don’t want a chain like Pei Wei?

That’s a hard one to answer. Kwan Court is gone, and Yen Ching soon will be, too. That leaves Wichita with mostly fast-Chinese places such as Great Wall or an array of super buffet restaurants.

My picks are Oh Yeah! China Bistro at 3101 N. Rock Road, which has a nice interior and good food. I also like the retro feel of both Lee’s at 6215 W. Kellogg and Ming’s at 1625 S. Seneca, and the food is decent at both.

Where do you go for sit-down Chinese food?

Question of the week: Biggest dining development in 2011?

Bocconcini Italian Eatery was one of many restaurants that opened in Wichita in 2011.

My story for Friday’s dining page in Go! is a look back at many of the most exciting/upsetting/oddball developments on the Wichita restaurant scene in 2011. From openings (Tanya’s Soup Kitchen, A.V.I.) to closings (Kwan Court, Johnny Carino’s) to undeniable trends (frozen yogurt, anyone?), the year was anything but dull.

My question for you: Which event did you think was the most interesting or significant? You can read my story for ideas or nominate your own.

Answer in the comments section below.

Question of the week: Best Chinese buffet

A photo for the memory book: The fabulous fried section from the Kwan Court buffet.

In just about four weeks, Kwan Court will be no more. The restaurant at 1443 N. Rock Road is closing after 21 years, plagued by financial troubles. (You can read my farewell story here.)

When it goes, Kwan Court will take with it what has been in my opinion Wichita’s best Chinese buffet — one that, even through ownership changes, has always emphasized quality over quantity. (Though there was always plenty to choose from.)

This week’s question: Where else in Wichita can Chinese fans find a decent Chinese buffet? If you know of one, name it in the comments section below, and tell us why it’s worth checking out.

Wanted: Kwan Court memories

On Sept. 18, Kwan Court at 1443 N. Rock Road will close after 21 years in business. I do not approve of this message.

I’m going to miss it terribly. Though I haven’t visited there as much as I should have over the past several years, it was one of my favorite places during my first decade in Wichita. It served good sushi, and its Chinese buffet was certainly Wichita’s best and most high quality.

Any other Kwan Court fans out there mourning? Share your memories and thoughts in the comments section below. I’m writing a story about the closing for Friday’s paper, and I’d love to share some insights from other longtime fans. Be sure to leave your name. Or if you’d rather e-mail me your thoughts, just click here.

Kwan Court’s sushi bar is sake-free… for now

Kwan Court's famous buffet.

Don’t count on having sake with you sushi or Cabernet with your crab Rangoon at Kwan Court.

The restaurant at 1443 N. Rock Road let its liquor license lapse accidentally,  said an employee at the restaurant, which has been dry for about three weeks now. She said that the restaurant hopes to have everything straightened out and the license renewed within two weeks.

I’ll drink to that.

Dining out on Christmas

090507kwancourt_th01.JPG

Kwan Court is among the restaurants open on Christmas Day.

Lots and lots of people have asked me which restaurants are open and serving on Christmas Day. And lots and lots of times I’ve promised that I’ll publish the list as soon as I have it put together. That time has arrived.

The most interesting development: The brand new Gaslamp Grille & Lounge will close on Christmas Eve but open for dinner on Christmas Day. Other than that, your choices include a whole lot of Chinese food, some hotel buffets and Denny’s. See the full list.

Winner, winner, chicken fried steak dinner

Winner, winner, chicken fried steak dinner

Winner, winner, chicken fried steak dinner

Waayyyyyyyy back in December, the Eagle put on its annual holiday open house, and one of the prizes we gave away was the chance to accompany me on a restaurant review.

The winner waaayyyyyyy back in December was Jan Cummins (left), who has very patiently waited for seven months to collect her prize (courteously reminding me every few weeks). She finally did over the lunch hour today.

Jan brought her niece Stacy Schilling along, and the three of us had a fun time chit chatting and sampling the home cooking at a local restaurant.

The two were quite knowledgeable about Wichita restaurants and frequently dine at places such as Kwan Court, Granite City and Bella Luna.

You can find out where Jan, Stacy and I were eating when I publish the review next Friday.

SPEAKING OF WINNERS: Lori from the online team notified the five winners of the Taste of Wichita tickets this afternoon. Thanks to the 354 people who entered.