#83 - Blue Koi Noodles & Dumplings, Leawood KS

I've had some of my favorite memories at conference basketball tournaments.  From road trips in an RV to Greensboro for the ACC tourney, to watching Maryland win the ACC in '04, to my first Big 12 tourney 5 days after I started working at OSU, to Denise meeting my OSU friends and our "circle of trust" at the Big 12 tourney in '08.  Lots of great times.  This year I didn't decide until the last minute to go.  A lot of my friends I would normally go with had bailed, so I didn't want to go and have nobody to hang out with...what would be the fun in that?  The Cowboys weren't playing until Wednesday night, so I literally waited until about 9am that morning to make my final decision.  I'm glad I ended up going, because even though we lost the 2nd game, I had a really great time.

It's about a 5-hour drive from Stillwater to Kansas City, and so of course I plan my meals around the drive.  Either I leave around 10am and stop for lunch in Wichita, or leave early and make it almost all the way to KC before lunch.  There's not much food-wise right by the hotel, so I usually stop in the Overland Park area.  The night before, I had been watching Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives and it just so happened one of his stops was in Kansas City, at Blue Koi Noodles & Dumplings.  The food looked really good, and I loved that the owners were there and involved.

I left home about 9, so I didn't get there until about 1:45. And by then I was ready to gnaw my arm off.  There was still a pretty good crowd when I arrived, and more people came in while I was in there.  One of the owners was at the hostess stand when I got there, and sat me.  I told her I'd seen the show the night before, and that's what brought me in.  She got a big smile and was genuinely pleased, and asked if she'd done a good job!

There are 2 locations, and I went to the one in Leawood.  There's a huge open kitchen towards the back, with bar seating at the kitchen so you can watch them work while you eat.  There's also a full bar, about 25 tables/booths, and modern décor. 

On the show they featured 2 of their specialties...chili pepper wontons and firebird duck.  I seriously considered both, but the waiter said they were both pretty substantial sizes, so I didn't want to go overboard.  I started with the chili pepper wontons
Our wontons are filled with a shrimp, pork, and chicken mixture.
These flavoful bites are then topped with cilantro, scallion, and a chili sauce
OMG these were absolutely amazing!!!  The wontons were huge and freshly made (I learned that on the show), and soaked up the sauce was tons of cilantro and spring onion on top.  The chili garlic sauce was cold, but it didn't make the wontons cold because they put it on top right before serving.  The only reason I even noticed is because I tasted a little by itself at first.  There is A TON of garlic in the sauce.  You probably shouldn't plan to  kiss anyone for at least 5 days after eating it.

I had a hard time deciding on a main dish.  In all honesty I could have just stuck with the wontons, but I couldn't resist trying the homemade noodles.  So I just got a side of them, as well as a  side of the awesome sauce.

Oh my, those noodles...they were SO amazing. It was a really large bowl for a side order, and I knew there was no way I could eat them all...especially since I devoured the wontons.  The awesome sauce was just that. I'm just guessing here, but it tasted like duck sauce with some other spices, cilantro and spring onion.  The noodles are flavored with chili oil and garlic oil (saw that on the show), but I still tried bites dipped in each the awesome sauce and the chili garlic sauce.  I really can't decide which one was better. 

I ended up taking the rest of the noodles and awesome sauce with me, and thankfully I had a fridge in my room.  Let me assure you, these leftover noodles absolutely hit the spot after a long night.

Will I go back?  I thought about stopping on my way back out of town after the tournament to get the other specialty. But by then I was just exhausted and wanted to get home.  But I will definitely go there every time I'm in town.