Dining options for students at Wichita State University have greatly improved since the ~20 years I last stepped foot inside a classroom there. Over at Braeburn Square is a restaurant that’s close to a year old. They are a build-your-own Chipotle style setup where you create your own Asian fusion bowls. It’s a mix of Malaysian, Thai, Chinese, Japanese and Korean. It’s Journey East Asia Grill and it’s time to revisit them.
4510 E.19 Street N, Suite 108
Wichita, Kansas 67208
Sunday – Wednesday: 11am – 8:30pm
Thursday: 11am – 9pm
Friday – Saturday: 11am – 10pm
It’s run very similar to most build-your-own establishments. There are preset creations to choose from or you can build your own by choosing a base, protein, sauce, toppings, sides and other additional options.
I’ll be honest since I may be kind of biased but I love the build your own concept. For someone like me who loves all sorts of foods, it’s fun and gives me the freedom to really hone in on everything I want.
For $8.50, I received a big bowl of food along with two sides. As a soup fan, I went with their miso soup and tom yum soup. I love the flavor of all tom yum soups and this was no different. It was certainly less spicy than those found at many Thai restaurants though.
My build your own was made with diced pork, pretty much every topping I could choose from and laid over a bed of rice noodles. I had it drizzled with their Oriental five spice sauce which sweet with a subtle kick to it. I enjoyed my meal and was stuffed. It really offered a good bang for your buck and probably right up the alley of many students on campus.
Even though I was already full, I noticed a sign that they had ramen on the weekends. After asking the staff, it’s apparently a new addition. My stomach and I had a brief side discussion whether I had room for it, and we agreed there’s always room for ramen.
Their ramen was offered with a curry or tom yum soup broth base. I opted for the tom yum and roasted duck as the protein. It was much different from your typical ramen offerings around town; much simpler in design. While I wouldn’t put it on the same level as the other ramens in town, it was still a very satisfying bowl. The roasted duck was very tender and flavorful which accentuated the meal.
I’ll be totally honest, the food probably won’t blow anyone away. But for me, the positives whether they be tangible or intangible outweighed all of that. It’s still quality food that was affordable, convenient, and quick. For someone who may have a short lunch or looking to get in and out, Journey East Asia Grill is a great option. Secondly both times I’ve been by, I’ve watched the owner literally talk to every customer. I could tell he was very invested in not just the business but his customers. Great customer service is something I’ll always be supportive of. And lastly during the big stretch of COVID-19 earlier this year, they were supportive of many people in the healthcare industry. As someone with many family members working at the hospitals in Wichita even one of them coming down with the coronavirus, I support those who support them.
Here’s their menu:
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