When it comes to dining with friends and family, it should be a fun experience. I value that time and want it to be social and engaging. That’s why I’m big into experiential dining, where fun and food collide. They are the types of communal dining experiences that encourages others to be social and sometimes involve more interactivity.
I’ve been all over town trying all the unique options around down and now present to you the fun dining experiences to share with others in Wichita.
Hot Pot is a communal eating experience in which patrons order different ingredients to boil inside of a large simmering pot of broth, which is placed in the center of their table. Diners can boil different types of meat and seafood and pour their own bowls of food. Restaurants like Next Level Cafe, Thao’s Bistro and Pho H&M offer Hot Pot.
Korean barbecue is a popular method in Korean cuisine of grilling meat, typically beef, pork, or chicken. Such dishes are often prepared on gas or charcoal grills built into the dining table itself. Available at Gangnam Korean BBQ, they have the gas grills built into the table. You can go cook the food yourself or have it prepared for you while you sit and watch. It’s visually one of the more unique options in town.
Multi-Course Blind Menu Private Dinners
Step 1: Surround a 6-12 person table with your loved ones. Step 2: Bring your own drinks, whatever you wish. Step 3: Have someone bring you dish after dish until you’re stuffed. You don’t have to worry about ordering off a menu. It’s all decided for you. Step 4: Engage with everyone at the perfectly shaped table conducive for talking. The best way to do this is at P.M. Sessions at the Canvas.
A progressive dinner is one where you eat each individual course in a different location. Head to one restaurant for appetizers, off to a second for entrees, and a third for dessert, or add in additional stops along the way. It’s basically a traveling meal. This type of dinner outing provides the opportunity to try multiple places in one night. It also combats the tendency that we often have to rush through the meal; the travel time in between courses affords extra opportunities to chat with friends. We recently did one around Clifton Square. It was a blast!
Dim sum is a style of Chinese cuisine prepared as small bite-sized portions of food served in small steamer baskets or on small plates. In many places, a cart is pushed around from table to table with all the dishes which are shown to the customers. Imagine receiving a big assortment of different appetizers. It’s fun to try so many different dishes with others at the table and chat about what you love. Two best places in town for it are Pho Le’s and Tom’s Lotus Garden. FYI, it’s only available on the weekends.
This is one most people have probably tried at least once. There are a few Japanese steakhouses with tabletop hibachi grills where chefs come out and cook right in front of you. Jokes are told, laughs are shared and shrimp are caught in the air. Kobe’s Japanese Steakhouse, Sumo by Nambara and Old Tokyo Steakhouse are the three options for this in Wichita.