© 2023 Kansas City Public Radio
NPR in Kansas City
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Food Critics: The Best Iced And Chilled Dishes In Kansas City

The Marmot
Flickr -- CC

Summer's on the horizon. And as temperatures start to rise, our thoughts turn to the drinks and dishes that'll help keep us cool.

From an old-school shrimp cocktail to spring rolls — and, of course, don't forget ice cream and shaved ice — KCUR's Food Critics searched out the best iced and chilled dishes in Kansas City on Central Standard.

Here are their recommendations:

Mary Bloch, Around the Block:

  • West Bottoms Kitchen — Kitchen Greens salad. Served with Creole onion vinaigrette, blue cheese, spiced praline pecans and pickled cranberries. I like to add blackened shrimp, which isn’t cold, but it’s a great topper.
  • Novel — hamachi crudo. With jalapeno, kaffir lime and yogurt.
  • Story — ceviche. Fluke, tomatillo, apple and lime. Refreshing as can be.
  • Jarocho — ceviche. Of any kind.
  • Jarocho — seafood cocktail. With a bit of ketchup, lobster broth, lime and onions, cilantro and avocado.
  • Corvino Supper Club — beef tartare. It may be the best I’ve ever had.
  • Westside Local — kale salad.
  • Bob Wasabi — spicy fish bowl. One of my favorite dishes in KC, hot or cold. With sashimi, rice, veggies, cucumber and spicy chili sauce.
  • Jack Stack Barbecue — coleslaw.
  • Happy Gillis — crab roll. Like a lobster roll, only with fresh crab.

Jenny Vergara, Feast Magazine:

  • Manila Bay Ihaw-Ihaw — halo-halo. This is a popular Filipino dessert that literally means “mix, mix.” It’s made with shaved ice and evaporated milk, and you can add various ingredients like boiled sweet beans, coconut, tapioca pearls, agar jelly, jackfruit, palm nuts … really, it is endless what can be added. Served in a tall clear glass with a spoon and a straw.
  • Westport Ice Cream Bakery. Located in the former Murray’s space. There’s an Italian ice called shalolly, and sorbetto (Italian sorbet), along with housemade ice cream. Try the salted caramel with butterscotch and white chocolate chips, or the Cookie Monster (blue ice cream with chocolate chip cookie dough).
  • The Mixx — breakfast parfait. With housemade granola, creamy yogurt and seasonal fresh fruit. Gluten-free. On the breakfast menu at the Hawthorne location only.
  • Novel — cucumber gazpacho. Cucumbers pureed with almond, grape and saffron. Chef Ryan Brazeal and his team always seem to feature a nice chilled soup when the weather warms up. Available only on the tasting menu (which features six courses, Tuesday to Thursday).
  • The Oliver — Shrimp Louie. Jumbo Gulf shrimp, avocado, tomato, iceberg boat and a dressing similar to Thousand Island. The best mash-up between shrimp cocktail and a wedge salad I’ve ever tasted.
  • Sakae Sushi — omakase sushi dinner. Chef Peter Hoang asks you to call ahead to reserve your multi-course fresh fish experience, and to put yourself in his hands.
  • Sakae Sushi — smoky zuke walu. Thick slices of walu (whitefish) marinated in a scallion vinaigrette, then smoked with sake-soaked cherry wood. Served under glass that’s filled with the smoke and revealed only at the table.
  • Room 39 — strawberry scallop crudo. On the menu now. Thinly-sliced scallops, pickled strawberries, almond gremolata on a yogurt spruce sauce. Served chilled; it’s silky and refreshing.
  • Rye — smoked salmon salad. With red quinoa, asparagus, peas, radishes, baby spinach and champagne dressing. The smoked salmon really makes this eat like a meal more than a salad.
  • Enjoy Pure Food & Drink — Nourished salad. Baby kale, walnuts, dates, goat cheese, coconut bacon and more. Hugely satisfying.
  • Jarocho — oysters. Some of the best seafood in the city. The raw oysters are only $1 on Thursdays at the KCK location, and on Mondays at the Leawood location. Also offered on the fresh seafood brunch buffet on Sundays at both locations.

Charles Ferruzza, The Independent and the Shawnee Mission Post:

  • Capital Grille — shrimp cocktail. Very traditional and old-school with real jumbo shrimp and a spicy housemade cocktail sauce.
  • Jax Fish House & Oyster Bar — blue crab cocktail. Big chunks of lump blue crab. It’s a great way to start a meal; not too heavy, beautifully presented and big enough to share.
  • Jax Fish House & Oyster Bar — Maine lobster roll. Buttered roll with big pieces of buttery lobster, celery mayonnaise and hickory-smoked Burger’s Bacon (out of California, Missouri).
  • The Bristol — Vietnamese crab spring rolls. So fresh-tasting with crunchy daikon, soft creamy avocado and aromatic mint and basil.
  • The Bristol — iced shellfish platter. Oysters, shrimp cocktail, king crab legs, lobster claws. For 2-3 people. The price is $59 and it’s a veritable aphrodisiac festival.
  • LeMonde Bakery — spring rolls. Extremely fresh-tasting; only served one day a week.

Listener recommendations:

  • ABC Café — cucumber salad.
  • Genovese in Lawrence — carpaccio. I know it's basic, but every time I go, I get it. Delicious.

Jen Chen is associate producer for KCUR's Central Standard. Reach out to her at jen@kcur.org.

KCUR serves the Kansas City region with breaking news and powerful storytelling.
Your donation helps make nonprofit journalism available for everyone.