Dish & Drink KC: Poke bowls at Hokibar, shaved ice cream at I Am Frozen Dessert Café, and dim sum at ABC Café

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I Am Magnificent shaved ice cream at I Am Frozen Cafe. // Photo by Lauren Textor

Tough decision-making at Hokibar 

Hokibar Poke & Sushi BBQ is not the best place for an indecisive foodie. 

Kansas City Poke Bowl At Hokibar

Kansas City Poke Bowl At Hokibar. // Photo by Lauren Textor

Building your own poke bowl requires the presence of mind to choose. Though the staff is patient and willing to walk customers through their many options, there’s only so long that you can stand squinting at the menu board.

Hokibar offers three types of rice, four salad mixes, five mix-ins, four salad dressings, six excellent sauces (ranging from mango to wasabi aioli), 14 protein options, and a whopping 22 toppings. 

If this sounds like too much responsibility, then you’re in luck. Hokibar has a selection of signature bowls and there’s no better place to start than with the colorful Kansas City Bowl. A generous serving of crab meat is scooped on top of layers of cucumbers, Ahi tuna, mashed spicy tuna, seaweed, green onion, edamame, and sweet corn. Pieces of crispy onion are sprinkled on top and the whole bowl is drizzled with spicy mayo. 

If you intend to eat on-site, a regular size should more than fill you up, but who doesn’t like leftovers? A large is only $2 more at $15.99 and includes three scoops of protein. 

I Am Frozen Dessert Café is perfect for welcoming warmer weather

The end of winter is finally in sight, which means it’s almost time for the transition from hot chocolate to ice cream. It’s tempting to stick to the classics like Andy’s and Betty Rae’s, but—trust me—I Am Frozen Dessert Café will be the cherry on top of your spring awakening.

I Am Wonderful Honey Toast At I Am Frozen Dessert Cafe

I Am Wonderful Honey Toast At I Am Frozen Dessert Cafe. // Photo by Lauren Textor

This Thai-owned local business reached #7 on People’s 2021 list of the top 10 best ice cream shops in the U.S. 

The cheerful pastels, pop music, and tennis skirt-wearing cashiers will revive you from your seasonal depression haze. Not only is the presentation extremely Instagrammable, but the desserts are all named with positive affirmations. Try the “I Am Loved” (coconut shaved ice cream), “I Am Fabulous” (strawberry limeade shaved ice cream), or “I Am Worth It” (chocolate banana honey toast) on for size. 

The “I Am Wonderful” honey toast is served alongside scoops of taro ice cream, and it’s a customer favorite. The toast is fluffy, golden brown, drizzled with icing, and sprinkled with powdered sugar. Its sweetness is balanced out by the more neutral taro flavor. 

The “I Am Magnificent” is shaved ice cream topped with strawberries, blueberries, whipped cream, and cheesecake bites. The ice cream is both creamy and airy due to its unique texture. 

Both of these enormous servings are best shared with a loved one, but no one will judge you here for devouring the pick-me-up solo. 

ABC Café’s dizzying variety of dim sum dishes

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Siu mai at ABC Cafe. // Photo by Lauren Textor

Like all the best Chinese restaurants, ABC Café’s decor is unassuming. 

Bbq Roast Pork At ABC Cafe. // Photo by Lauren Textor

Newspaper articles and various awards hang on the walls, but not in a showy way. The quality of the food is straightforward and matter-of-fact.

Even if every table in the small restaurant is full, your first dim sum dish will likely arrive within minutes of ordering. The extensive menu contains dozens of delicious options, but if you’re looking for somewhere to start, we’ll narrow it down to three. 

Siu mai is a steamed pork dumpling that is mostly folded with an aerial view of the filling. An order at ABC Café includes four soft dumplings. Although intended for sharing, it is perfectly possible (and reasonable) to eat all four on your own. 

The turnip cake may not be for everyone, but the mildly adventurous eater will find that the savory, pan-fried dish is crispy on top with a sticky, jelly-like consistency in the middle. “Turnip cake” is also a misnomer, as the traditional dim sum favorite is made with radishes. Either way, a dim sum meal is a perfect place to try new things, and the turnip cake is a great place to start for the ordinarily picky eater.

Dim sum isn’t complete without sesame balls. These red bean puff pastries are served hot, so take an experimental bite before you’re forced to exhale to cool down the inside of your mouth retroactively. (It’s not a good look; we’ve all been there.) 

Only a few beverages are offered, but the specialty Hong Kong Iced Milk Tea more than makes up for it. Whether you drink it in-house or take it to go, this semi-sweet black tea drink almost counts as dessert. 

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Turnip cake at ABC Cafe. // Photo by Lauren Textor

Categories: Food & Drink