It seems like pop-up restaurants are all the rage these days. You know, those one-night restaurants where a few lucky people get to try out new concepts from innovative local chefs. However, it also seems that if you don’t live in the Crossroads Arts District or follow some of the local KC Foodie forums online, you miss out on these events.
That was just the boat that Mindy Lindeman, a local gourmet food retailer and avid foodie, was finding herself in. “Craig, I don’t seem to hear about these events until they’re over. And besides that, with the hours that I have to keep at the shop in Overland Park, I just can’t make it to the Crossroads in time.”
A take-action businesswoman, Lindeman decided to take matters into her own hands and sponsor her own pop-up at her store, Olive Tree. “It just seemed like the right thing to do for my customers. They love new and inventive concepts and would attend if they were aware. And let’s face it, they just may not have the time to drive to downtown Kansas City. So I figured if I can’t get the people to the pop-up, I’ll bring the pop-up to the people.”
And that’s just what she did.
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So that’s why I’m letting you know about a pop-up event that’s going to be held at Olive Tree in Overland Park next week.
On Tuesday, April 19, Olive Tree will be hosting talented local entrepreneur Chef Kenzo to showcase his concept Bun Bros, featuring a Japanese street-style steamed bun, or nikuman. The pop-up starts at 5 p.m., and if any of his other pop-ups are indications, these buns will be selling out fast. Chef Kenzo is bringing only 300 buns (150 pork and 150 vegan), so you might want to get there early.
Bun Bros started serving these Japanese steamed buns around the Kansas City area late last year, with the hopes of eventually opening two brick-and-mortar locations. One, under the Bun Bros name, will serve the comfort food served in Japanese pubs and bars like steamed buns, pickled items and yakatori. The other, Dojo Kenechi, will offer multi-course, high-end, traditional and modern Japanese cuisine in the kaiseki style of dining.
I’ve been lucky enough to try these buns before. And I can tell you that even though I’ve had a lot of different styles of Asian food, these buns are like nothing I’ve ever had. In fact, I’ve even heard some people refer to them as “dim sum on steroids.” Pretty accurate.
So if you’ve got your tasters set for unique Asian comfort food, stop by Olive Tree (4737 W. 119th St., Overland Park, in the Hawthorne Plaza) on Tuesday. Then you can be one of the lucky few to try this dining concept and experience Lindeman’s brainchild of bringing the “pop-up to the people.” Bon appétit.
Craig Jones is a live-fire cooking expert, the Grill Mayor for Food Network (2012), and owner of Savory Addictions Gourmet Nuts. He’s also a certified KCBS barbecue judge, a student of pizza crafting and an enthusiastic supporter of the greater Kansas City food scene.