Cityscape

Bo Lings family is behind new stir fry, poke concept in Johnson County

The new Ni Hao Fresh will offer build-your-own stir fry and poke bowls.
The new Ni Hao Fresh will offer build-your-own stir fry and poke bowls. Ni Hao Fresh

Bo Lings Chinese Restaurant has a been a Kansas City favorite since opening in 1981.

Now its founders are planning a new concept.

Ni Hao Fresh, an Asian-inspired restaurant, will open in the former Freebirds World Burrito spot in Mission Crossing, 6029 Metcalf Ave. in Mission. The space is being remodeled for an early December opening.

The new restaurant will specialize in build-your-own stir fry and poke bowls. Customers will select rice, noodles or salad greens as the base, then have a choice of two or three vegetables, and then toppings.

It also will have some of its own poke bowl creations to select from. The Ni Hao Poke Bowl will feature salmon and tuna mixed with cilantro and scallions in a citrus ponzu sauce, finished with spicy mayo. The Ni Hao Bulgogi Bowl will be made with signature Korean-style beef and freshly steamed broccoli, then topped with spicy house-made gochujang.

Toppings can include avocado, fresh cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, crispy wontons, spicy kimchi, pickled ginger, fried onions, seaweed salad and nori strips.

Poke (prounounced POH-kay, rhymes with OK) has been a growing trend around the nation and Kansas City.

The new restaurant will be owned by Bo Ling founders Richard and Theresa Ng, their son, Raymond, and his wife, Momoko, their daughter, Rebecca Clark, and her husband, James Clark, and longtime family friend Edward Mitchell.

“We’ve worked for Bo Lings for many, many years and we’ve always wanted to create a new concept that we could take some of the things we learned from Richard and Theresa that would fit into the fast casual mode,” said James Clark. “All the elements of fine quality food but a bit more affordable, a little quicker.”

But Ni Hao Fresh also will have some Bo Lings favorites such as Crab Rangoon, edamame, dumplings and vegetable spring rolls. The items will be made by hand at Ni Hao Fresh, just as they are at Bo Lings.

Ni Hao means “hello” in Chinese languages.

Bo Lings currently has six locations in the metro, and the second generation also hopes to open multiple Ni Hao Fresh spots.

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