The culinary force behind Bo Ling’s Chinese Restaurant is bringing poké and stir fry concepts in a fast casual setting to Mission.
Shawnee Mission area businessman Edward Mitchell has partnered with the Ng family to create Ni Hao Fresh, a spinoff of the Bo Ling’s restaurant business, complete with their own recipes of fresh ingredients made from scratch. Some of the dishes will be similar to Bo Ling’s menu items, while others will be unique to Ni Hao Fresh.
“We’ve discussed as a group which direction to go, and we’ve tried a lot of recipes and tweaked them,” Mitchell said. “It’s actually a really fun process to create some of these items from scratch.”
The new restaurant, at 6029 Metcalf Avenue, is expected to open in late November or early December.
Customers will be able to pick and choose their ingredients to build their own stir fry and poké — “deconstructed sushi bowls” — from a variety of freshly made ingredients and watch as their customized dishes are cooked in front of them. The restaurant will also have gluten-free options; all menu items will “cover the gamut” in price, Mitchell said of the restaurant, which will offer both dine-in and carry-out service.
Mitchell said the inspiration behind Ni Hao Fresh came from Raymond Ng and Rebecca Clark, whose parents Richard and Theresa Ng founded Bo Ling’s Chinese Restaurant. Also involved are Rebecca’s husband, James Clark, and Raymond’s wife, Momoko.
“What we’re trying to do is have the same style as poké, except we want to do an Asian fusion concept of that,” said James Clark, citing plans for unlimited toppings, a variety of proteins and “free” options for dietary restrictions.
As an old friend of the family, Mitchell joined the business with years of experience working in and operating various businesses, including a family business importing seasonal decorations and other retail in the metro area. Mitchell’s Chinese heritage combined with a lifelong friendship with the Ng family just made sense for him to be a part of this new venture.
“It actually got pretty boring,” Mitchell said of his other businesses, adding that his wife, a oncologist, wanted to discourage him from owning a fast food chain restaurant.
James Clark said he, Rebecca, Raymond and Momoko had also been wanting to start a fast casual spinoff of Bo Ling’s for quite some time.
“This is kind of a new thing for the four of us because we’ve worked for their parents for so long; we haven’t quite had the opportunity to own a restaurant,” he said. “We’re all excited to get in there, learn and see how it goes.”