We were at Mizner Park in Boca Raton and walked by Kapow Noodle Bar on our recent pub/bar crawl and decided to stop in for some appetizers. They have a large open air bar with both inside and outside seating, we chose the air conditioning today. It’s a long narrow restaurant with some tables/booths on the left and lots of seating at the bar on the right. The back of the place holds the kitchen (partially open so you can see them ‘wok’ing the Asian dishes…yes, I said ‘wok’ing) and the restrooms. We were immediately greeted by the bartender and given a drink menu along with a food menu.
This is a cool, colorful eatery. The whole wall on the left is a sprawling mural full of Asian influence and bold colors. Hmmm? Are those UFOs and robots in the mural? Sitting at the bar gave us a great view of the place and even the got a nice cross breeze from the large open windows. We skipped the beer (we needed a break) and started looking through the appetizers. The menu is Asian inspired with some twists on your favorites. Stir-Fry, noodles…they are all here. It might even be considered ‘Asian-Fusion’ to some as some of the combinations seem to span the ocean for inspiration. We didn’t take long as two selections caught our eye right away. We put in our order and kicked back and relaxed, listening to the small band that was playing outside. Cool vibe.
Our appetizers didn’t take long at all, in fact, I was surprised on how quick they came out. The bartender set us up with plates and chopsticks and set down our choices. We couldn’t wait to dig in!
Crispy Chicken Skin – charred green beans, parmesan crisp, garlic soy dipping sauce. When you first read this…you might think this sounds a bit strange. While it might not be high on the ‘nutritionally healthy’ list, these were awesome. They might have been dusted with seasoning, but they didn’t have much breading at all (if any). They were cooked perfectly with almost all of the fat rendered. They were crisp and similar to a pork rind, but not as ‘hard’ and much thinner. On their own they are good, but you really need to use the dipping sauces. They actually gave us two – garlic soy and a sweet Thai chili sauce. We started off by using the chopsticks, but soon ditched them for our fingers. This is quite the portion and well worth the money. Perfect to share and this is something you’d never make at home. The green beans were thin, fresh and charred just right. The green beans can also cancel out the negative effect of the fried chicken skin right? Well…maybe not, but it was a great combination.
Empanada Wontons – beef, raisin, carrot, shishitou pepper vinaigrette. Lined up on the plate, they did look like a cross between a fried wonton and an empanada. They were still a bit hot, but we powered through it. The outside was light and crisp (wonton wrappers). The inside contained a nice portion of filling. While the description shows that raisins are in the filling, they blended in very well and you really couldn’t distinguish them as a separate ingredient. The beef was flavorful and the perfect texture….not hard so you have to eat the filling in one bite, but more like an empanada…filling in every bite. The dipping sauce was the perfect pairing adding a bit of sweet/sourness to cut through some of the fat and richness.
Our bartender was awesome through the whole visit and we will definitely be back. This was actually our second time here and we also had really good service and food on that last visit too. For appetizers and main dishes, Kapow! packs a flavor punch for sure.
Kapow! Noodle Bar is located at 431 Plaza Real Boca Raton, FL in Mizner Park.