Why Chewology is our 2022 Restaurant of the Year

Photo by Zach Bauman

Kansas City was in desperate need of quality dumplings, and Katie Liu answered the bat signal. Liu was born in Taiwan, and her youth was filled with multiple cross-continent moves that left her on a constant search for the feeling of home. The childhood ritual of gathering around a table and making dumplings with family became a source of comfort and familiarity. Those dumplings eventually led her to open Chewology as a vendor at the Lenexa Public Market. In late October of 2021, she moved to the Westport space that had previously housed notable fine dining restaurant Bluestem. She kept the menu short and sweet, focusing on Taiwanese street food where dumplings are the star of the show, but dishes like dan dan noodles and Taiwanese fried chicken play a supporting role.

“Chewology hits that spot of something different but familiar,” Liu says.

Photo by Zach Bauman

We agree, which is why we’re naming it the best new spot in Kansas City—an honor that we call the Restaurant of the Year.

In almost all aspects, Chewology is simultaneously diverse and comforting. With a gentle dining room makeover of bright floral tablecloths and lights strung along the ceiling, the vibrant ambiance and open kitchen begs for you to bask in the comradery of friends and family while fighting over shareable plates. Brothy ramen is dressed to the nines with marinated eggs and crisp vegetables. The vegan three cup mushroom ramen is an endless pool of umami flavor.

Then there are the dumplings. You need to experience them yourself, starting with the pork and cabbage that come alive thanks to the timeless blend of fresh ginger, soy sauce and sesame oil.

Photo by Zach Bauman

According to Liu, authenticity is difficult to define with Taiwanese cuisine since the country has a long history of cultural influences from its neighbors. She enjoys playing with regional flavors such as a drizzle of chili mayo to accompany the crispy Taiwanese fried chicken. The menu of craft cocktails was created specifically for the restaurant and includes drinks made with ingredients like mochi, oolong palm sugar syrup, purple taro, bee pollen and green peach. 

To get an even deeper and more unique experience, consider Chewology’s monthly family-style dinner called Stray Kat. The dinners feature a tasting menu inspired by “memories that bring joy,” which is exactly how we think of this wonderful new restaurant.

900 Westport Road, KCMO. chewologykc.com


See the rest of our updated list of the top 40 Restaurants in Kansas City here.

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