Top 4 Reasons Why @Kankirestaurant in #Durham #NC is the “Best Tasting Show In Town” #kankirestaurant #SobeSavvyEats

Hey guys! I hope you had a fantastic weekend. Mine was filled with foodie fun because I had an exciting opportunity to try a restaurant and share about my experience with you! recently was invited to a tasting experience at Kanki Sushi and Japanese Steakhouse Durham, which just happened to coincide with my mom’s visit to the Triangle to celebrate her 64th birthday. I decided to combine some work with pleasure and treat the whole family!

From the moment we stepped inside of Kanki Durham, I could tell by the crowd that this was a popular place. They do not take reservations or hold seats, so make sure your whole party is there if requesting to sit at a hibachi table for dinner. If you’re not familiar with hibachi,it’s where the chef prepares your meal right before your eyes. After dining at Kanki Durham on Saturday, I liked to share with you my Top 4 Reasons Why Kanki Durham is The “Best Tasting Show in Town”:

1. Cozy & Beautiful Decor

If you’ve ever been to Kanki at Crabtree and Kanki off of Wake Forest Road, then you are familiar with the delicious menu. This location offers same menu but has a different feel than the other locations. From the beautiful stain glass decor, the aquarium, the lovely bar area and their cozy dining room, this restaurant is the perfect spot for dinner and a show.

2. Entertaining & Fun

#outandaboutAva is amazed by the hibachi Chef at Kanki Durham, the “Best Tasting Show in Town” | Photo Credit:

Our hibachi chef, Ricky was entertaining and showed special attention to my 6 yr old. She loved the food “show”. Chef Ricky did a myriad of delightful tricks that kept a smile on her face. She loved the “egg roll” the best! Watch this video to see a bit more of the action. It was so fun and entertaining to everyone young and old!

3. Flavorful & Fresh

If you like Japanese cuisine that’s flavorful and fresh, Kanki Durham‘s menu offers a great variety. The delicious menu is full of fresh sushi options, yummy appetizers and of course their well-known hibachi. Hibachi is what we wanted and hibachi is what we got. We started with a few appetizers of Gyoza pork steamed dumplings and also their lamb chops, which I plan to get everytime I visit. The lamb chops were so good they disappeared quickly before I could get a food pic! However, check out the Gyoza appetizer which comes 6 to an order and is perfect for sharing!

SobeSavvy Tip: Dine at Kanki Durham and enjoy a FREE appetizer per party with the purchase of an entree! Use coupon code: SOBESAVVY .Offer expires May 14, 2018

In addition to hibachi, Kanki Durham also has superb sushi choices. I ordered the sashimi sampler. It was fresh and delicious. My family ordered a classic chicken and steak, Ribeye and scallop and a Emperor‘s delight. Most hibachi entrees come with soup, salad and grilled shrimp prior to the main meal. Also there are a choice of two sauces to enjoy with your dishes. You’ll want to put the WHITE SAUCE on everything by the time you leave Kanki Durham! They have a great kids menu as well.

4. Family Friendly

When planning a family dinner, there are very few places as memorable as Kanki Durham. If you are looking for place to handle a big party, Kanki’s hibachi tables seat 9 people. We were a party of 5 so it was a communal affair with our other friendly table guests who were also celebrating a birthday! Our waitress made sure to ask if anyone was celebrating a special occassion. At the end of the meal, a traditional Japanese drummer appeared. He banged out their version of happy birthday to my mom’s delight. They gave her a sherbet with a candle. A sweet ending to a memorable night!

Thank you Kanki Durham for the invite and gift card for dinner for 2 to use towards my meal. In my opinion, your motto of being the “Best Tasting Show in Town” fits this restaurant well! The next time you are in Durham, make sure you dine here. Per my mom, it was “the best meal she has had all year”!


Kanki Durham
3504 Mt. Moriah Road

Facebook: @KankiOfficialPage

Instagram/Twitter: @kankirestaurant

#TastyThursday spotlight on @ZoesKitchen new Kids Menu and more ! #LiveMediterranean 

Here’s a common dilemma. You’re out and about, hungry and want something for your little one {and yourselves} that does not come in a greasy bag and require waiting in your car talking to a speaker. What to do, where to go ? What if I told you about this place where the food is made fresh in a stylish attractive setting at a even more attractive price ? THAT place is  Zoës Kitchen.

As soon as you walk into this bright, casual dining restaurant, you get a sense that your tastesbuds are in for a treat! Their motto: Tasty, Fresh and Original recipes is something that is very appealing to my family. And if you are really in a hurry, you can call ahead and take your meal to go!

*Here is the number for the North Hills location in Raleigh, NC

Zoës Kitchen recently expanded their kids menu to offer even more wholesome and diverse options and treated to try these with young foodie #OutandAboutAva who happens to love mediterranean food just as much as we do!  Born in Generation Z, she has always been open-minded about trying different foods and very vocal about the things she does not like. What’s cool about their kids meal is that children can customize it! Here’s what they have to choose from:


My girl decided on the kid sized Shrimp Kabob. Shrimp is her absolute favorite. Sides include hummus, Greek salad, roasted vegetables, pesto farro or fresh fruit! 


img_4976House made Greek Dressing.

img_5017  My little one and I shared a cup of their delicious lentil soup. It is made from scratch daily and is soooooo good. 

No meal is complete without dessert right? As a member of the clean plate society, she received an award: Zoës Kitchen house baked chocolate chip cookie. It was big enough for all 3 of us to share!

A big cookie gets a big smile !

Here is a slideshow of photos showing more of why Zoës Kitchen is a simple, tasty, and fresh choice for your entire family. Enjoy! 

Savvy Tip: Download their ZK app for Android or Apple so you can order online,access their nutrition calculator and keep track of your Zoës Kitchen rewards here !

#Raleigh @CompDiningNC #GotToBeNC #CompDiningNC July 18 Battle “Ham & Jam” Recap 

Battle 4 of The Got to Be NC Competition Dining Series, highlighting the best of the state’s food, agriculture and culinary talent, kicked off last night in Raleigh and was there for a fabulous, foodie fun night out! 
The event was held in downtown Raleigh’s City Market in the building that is now 214 Martin Street. It is a very unique event space that also serves as a Pop Up Restaurant for hire! Each table was beautifully decorated with candles and red and black linens from Alsco. Cocktails, wine and beer were available for purchase thruout the evening. Servers started us off with warm bread and butter. But not just any bread..we enjoyed artisanal breads from La Farm Bakery. The white chocolate baguette was a favorite at the table and we all tried hard not to fill up on that before the courses started! 

This was my first dinner battle and as a fan of such food shows like IronChef and Chopped , I was very excited to be able to partake and ‘be the judge’ last night. Host/Director of Competition Dining, Jimmy Crippen explained to guests that we will get to to enjoy and vote on six courses without knowing which of the two teams of three Chefs created them. We were all able to cast our votes by submitting our ballots via smartphone. The whole process of voting was very cool and high tech! This was unlike any other dinner experience I have ever had!
Last night’s preliminary round was a “Ham & Jam” battle between Team Scratch Mavericks and Orange Crush and featured 2 secret ingredients: Goodnight Brothers Country Ham Thin Sliced Dry-Cured Ham and Norm’s Farms Elderberry Jams & Extracts. I did a screenshot from my phone of these ballot photos (photo credit dining staff/Heidi Bilotto/Competition Dining) of each course that we were served as follows: 

The winners Team Scratch Mavericks from The Hen & The Hog and SoCo Farm and Food made quite an impression with their veal entree that I decided to do a how to clean your plate video clip as shown here: 

Chefs Chelsea Houge, Jessica Collier Ricks and Jeremy Law move on to the Thursday night semi final against the winner of tonights preliminary battle. Cheers to to chefs Rich Carter, Sara Samuels and Anthony Calcagna from Team Orange Crush from Catering Works for their delicious part in making last night so wonderful! We even got a parting gift of ham that I plan on wrapping around some asparagus tips and broiling!  Here is my photo slideshow recap of the delicious fun that was had! 

Be sure to follow Competition Dining for up to the minute news of this exciting NC food event!

Hashtag #CompDiningNC



#FoodieFriday spotlight: @ToriiNoodleBar #ToriiNoodleBar #NationalShrimpDay #Mochi


National Shrimp Day is an annual food holiday celebrating the jewel of the sea: SHRIMP ! On Tuesday May 10, 2016, we decided to celebrate at Torii Noodle Bar By Kanki which is upstairs from their sister Habachi Restaurant Kanki located at Crabtree Valley Mall.

On their website they describe themselves as- Kanki’s freshest new concept, the Torii Noodle Bar offers a Japanese dining experience made with love, spirit and harmony. Traditional Japanese fair, as well as to-go sushi to enjoy alongside great sake, and carefully selected wines and beer.
I really agree with their self description. Inside the decor is what I call Japanese chic. Lots of light wood and natural sunlight streams in the intimate dining area. On such a delightful day we opted to eat alfresco on their patio.

The variety of shrimp ,shrimp and more shrimp items on the menu would make Forest Gump proud. We dined on the following:
*Appetizers: Shrimp Tempura ( batter-dipped,lightly seasoned,served with tempura dipping sauce)
Ebi (shrimp sushi), Hot Rockin’ Lava Shrimp (tender large shrimp, fried to a golden brown and tossed in a not too spicy but tasty lava sauce)



*Entrees: Lunch bento box (served with fresh tossed salad with ginger dressing, west coast roll, steamed rice, Tempura shrimp and vegetables with homemade dipping sauce and stir fried shrimp teriyaki style and Shrimp Tempura Udon Noodles. The buckwheat noodles were delicious and I loved the hon tsuyu broth! The lunch was served quickly and reminded me that healthier options can be served fast and for a better quality and value.


My little girl loved the Japanese soda and the more than personable Director of Operations, Gee Dararouksa was happy to show my daughter how to recycle the chopsticks paper into a holder !

They have a great cocktail and sake menu. Their sake flight was amazing and it complemented the cuisine perfectly. Instead of a fast food lunch, you can come here and get REAL food for roughly the same price and in a efficient ,timely manner.

Enjoy these photos from our wonderful dining experience at Torii Noodle Bar!


















*Pictured here : Gee Dararouksa, Director of Operations ~ Reuben Rodillas, General Manager ~ Alex Cordova, Corporate Executive Chef

For a sweet ending , try the Japanese Ice Cream known as Mochi Ice Cream. Available in Vanilla, Chocolate, Green Tea, Red Bean, Strawberry, and Mango, my personal favorite !

We enjoyed lunch and had fun dining at Torii Noodle Bar! Its definitely my family’s favorite place for japanese food in Raleigh, NC ! Next time in Crabtree and want a Asian cuisine fix ? Go to Torii Noodle Bar. They will take good care of you and your tastebuds!

This #LeapDay, leap over to @FaireRaleigh @CameronVillage and Celebrate #NationalSurfandTurfDay


Today is Feb 29th..Leap Day and National Surf and Turf Day! I suggest you celebrate by leaping over to Faire Restaurant to try their new menu highlighting a modern take on seafood, steak and small plates.

This month with the launch of the new and improved menu, Faire has added more small plate choices perfect for sharing with friends over a glass of wine. Chef Steve Zanini places a premium on finding the best ingredients for every dish on his menu. After taking a look at the menu online, I decided to come in for some cocktails and to give a taste to some of the small plates. The space is bright and airy. It is broken up with a nice lounge/bar area. The main dining room has large windows and a recessed waterfall ! Our server was attentive without being intrusive. The wonderful wine list is curated by Sommelier Mike Tinley. I had various dishes {shown below}. You can try many small plates or a large plate entrée. The choice is yours. Good Food. Good atmosphere and service. That is more than Faire. Next time you are in Cameron Village or want a special date night, try Faire.

Next month they start lunch hours and also they have a popular Sunday Brunch.

Enjoy my pictures from my visit to Faire ~Cheers!


* How beautiful is Faire’s Event Space?! It allows for 40 cocktail or 20 seated and features AV hookups for presentations,music,slideshows and more. Contact









*If you love seafood..try the Crab Cakes with arugula, remoulade. Try this with a glass of Chenin Blanc, a newly added white on their wine list.



*A unique take on Surf and Turf: Shrimp & Pork Belly served with ancho, white cheddar biscuit,country veloutte

* These Frites are house cut russets accompanied with truffle aioli . Now this is how you elevate french fries !

*If you love quality Steak Tartare, this chopped c.a.b comes with capers shallots, mustard from Asheville,NC, egg yolk and crostinis



Left to Right: Sommelier, Michael Tinley and Executive Chef, Steve Zanini