What might possibly be the Chinese version of tapas, dim sum is more than just a meal. It is a gathering and a ritual. Dim sum is as casual as it is formal.
For the uninitiated, dim sum is an assortment of steamed vegetables and dumplings, roasted meats, soups, noodle rolls, baked goods and tarts. Actually so much more hopefully. All the food items are presented in groups of threes in tiny steamer baskets made of bamboo or steel and hand selected based on the groups desires and shared communally with plenty of hot tea and lively conversation.
As diners enjoy their tidbits, you may see some peering towards other tables to see what they might have been offered. Large steam carts meander slowly throughout the room taking cues from knowing nods and gentle smiles.
This is dim sum at its finest and we can actually find a few being offered daily in Dallas.
At Hong Kong Royal you may dine on dim sum daily whenever the large Carrollton restaurant is open. The beauty behind Hong Kong Royal is they may not always offer cart service, that is reserved only for weekend afternoons, but you may select fresh dim sum from a menu any time day or night.
One of our favorite daily dim sum haunts is Kirin Court in Richardson. Served daily before 3pm, Kirin Court has a large selection of dim sum. The selection is a bit more vast on the weekends when crowds are more demanding, but the core dishes are offered every day. During the week, the dim sum at Kirin Court is $3 for each selection, so a few people may dine with tea for around $15 total. On the weekends prices are a bit more steep with items starting at $3. One of the more expensive selections might be a plate of five fried lobster balls for $9.
For more exotic choices ask for fish maws, or blood cakes. Some of our favorites include the stuffed eggplant, beef tripe and fried taro balls. Items we always order to please a crowd might be the shrimp and leek dumplings, minced beef dumplings, pot stickers and Siu Mai. Also any roasted meats like the duck will please first timers.
How ever you like your dim sum, it is always best to order your favorites and at least one unfamiliar item. This might include the fun to eat chicken feet simmering in a bath of piquant sauce, or an oddly filled steamed bun. Most likely your server will be English challenged and you might let them slap a few of their favorites onto your table. These are usually the most interesting and delicious.
However you like your dim sum, it has probably been a while and time for you to gather your group for a fresh adventure.Kirin Court 221 West Polk St., Richardson (214) 575-8888