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Dim Sum in Dallas?

Does anyone know of a good dim sum place in the Dallas area?

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  1. We like Maxim's in Richardson (on Greenville between Arapaho and Beltline) best, but some people like Kirin Court in Richadson (a few blocks down from Maxim's) better.

    IMO Turnip Cake and Flat Noodle (my favorites) are pretty bad at Maxim's (so I never eat these dishes there) and better at Kirin, but Maxim's serve more dishes we like (like deep fried taro with shrimp).

    1 Reply
    1. re: kuidaore

      Yep, go with Maxim or Kirin Court.

    2. Hands down, Arc-en-ciel in Garland. Dim Sum is served from 10:30am-2:30pm - you won't be sorry!

      5 Replies
      1. re: bolivarez

        Another vote for Arc-en-ciel. Lots of interesting things to try, though I have to admit that I still can't handle the chicken feet.

        1. re: bolivarez

          Really? I went a couple of months ago and was quite disappointed with the quality of their food.

          1. re: kireifresca

            We think the dim sum at Arc-en-ciel is awful, among the worst dim sum we've ever had. It's like dim sum with a Vietnamese twist, so it may appeal to the people who are looking for that kind of dim sum? (The worst dim sum I've ever had in my life is in Little Saigon in CA, which was recommended by a local Vietnamese couple. We used to frequent to another dim sum place in Little Saigon when we lived nearby.)

            1. re: kuidaore

              Agreed-- I've never found much to recommend Arc En Ciel, despite the fact the restaurant was a family favorite from the late 1980's to mid1990s. I infinitely prefer Kirin Court above all others in Dallas for dim sum.

              1. re: vktp

                DMN blog is reporting that Arc-En-Ciel has closed its doors.

        2. Lucky chinese in Plano on 15th & Custer. They are the former owners of Hong Kong Royale

          4 Replies
          1. re: irodguy

            Thanks for the tip. Didn't know they served dim sum at Lucky House.

            1. re: irodguy

              and they closed (moved to Carrollton actually) six months ago -;(

              BUT: A new dim sum place just opened at Coit and Legacy (SE corner). The place used to be called Cathy's Wok but has a new name which I forget. Can anyone help?
              I haven't tried it yet.

              1. re: Worzel Gummidge

                It's not a new place, they changed their name to JS Chen's this summer but only recently put up a sign that said "Dim Sum Daily". If I remember, I'll try it out Saturday but unfortunately it will probably be crowded because there's a lot of Chinese in that area.

                1. re: luniz

                  Avoid JS Chen's!!

                  Their dim sum is way below average and not fresh.
                  When i ate there, the soup dumplings are frozen before and cold in the middle when served. I took a bite and demanded a refund. The steamed pork are also red and undercook.

                  Found out that the cook is from China, not Hongkong...left the place and never go back. Someone else was also complaining about their food at the counter when i left.

                  Hey if a restaurant is too cheap to cover up "Cathy's Wok" sign and paint their name over the old canvas, you can be sure there is no pride in their food.

            2. Both Maxim and Kirin are good. What I search for in a good Dim Sum retaurant is the Xaolongbao. There aren't any. I did find that Shanghai's on preston and I 635 serves the best. Their dim sum is limited but the juicy pork dumplings (xaolongbao) is worth it alone. If you haven't eaten one of these juicy morsels well I am sorry.

              21 Replies
              1. re: The Real Deal

                XLB is a Shanghai dish, while traditional dim sum is Cantonese. However, due to its popularity XLB has "crossed over" and shows up at some traditional dim sum restaurants. However, the general maxim about not ordering non-Cantonese food at a Cantonese restaurant and vice versa usually holds, so the XLB at a traditional dim sum restaurant is seldom very good.

                1. re: Chandavkl

                  Do you know of any other places in the area that serves XLB? I could only find one that was any where near what they should taste like. Again that was at Shanghai's but they don't have a actual dimsum. I keep hearing Jeng Chi has good Soup Dumplings but what I have tried there was completely dried out and lacked any type of juice or soup in the dumpling. Any help would be appreciated.

                  1. re: The Real Deal

                    I had a few decent soup dumplings at Yao Fuzi in Plano (across the parking lot from Studio Movie Grill)...could've been more flavorful, and the texture of the filling (other than the soup LOL) better, but they were definitely not dried out. As with many places, there is an English menu and a Chinese menu. From the Chinese menu (a friend translated for me), I got the Ma Po Dofu, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

                    1. re: guttural

                      Tried out Yao Fuzi at lunch today. My order of XLB were kind of dry, not as juicy as the ones at Shanghai but a tad better than the ones at Jeng Chi. I like the atmosphere here a lot better than at Shanghai, but it is more expensive. Though there are different styles of Chinese cuisine on the menu (Sichuan, Shanghai, and some Canton), the owners are Shanghainese. Some Chinese specialties are also on the English menu. Tried the slow braised pork (beware, fatty, but that's how it's suppose to be) today and it was delicious.

                      1. re: guttural

                        I had the soup dumplings at Yao Fuzi this weekend. I was pretty excited since I have never seen or tried them outside of NYC. They were pretty disappointing. They barely had an soup inside of them. The filling was flavorful and had a good texture. I thought the dough was a little thick as well. The rest of the meal was really good. The twice cooked pork was tender and really flavorfull. They served it with spicy rich napa cabbage sauce. The whole wheat buns were soft and tender. We also had a noodle dish with rice noodles, beef, pork and chicken. It was seasoned with five spice and curry flavor. It was nice and light with a lot of flavor.

                        1. re: sl1

                          How sad that the xlb were not outstanding. I have had so many exemplary experiences there that I am taken aback by that statement. My first experience w/ them was @ Joe's Shanghai on Pell in nyc, and I fell in love w/ them. When I moved to Dallas I searched for 5 years before I found this gem. When I went back to nyc and visited Joe's they were still delicious, but Yao Fuzi really gives them a run for their money. Now in SF I have tried them, but they were not as good. I suggest going back, telling Chris that Dave and Heather sent you and see how delicious, juicy and delicate these really are. We always sit at the bar and we always get top notch food and service.

                      2. re: The Real Deal

                        No XLB, but Taiwan Cafe in Richardson (right behind Maxim's) has other kinds of dumplings. Their beef dumplings are the best I've eaten anywhere in the U.S.

                      3. re: Chandavkl

                        Chandavkl is right on the point about this one. Sadly enough, the ones at Shanghai Restaurant at Preston & LBJ are about as XLB get in Texas. For better ones hit up New York or San Francisco.

                        1. re: donnaaries

                          Stopped by the new Hong Kong Royal in Carrollton for some dim sum takeout. This is the old HK Royal crew that used to be in Richardson, then relocated to Arlington and are now at the intersection of Frankford & Josey by the Carrollton Plaza Supermarket. Business is light right now, I guess word hasn't gotten out yet. Tried sesame balls (nice and chewey), taro puffs (good but a little greasy), and BBQ pork pie (could have more meat). Generally speaking pretty decent, will be back for a dine-in full experience and review soon.

                          1. re: donnaaries

                            Little known fact is that Hong Kong Royale is probably the only Chinese restaurant to ever operate branches in Dallas and Los Angeles at the same time. And the Los Angeles operation, which was on Beverly Drive in Beverly Hills, was the first authentic Chinese restaurant to open up west of downtown Los Angeles. Unfortunately when Hong Kong Royale opened up in Beverly Hills in 1987 they were ahead of their time by several years, as there was no demand for real Hong Kong style cuisine in that part of town. So much to my chagrin it closed after a short period of operation. It wasn't until the mid-1990s that authentic Chinese food became a viable option on the Westside in Los Angeles.

                            1. re: donnaaries

                              Went to Hong Kong Royal in Carrollton with 2 friends last Mon. The place was about half full at 11:30 am. By the time we left at around 1:00 pm the place was just about full. The service was great. They serve mainly off of trays with several carts here and there. The service is quick and everyone spoke English which was a big help. We tried a lot of food and everything was very good. Shrimp Roll, BBQ Bun, Steam Bun, Roast Duck, Sliced Pork, Varies Steamed Dumplings. Everything was good. I can’t say that it was BETTER than Kirin Court (I’ve never been to Maxim’s) but it was every bit as good. And it is a lot closer to my side of town. I would be interested in hearing from others who have been there.

                              1. re: Dominic

                                My family like Chinese food. It has been quite far for us from Carrollton to drive all the way to Richardson for that. We are lucky to have HK Royal coming to Carrollton. We have tried many times; lunches and dinners. Overall is good; Service is friendly, food is good, price, I would say, better than Kirin Court and Maxim, where I used to go, and cleaningness is good too. For Dimsum, I think they have more variety than Kirin Court and same as Maxim.
                                Being there many times since they open, I observed that they have more regular customers like me. I think that supports my opinion of this restaurant.

                                1. re: jso

                                  We tried HK Royal last sunday for dim sum, and were impressed, although we were bombarded with food options all at once, and got a little dizzy. i like a slower cart selection, but other than that issue, we had a nice dim sum morning without driving to Richardson...and it seems like they have everything we expected to find. The glutinous rice in leaf was great, btw.

                            2. re: donnaaries

                              Agree..Great dim sum is one of many reasons to visit SF...try Yank Sing when you go...

                              1. re: jinet12

                                Chinese food in Dallas in general is only so so. It doesn't come close to SF or anything you'd find in Canada/Australia. For Dim Sum, i think Kirin court is yr best bet (but it's not that great that I would rave about it) but it's the best we've got here. I've tried Arc en Ciel and Maxims and both were terrible if you're looking for the real thing.

                                I love XLB so will be willing to drive up to Hong Kong Royal/Shanghai for it.

                                If you're here visiting dallas, i'd rather eat Japanese. We have really great japanese restaurants.

                                1. re: AussieGirl

                                  Actually theres only maybe one good Japanese place in Plano/Richardson and thats Ino on Coit and Campbell. Dallas actually has a vast amount of very good, authentic Taiwanese places. Taiwan Cafe, Taipei Express aka Ay-Chung, and 1st Chinese BBQ among them. Taiwan cafe actually serves breakfast on weekends and they have several different types of bao-zi including xiaolongbao (although i havent tried theirs). Kirin court will probably be your best bet for dim sum though. I dunno, hunt around, most of the really good places are kinda hidden :P

                                  1. re: xanoran84

                                    xanoran84, have you tried Umeko? It's an excellent Taiwanese restaurant.

                                    I think the new Chinese restaurants in Plano are better/more authentic (spurred by a recent influx of Chinese moving from CA and other parts of the country).

                                    Which Taiwan Cafe do you go to--the one in Plano or Richardson? We like their steamed dumplings. Is one better than the other?

                                    As for XLB, I think the consensus so far is Yao Fuzi is the best.

                                    I agree with you about Japanese restaurants. There are very few good or authentic ones in Dallas--Ino and Sushiyama are the only authentic ones I'm aware of east of 35E. Dallas will never have a really good authentic Japanese restaurant with such a small Japanese population (less than 2000? including Japanese-Americans).

                                  2. re: AussieGirl

                                    That's odd. Maxim must seat 500-600 people. If you get there after 12:30pm on Sunday you wait for a table in a line that stretches out the door. 80%+ of the patrons are ethnic chinese.

                                    And you think Maxim is "terrible"?

                                    1. re: Worzel Gummidge

                                      Likewise some don't like Kirin Court at all...I think it's pretty subjective as to what's good and what's not, if you don't like Cantonese, you won't like Kirin Court, if you don't like spicy, you won't like Little Sichuan. Some of the dim sum at Maxim's was good but for other items there's better options. And some people only like expensive fancy places. Donna recommends Shanghai for xiaolongbao but not much else.

                                      1. re: luniz

                                        Worzel, when was the last time you went to Kirin Court? When we were there 2 yrs ago, we weren’t that impressed with the food. The restaurant wasn’t busy at 11am on Sun. So we always went to Maxims the last 2 yrs.

                                        We went back there today because Kirin Court seems more popular now. I think Kirin’s food improved! Congee is much better than at Maxim’s (which is always overcooked). Also, the fried squid might be the best in town (Thai Ocrhid’s is really good, too). The place was packed at 11am (granted it's smaller than Maxim's).

                                        So now we are converts. Won’t go back to Maxim’s (except for the deep fried taro with shrimp).

                                        luniz, when you want to go to Kirin Court for dim sum or non-dim sum dishes, let us know. We'll join you--we live very close. I'm very intrigued by their fried smelt and chow fun. I like their chow mein, which is very similar to my favorite chow mein in CA.

                                  3. re: jinet12

                                    Yank Sing in Sam Francisco. The best!!!

                            3. There is a new place called Dim Sum and Barbecue in the Asia World Shopping Center on Legacy off of Alma. The food ranges from very good to excellent. We've eaten there 3 ttimes, twice for dim sum and once off the menu. Service is a little iffy. They're still trying to work out the kinks in the kitchen. I went with my husband so the company was good while waiting.

                              1. I once lived very close to Legacy and Coit and ate at Cathy's a TON. Is the new dim sum place that opened there still exist, and is it good... and how late is dim sum served. Oh to find a place that was open all day to fill my dim sum desires. I often miss lunch and like to make the best of the one meal a day I may get in!

                                I absolutely love Kirin Court. My first visit was based on a response here and so very much appreciate it. My first visit was uneventful as the language thing was rough. The establishments I have gone to in the past in Dallas and NY and California have been more accommodating as far as non-Chinese. The place that closed in Addison that served dim sum for years is a great example (was located upstairs next to the Improv).

                                I was ready the next visit after studying the dishes I have enjoyed the most over the years and learned their names in Chinese. To be safe I had crib notes. Now I go often enough that the young, tall Chinese gentleman that speaks little English knows what I like and ushers the proper items to my table post haste. He still claims that the items I am missing, like a delicious curried squid, are only sold on Sunday. He also said it was best to be there at 11:00 or you would probably not have much of a chance.

                                So with all the lack of brevity, I hope to hear more of other great dim sum locations and which have the best variety and keep longer hours. Any chance of finding the delicious and all allusive Shanghai soup dumpling in Dallas? This tasty morsel is a dumpling with a small meatball in the center with a tasty broth inside. To eat it you nibble off an end and drink the soup then eat the rest. Wow.

                                Chow Addicted!

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: DallasDude


                                  Xiao Long Bao or the soup dumpling which you are after I believe is only served at two restaurants, Shanghai Retsaurant and Yao Fuzi (there could be more but this is the ones that stick out). Shanghai restauarant gets praise for the dumpling on many boards including this one. The Yao Fuzi version I have heard was good but not quite as good as Shanghai, but then again this is a subjective board. I would urge you to try both and let us know your experience. BTW both are going to be like Kirin Court in that you have to warm up to them before they give you the good stuff. I have had the best success of any restaurants at both Little Sichuan in Plano (my favorite of all) and Hong Kong Royal in Carrollton. Both are very acommodating and are willing to work with you and the limited knowledge of the Chinese cuisine.

                                  If you would like any Chinese advice find some fellow foodies and I at the following group:

                                  1. re: LewisvilleHounder

                                    I've also had soup dumplings at Jeng Chi in Richardson. The food is cheap and the servings are plentiful. I highly recommend it.

                                    1. re: michaela0416

                                      Another vote for Jeng Chi's dumplings. I just went last weekend and got the potstickers and the twice cooked pork. Delicious. Also, can't beat the scallion pancake and BYOB.

                                  2. re: DallasDude

                                    According to D Magazine, Royal China in Dallas has them now too, courtesy of "The Dumpling Ladys."

                                    Has anyone tried them there yet?


                                  3. What about buffett with Dim Sum? I can't think of the name of it but it is a buffett in the adjacent shopping center to Maxims (and about in the center). They've got a decent array on tins to select from and I've enjoyed the other dishes as well. (I think it's right next to the Korean joint that opened recently)

                                    15 Replies
                                    1. re: mframpton

                                      I went to Shanghai today for the soup dumplings, they were pretty satisfying. Not as good as I would have liked, I have other recommended spots to try then I will roll out a complete opinion.

                                      Haven't been to maxim's, kinda scared after what I have read here. There's something truly nice about Kirin. Not perfect, but you can see it from from the second floor of the building.

                                      1. re: DallasDude

                                        Holy mother of God. Went to Kirin Court today (Saturday). I generally avoid this place on the weekends due to the huge crowds. However today I was a wee bit hung over (hehe you noticed me posting rants here at 4AM?) and needed some good healing food and tea.

                                        I managed to arrive at 1:30 and sat at my usual table with a friend. What I immediately noticed, besides the huge crowd of people, was an over abundance of carts with an over-the-top selection you will not find weekdays.

                                        Some great items today that are now enjoying a warm spot in my belly include har siu baau (sweet glazed bun with the red bbq pork filling), cheung fun with bbq pork, the stir fried sticky rice with Chinese sausage, taro dumplings, shu mai, har gau, and these tasty fried dumplings with large shards of lobster with a mayo based sauce. The lobster was a super premium and cost nearly six dollars, but there were six pieces and well worth it. We also had the thnly warpped pork and tofu that swims in a light brown sauce no clue what it is called but love it).

                                        Had I known there was a larger selection I would have dismissed some of the more mundane items. I saw so many things pass by that I have never tried, and today we had a waiter named Gavin that spoke tremendous English and would have been the perfect day to be more adventuresome.

                                        I will caution that it is more expensive on weekends than weekdays. I know we way over ordered, but the tab was double the usual price for two. Still I walked away with a crazy off the hook chow experience, and look forward to next Saturday with baited fung jeow breath!

                                        1. re: DallasDude

                                          Just tried Chinatown buffet over near Arapaho and the Tollway on Knoll Trail (NW corner) They have the basic chinese buffet table (2 sided) a table for fruits, soups, another for dim sum, sauces and a 4th for dessert type items (this place has more then the usual line of desserts including warm! egg custard tarts, brownies and fresh baked almond cookies) there is also a mongolian wok station with a sushi bar (6 basic kinds) to the side. I really really liked it and my vegetarian daughter had plenty to keep her happy. Price cannot be beat (don't forget to copy the 1.00 off coupon from the website!) My only complaint was since we ate at 1:00 pm, veggies in the chinese buffet are were a tad overcooked and the meats could be more tender....will try them earlier and for lunch next time.
                                          Everything is all you want. I don't remember the names but a very nice selection.
                                          Lunch - $6.99
                                          Mon. - Fri., 11AM - 4PM
                                          Friday Night, All Day Saturday, Sunday & Holidays


                                          Hope some of you like this choice. No crowds (yet) and very very helpful waitstaff.

                                          1. re: DallasDude

                                            The big crowds are exactly why they have more items on weekends. Sunday is even better. Also, this tip applies for any dim sum, but If you're gonna go on a weekend, try to be there no later than 11 to avoid the rush.

                                            Chinatown Buffet is within walking distance from my apartment, so I think I'll swing by there and give it a shot sometime.

                                            1. re: air

                                              For a Saturday, 1:30 was a perfect time. I am told Sunday no later than 11:00, basically when they open. Also, the reason dim sum is cheaper during the week is it is all 2.50. No super premium prices. But as you mentioned, air, low selection and small crowd. But always superb and tasty.

                                              As for the Chinese buffet thing, I am not sure I could ever choke that down. I have been to several for business lunches I was invited to, and found them banal at best. But they do seem very popular.

                                              1. re: DallasDude

                                                I feel like Chowhound has lots of Dim Sum threads that lay dormant for long periods of time and pop back up. Besides Kirin Court, our favorite is Hong Kong Royal in Carrollton. Really nice people. Definitely try to Shrimp & Spinach dumplings, they are amazing there.

                                            2. re: DallasDude

                                              ask for the squid next time. It's just tempura fried but it's good with a little sauce. Also, you mean char siu bao I think?

                                              1. re: luniz

                                                Their fried squid (salt & pepper squid?) is DELICIOUS. Their fried smelt is good, too. We always get there before 11am on Sat or Sun, but they don't bring out the fried stuff until close to noon so we have to wait.

                                                1. re: kuidaore

                                                  I enjoyed a squid once that was swimming in a wonderful curry. Nice dish, does anyone know what it is called or if we can find it at Kirin?

                                            3. re: DallasDude

                                              Shanghai's xlb can't even hold a candle to my beloved Yao Fuzi. They're xlb do not have enough soup, they are too big and they don't have that delicate flavour that Yao Fuzi has. The skin there is thin and instead of blk. vinegar they serve it w/ rice vinegar. This really keeps them light and doesn't overpower the beautiful flavour. I also really dig on their fried halibut. The pork served w/ whole wheat buns and the soft shelled crab dishes are also not to be missed.

                                              1. re: yumyum palace

                                                I have had these at Shanghai after being recommended here several times. I do not understand Shanghai. Three old Asian women sitting yapping at a table watching Chinese TV... I have no clue how they stay in business. The dumplings are thick, chewy and not juicy in the least. I have not been to Yao's, but have been to Joe's and several places in Hong Kong, and am a total fan of the xiao long bao. I think there is a delicate balance that is tiny dough ball and the juicy goodness that lies inside. I prefer a pork filling served with a side of the smokey black rice vinegar.

                                            4. re: mframpton

                                              Shui Wah in the same strip as Genroku and Jeng Chi also has a dim sum buffet. You can tell it's cheap. The food is acceptable, but nothing to write home about.

                                              1. re: air

                                                Okay...not to be a food snob, but a dim sum buffet is just wrong in so many ways. There is no way any seafood dumpling could sit on the steamer for any real length of time and turn out well. I just got back from Hong Kong and the better dim sum places don't even push the items on the cart. Rather, you fill out a form and they are prepared fresh to order. Also, Jeng Chi is truly a dumpling place and in Chinese cooking there really is a distinction made between the dumplings served at Jeng Chi and what is considered dim sum. Dim sum can be higher end, whereas dumplings are really street food. That said I do agree that the dumplings at Jeng Chi are good, as well as their scallion bread.

                                                1. re: jindomommy

                                                  Kirin has a dim sum menu if you prefer to order it that way. When I first went they tried to get me to order that way, but I prefer the cart service and am fairly adept at ordering from the cart. I like the idea of never knowing what is in store for me with the next cart. Plus, I like making the cart girls giggle.

                                                  1. re: jindomommy

                                                    I think you misinterpreted what I posted. I was referring to Shui Wah - which has a buffet, and I know Jeng Chi purely specializes in dumplings, I wasn't trying to make any negative remarks. I mentioned Jeng Chi/Genroku just as a point of reference to the area where Shui Wah is located.