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Jan 31, 2012 10:44 AM

KJ Kitchen Dim Sum at the Rio

Has anyone tried KJ Kitchen Dim Sum at the Rio yet? It was still under construction when I was there during Christmas, but I read that it opened for Chinese New Year last week. Any reviews would be great.

I did try East Ocean Dim Sum in Henderson on my last trip, and it was just OK, but it was on a Friday when it wasn't crowded and there wasn't heavy turnover of the food. If I go again, it'll likely be on a Saturday or Sunday when it's likely busier with more turnover of the food.

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  1. just came from lunch at KJs Chinese in the rio--by the world buffet. the good news is that the dim sum is maybe a litttle better than the best available in vegas up to now--cathay house or changs imho--not a fan of ping pang pong. nice big comfortable room probably seats 300. plenty helpful wait staff although i thought there weren't that many carts circulating. wasn't a problem getting enough to eat. pretty wide selection. price about the same as the competition--$50 for 4 of us. the meats--roast duck, spare ribs with black bean sause, beef balls--all good tasting and tender. siu mai and other dumplings nicely done. the macau style custard tarts and the sticky rice were better than the local competition. didn't see other standard fare like chicken feet or turnip cakes. place was very busy. getting the check was really slow. how can you miss on that? feng shui seemed factored in, although the hands on the little porcelin cats were stationary, so they could work on that too. all in all a creditable addition to the local dim sum scene.

    1 Reply
    1. re: habnablv

      Thanks for the review. Your weekday visit sounds like how most dim sum places are, where the selection of food is smaller than what might be available on a weekend.

    2. We were staying there this weekend, thanks to a free Super Bowl weekend stay won by a friend who couldn't use it...and dates weren't exchangeable...

      So that was an excuse to try Dim Sum at KJs. The room is huge, and attractive. A few thoughts: overall, I thought the quality was good. My favorites were the custard buns, which I normally don't like, but had ordered in deference to my mostly vegetarian husband (who went along reluctantly, agreeing that he could always just drink tea and keep me company:-) Actually, we found a few dishes that he liked, since he will eat seafood. The shrimp with rice noodles were good, as were the mushrooms stuffed with shrimp. But back to those buns: the pastry was perfect, and that's what I really liked about it. Someone there can make pastry. Another favorite was the soup dumplings...I particularly liked the fact that they serve them in little foil cups so that if your chopstick pierces the dumpling the soup doesn't spill all over your plate....

      I thought the prices were very reasonable: we tried about eight different types of dim sum, and the bill was 20 bucks for two, including a pot of tea. It was the morning of Super Bowl Sunday and although the casino was packed the restaurant was less than half full. Hubby is worried they will be gone in six months. And I must admit we were the only non-Asians in the place. Vegas has a fairly large Asian population but maybe not enough to sustain a casino restauant, so you hounds should check it out.

      Not a huge number of carts, but enough, and also many items were carried out on trays, which may make sense with the smaller crowd. We were entertained by video of what appears to be the Chinese equivalent of the Food Channel...including a show that gave us the entire story of pork...from the baby pigs suckling through the butchering to rendering and then preparation. Some of the details were less than appetizing; glad DH had his back to the TV:-)

      3 Replies
      1. re: janetofreno

        Just as an aside, the original KJ Kitchen is one of the best seafood restaurants in Las Vegas Chinatown. Most of my clients are Asian, and they love it there.

        1. re: sockster

          Good point; they advertise as a "seafood and dim sum restaurant." I think they serve the regular menu (not the dimsum) in the evening. That's another reason I worry about their existence; there is already a Chinese restaurant in the Rio. I'm quite sure KJ is better, but the other one is closer to the main casino floor and more visible.

        2. re: janetofreno

          Thanks for the wonderful review, Janet. In the neighboring Gold Coast, Ping Pang Pong seems to do really well as a Chinese dim sum restaurant, so there is a good chance that KJ Dim Sum could thrive as soon as more people find out about it. The other three main dim sum places in Vegas all seem to be fairly busy during the weekends, and get especially crazy on certain holidays, so I think there's enough demand.

          I'll definitely check it out on my next visit.