Short Orders: Kirin Court

Kirin Court
221 W. Polk St., Richardson

On Saturday afternoons, most non-people watching restaurants sit relatively idle, if they're open at all. But you'll find much of the area's Chinese population (and a nice cross-section of Richardson, as well) huddled over the dim sum at Kirin Court, even well past lunch time.

The place remains Dallas' go-to spot for dim sum, which they serve until 3 p.m. It's seems as if an overwhelming majority of the city's adventurous dining crowd have assembled here at least once. If you haven't tried Kirin Court, however, be prepared for a traffic jam of steel carts--especially if you sit close the the entrance.

Dim sum here is not for the P.F. Chang's set. Amongst the filled buns and cold dumplings and steaming dishes there are such Chinese favorites as chicken feet (large and ugly things, bearing very little meat but a nice sweet and tangy sauce). Familiar items, such as shrimp dumplings or chicken wings--seasoned with just enough ginger, clove and cassia to make you forget about those coated American-style things--come around, as well.

Most items are worth sampling...although I say that knowing I've tried only a small portion of what they offer. Unless you come as part of a large group, you'll fill up quickly.

Well, maybe that's just me. I plan to pace myself, but end up stopping the first three or four carts. Can't help it.

So if you've never been, follow the lead of more patient diners. Take an item or two to start, then watch as the carts roll past and get a sense of courses two and three. Pick a couple unfamiliar plates. Don't ask what they are (it can be difficult to understand some of the servers, anyway). You might end up enjoying fried pig intestine or blood cake...but you can always stick to the recognizable, if you wish.

Kirin Court earned accolades years ago. While some things pushed to the table won't please every palate, and while some dishes leave you wanting, the restaurant still deserves its reputation. 

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