The experience

JS Chen's Dim Sum & BBQThe day started off very early for the Phipps household.  Normally, on the weekends, Mina might get up around 8:30 and Benji will sleep unti at least 9 o’clock.  I had to round this morning, but since I didn’t have to fight traffic, I thought I would sleep a few minutes later than normal.  7:45 was my planned wake up time.  Benji had different plans.  At 7:30, I hear a very quick paced foot step, followed by “My brother’s awake!”  Yup, Benji decided to wake up early, wake up Mina, who decide to wake up Mommy and Papa.  So much for sleeping in.  Why am I telling you all this??  Because it made for a very tired Benji at lunch!  Ogre announced that we would be eating Dim Sum for lunch!  Woo-hoo!  I love Dim Sum!!  I thought we’d try Kirin Court, but Ogre looked at me as if I was crazy.  (Last time we tried, there was a huge crowd of people waiting to eat).  Nope, we’d try Liz G’s suggestion and head to the one by Asia World…JS Chen Dim Sum and BBQ. 

When we arrived, there was one table ahead of us and we were actually very lucky to get there when we did because as we waited for our table,  a whole bunch of people piled in after us. 

Papa, Mina and Benji


We were seated, but then found out that they did not have any more high chairs.  Doh!  We tried to use a booster seat, but that lasted all of 10 minutes as Benji was already sliding to the floor and whining about it.  Ogre went out to the car to get his clip on chair and crisis was averted.

Benji in a booster seat


Then the fun begins!!  I love having them come by with the carts.  It’s like a fun game of try this or that, but don’t fill up on food that just tastes “okay,” you have to be patient to get the stuff you really want.  I suppose it’s hard when you’ve never been before or don’t know what stuff is.  At a place like this, there’s no menu to describe what the items are and typically the servers have quite the accent.  When you’re new to a place it can be difficult also.  There were a couple of items that we like that they didn’t have here and one thing we wanted and thought that they didn’t have, we saw on a cart after we’d stuffed ourselves silly!

Mina LOVES Chinese BBQ pork, so this was heavenly for her.  First off, we got the Fun Roll.  Let me stop and say that I don’t know a lot of the “true” names of these items, but I’ll do the best I can.  They have BBQ Pork Fun Rolls.  I cut them up for her and Benji and it made it easy for Benji to pick up with his fingers and easy for Mina to pick up with her chopsticks.

I love pork


We also got some type of steamed dumpling filled with (I think) pork and chicken.  Benji liked this also, Mina not so much.  She decided to stick to the BBQ pork items.  I picked out some roasted duck for myself and then we saw some steamed buns with BBQ pork filling and had to grab some of that.  THIS was Benji and Mina’s favorite, I think.  Benji was about excited as he got at lunch today with this item.  Benji was just so tired at lunch that he seemed to just be going through the motions of eating.  I honestly think he was too tired to misbehave!!

I love pork


Ogre is easily persuaded by the cart ladies, we ended up with some vegetable fried dumplings and shrimp steamed dumplings.  I wanted to have some steamed rice to eat with my duck, but ended up getting some crazy steamed rice off one of the carts with BBQ pork and chicken.  The chicken was seriously just like here is a chicken wing, let’s throw it in there.  I dodged the meat and ate the rice with my duck.  Mina tried my duck and LOVED it.  I think she ended up eating more duck than I did!  That was about as adventuresome as she got though, she wouldn’t try anything else, not even the yummy sesame balls we saved for last!

Benji LOVED the sesame balls.  Well, he really liked the filling -he used his cute little finger to scoop it out.  Again, he seemed to love it, but was just so tired that he just kept eating and eating without telling us how good it was or nodding his head like he normally does.

Eaing sesame balls


As lunch came to a close, Mina said, “Ahhh, I’m so stuffed!” and wearily walked over to Papa for a hug.  They paid while I finished up my sesame ball and then brought Benjamin with me to join the rest of Team Phipps as we waddled out of the restaurant.  Mmmmm.  So good!

Sweet Mina


The food

This is Dim Sum – I liken it to Chinese Tapas!  You order off the cart and just keep ordering and ordering to your heart (or your tummy’s content!)

As far as Dim Sum goes, I think this one is above average.  It has most of the “standard fare” Dim Sum items, including some that I do not eat (but my brother and dad will!), such as chicken feet.  No thanks!

Here’s a run down of what we ordered today:

Fun Roll: It’s hard to describe, but it’s like a soft and very large, moist rice noodle that is wrapped around some type of meat (pork, beef, or shrimp most commonly) and then they pour some type of tasty soy sauce on it.  This was excellent here (we ordered the pork variety).  This one even has kid appeal to it!

BBQ Pork Fun Roll


Roasted Duck: this is served hacked up, bones and all.  It’s actually very difficult to eat and not for the faint of tummies.  The pieces that were easiest to pull meat off were given to Mina, which is why I noted that she probably ate more than me.  I had to really dissect the rest of the pieces to get the meat off and you have to avoid, bones and joints.  It’s well worth it though.  I’d say the roasted duck was excellent here. 



Steamed Buns stuffed with BBQ Pork:  This was also excellent here.  There is a very mild sweetness to the bread and just enough bread to counter balance the BBQ pork which is very saucy in the middle.  Also has good kid appeal.  Some of the best I’ve had.

BBQ Pork Buns


Shrimp Steamed Dumplings:  This was also very good.  The shrimp had a nice sesame flavor to it and I just love the rice wrapper it comes in.  Since it is steamed, it was nice and juicy!

shimpr dumplings


Vegetable Fried Dumplings:  Ogre said it was really good.  I did not try it, too many other things that were more appealing to me!

pan fried dumplings


The Steamed Rice with BBQ Pork and Chicken:  Um, well, weird.  I did not like the concept of this dish and there were whole pieces of bone in it to avoid!  I will not be making that mistake again!!  The rice is very wet, almost, but not quite soupy with the bits of chicken and BBQ pork that were also too wet.

rice concoction


Chicken and Pork Steamed Dumplings:  This was very good also.  I don’t know what else was in the filling, but it was a nice mix and texture.

Pork Dumplings


The Sesame Balls: So these are almost always tasty.  They are some type of gluten that is deep fried and usually filled with red bean or some other type of paste.  I have had ones that did not have any filling.  They are rolled in sesame seeds and are just so good!  I’d say that they were as good as any I’ve had elsewhere!

sesame balls



The service

Well, there’s the cart ladies who are eager to get you to buy things off their cart, they come around ALL THE TIME.  Now, if you want a drink refill, extra napkins or anything like that, good luck!!  Actually, I would suggest asking one of the cart ladies to relay the message or getting the attention of the hostess; otherwise, you’re going to be waiting a long time for someone to check on you!


The kids

Well, for our kids it’s kid friendly.  Ogre was just telling me the other day that our kids are “so Asian.”  Whatever that means! If you know what to order, the food can be kid friendly, but I can see how a kid may be a little averse to all these strange (yet wonderful) foods!  The food comes out as fast as you sit down, so no need to worry about the kids being bored from lack of food! Unfortunately, they did not have any high chairs for us, which could’ve been a problem, but they did tell us we’d get the next one available (but we didn’t need it since we had a “spare” in the car!). 

If your kids are ready for some culinary adventure, I think this is great fun for family eating!!  Maybe even get them involved with picking items off the cart!  I definitely felt comfortable eating with the kids in this restaurant, so bring ‘em and try some pretty good Dim Sum!

Benji pointing to some Chinese desserts passing by…

Benji wants some

 The total: $42.87

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