Cart-pushing tradition honored at Richardson dim sum restaurant

Kirin Court
Dim sum dishes are prepared in many different ways, including steaming, baking, grilling, stir-frying or deep-frying. (Liesbeth Powers/Community Impact Newspaper)

Dim sum dishes are prepared in many different ways, including steaming, baking, grilling, stir-frying or deep-frying. (Liesbeth Powers/Community Impact Newspaper)

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Kirin Court cart pusher Lili Zhen navigates the restaurant with baskets of food for guests to choose from. (Liesbeth Powers/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Michael Chan is the owner of Kirin Court and manages the restaurant daily. (Liesbeth Powers/Community Impact Newspaper)
When Kirin Court began serving the Richardson community roughly a decade ago, owner and manager Michael Chan said he wanted to create a traditional Chinese restaurant for the large Asian community in Richardson. The restaurant is known for its dim sum, Chan said, and it stays busy, especially on weekends.

"Every Sunday, [we have] people waiting until 2:30 [p.m.] to come in,” Chan said. “We have a line up outside the stairway and everywhere.”

Dim sum are small dishes, similar in concept to Spanish tapas, and range from dumplings to pastries and rolls. According to Kirin Court’s website, dim sum translates to “to touch the heart.”

Dim sum dishes, which are placed in covered steamer baskets or under dish covers, are pushed around the restaurant on carts.

“You have a chance to look before you buy it,” he said. “People can see what they have.”


Cart service is rare because of how labor-intensive it can be, Chan said. A robust kitchen staff churns out dim sum throughout the day so that cart pushers always have fresh dim sum options to roll from table to table, he said.

“People don’t see that too much,” Chan said. “Even in Hong Kong, right now, they don’t push the cart.”

Some restaurants may use two or three carts on busy days, he said, but at Kirin Court, carts are used every day of the week to honor the dim sum tradition. On busy days, there can be as many as 15 carts being pushed around the restaurant at one time.

To fill the carts, the restaurant has a large dim sum menu served all day as well as a number of full-size entrees to choose from.

“We have 45 items on the menu just for the dim sum,” Chan said. “And then, we’ve got an extensive dinner menu, also.”

Chan said Kirin Court is dedicated to the Richardson community. To show its support, cart pushers wear T-shirts from Richardson high schools on the weekends.

“We’re gonna be in the same community; we got to [give] something back to the community,” he said.

Kirin Court

221 W. Polk St., Ste. 200, Richardson

214-575-8888

www.kirincourt.com

Hours: Mon.-Fri. 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Sat.-Sun. 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
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By Liesbeth Powers

Liesbeth graduated from Baylor University with a degree in new media journalism in December 2018. She gained her newspaper experience as a staff writer and multimedia editor at her campus paper, The Baylor Lariat. Liesbeth joined the Community Impact team in August 2019, where she reports on all things Plano, including education and transportation.


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