Alice Ong said she has always worked in restaurants. She started out delivering food from her father’s shop in Malaysia. When her family moved to New York in 1989, she got a restaurant job and worked her way up from busser to cashier to manager.

But she said her dream was always to own her own restaurant. So when she moved to Texas in November 2019, she joined with some friends to open Lucky Bamboo as one of the owners.

“Some friends told me to open in Richardson,” she said. “It’s a big city and a big state. I like the people in Texas, and they are very patient.”

Lucky Bamboo offers a variety of traditional Chinese dishes, such as sesame chicken and kung po beef. It also offers some unique combinations, such as chicken and shrimp with mango sauce. The extensive menu features chicken, beef, pork, seafood and vegetarian options.

Ong said she chose the location on Coit Road to be near students at The University of Texas at Dallas, but when the pandemic hit, campus shut down. It was difficult, but she did not let it stop her, she said.

Hanging on one of the restaurant’s walls are four canvases with a Chinese proverb that Ong said she lives by: “Heaven rewards the diligent.”

“When you work hard, God will give it to you,” she said. “I work for that and hang in there.”

Ong said the attitude, the people and the cleanliness set Lucky Bamboo apart from other restaurants.

“I love my customers and run the business with my conscience,” she said.

As a first-generation immigrant, Ong said becoming a restaurant owner has been tough, but she enjoys the work and the people.

Ong comes in an hour before the restaurant opens to prepare the sauces herself each day. She said she is grateful to have a wonderful chef who cooks the food based on Ong’s family recipes.

Ong said her favorite is the shrimp because of their jumbo size. Ong said many of the people who come into Lucky Bamboo are regulars, and she is on a first-name basis with them.

“I like to see people, and I like to talk,” she said. “I know my customers’ favorite dishes, and they love me and help me a lot.”

Lucky Bamboo Fine Chinese Kitchen

430 N. Coit Road, Ste. 200, Richardson


Hours: Tue.-Fri. 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Sat.-Sun. noon-9 p.m., Mon. closed