Food & Drink

Dragon Court's dim sum rocks

Andy Phillips has an appetite for adventure.

He'll often dodge potholes at Asian Corner Mall and venture into its worn interior without a second thought.

The reward is Hong Kong-style roasted duck, vibrant Vietnamese noodle bowls and Bánh mì, a Vietnamese sub sandwich.

The computer technician wanted something memorable for his 30th birthday this month. This time he made the trek for dim sum at Dragon Court Chinese Restaurant.

At 2 p.m., he and his date feasted on fried taro dumplings, steamed pork buns, a turnip cake with Chinese sausage, sticky rice wrapped in lotus leaf, and crunchy taro filled with shrimp.

“He said we were going to have breakfast,” Harding University High School science teacher Erin Abernathy confided after the meal.

Well, that was partly true. Dim sum is breakfast in China, served at 5 or 6 a.m., said Tony Koo, one of three partners at Dragon Court.

Koo and his staff serve it from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on weekends. On weekdays you can order it from a menu.

Servers push carts from table to table, offering small plates and steamers of dumplings, meats, seafood, vegetables and pastries.

The server marks each selection on a ticket and tallies it at the end of the meal.

Dim sum is always served with tea. Yum cha, which means “to drink tea,” aids digestion, Koo said.

Koo is a former partner at Dim Sum, which opened on Central Avenue in 1994. Dragon Court is larger; it opened in 2000 with 200 seats. Partner Thy Thach is the chef.

There are four carts: steamed foods; pan-fried vegetables and meats; deep-fried foods; and soups.

Prices for the 33 items offered are $2.45 to $3.60 each.

Nate Cerbelli eats dim sum at Dragon Court on Saturdays with Tommy Rangsikul, a native of Thailand who has eaten dim sum around the world.

“You can come in and try two or three and sit awhile,” Rangsikul said, “then get more.”