Variety of dim sum baskets
In this country, good dim sum is usually only found in areas called “Chinatown”. As a boy, my father taught me to love the various delicious dumplings that we would get each time we passed through LA, even if Chinatown required a bit of a detour. It was in LA that I learned names like Bao and Shu Mi that I would savor for years to come. As an adult I have eaten my way through dim sum restaurants in the Chinatowns of San Francisco and New York, loving every minute of it.
There isn’t really a Chinatown in Denver, but a little research revealed an inconspicuous looking place located in a strip mall on the corner of Federal and Mississippi. It had been very highly reviewed by Westword magazine, and I was eager to try it. The moment I walked through the door of Star Kitchen, I was greeted by a very positive vibe. Chinese was being spoken by diners, and was handwritten on signs showing the daily specials. There were Chinese programs on TV. The initial impression, if summed up in one word, would be “authentic”.
The service was attentive and friendly, and the restaurant was clean and nicely decorated. I was immediately greeted and shown to a table. I sat down and a smiling woman pushed her cart up to my table and offered me shu mi (a dumpling filled with pork and shrimp). During normal hours, this is how dim sum is served. The restaurant staff pushes metal carts around the dining area. Each person will periodically stop at your table and offer the particular type of dumpling they have. They come in servings of three to five at a time, and are given to you in a small wooden basket, which keeps them steaming hot.
Lunch at Star Kitchen
I took one basket of shu mi and was extremely pleased. Perfectly steamed, rich in flavor, wonderful. A waiter then gave me a menu with pictures of each dumpling and names in Chinese and English. Dim sum is primarily for lunch. Since my friend and I were eating around 3 p.m., they were putting the carts away and allowing us to order directly. I ordered five more baskets of various dumplings and shared them with my friend. At the end we were both completely full, having eaten a little over twenty dumplings pieces in all. They ranged in type, but all were delicious. Some of them are similar to potstickers; a rice noodle casing filled with shrimp. Another type, called bao, is soft and doughy and filled with minced pork. They also have some that are sweet, almost like pastries. After eating my fill, I had a satisfied smile on my face.
Still, the meal got even better from there. When the waiter brought my check I was amazed to see that the total was only $14! That was all we paid for two people to have an incredibly tasty and authentic lunch, and we were both very full. Between the atmosphere, the friendly wait staff, the unbelievable price, and the excellent quality, I would recommend Star Kitchen to anyone looking for a great lunch at an affordable price.
Dim Sum is served daily until 5 p.m. Even if you can’t make it over before 5, they have a full dinner menu of typical Chinese-American food (kung pao beef, sesame chicken, etc.) as well as a traditional Chinese seafood menu. I have also eaten dinner there, and was not disappointed by the kung pao shrimp.
2917 W. Mississippi Ave.