Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Asian Court: It's The Dim Sum We Have

Fried sesame balls for dessert
Say hello to our little friends at Asian Court in Ellicott City.

When Red Pearl closed in October, we worried about losing our dim sum outlet, but we hit up Asian Court on Christmas and pulled almost all of our favorite dumplings and treats from the passing carts.

Barbecue pork buns.  Shrimp dumplings and shrimp in rice noodle sheets.  The sesame balls that Mrs. HowChow needs for dessert.  Asian Court delivered them all, and we enjoyed a leisurely lunch with a friend, balancing the starch with a little Chinese broccoli but mostly eating dumpling after dumpling.

Steamed pork buns
It wasn't obvious that Asian Court would be so delicious, even though we had enjoyed it years ago.  New folks appear to have taken over two years ago, and restaurants change with time.

Time has been good to Asian Court.  We joined an energetic flow of people on Christmas Day, many filling large tables with 10 or 12 people and everyone picking dim sum off the circulating carts.

The dishes are routinely well-done -- the fried items crunch while the broccoli was the perfect tender-crisp, the dumplings come out fresh and hot and the shrimp are sweet.  We doubled down on the steamed shrimp dumplings because they were so good.  Nothing fancy.  Just sweet, tender and pulled off with talent.  The service was minimal, but they politely left us alone as we talked.

My one disappointment was that Asian Court didn't have the full range that Red Pearl used to offer.  I looked in vain for a duck, spare ribs, or vegetarian shu mai.  (Update: Dzoey comments below about the fry cart.  That was unusual.)  The place was so crowded that carts couldn't always get around, and I wonder if we just didn't see some of the options because they were snapped up in other parts of the room.  You should definitely grab an employee to request anything that you specifically want.

There are dim sum options just south of the county -- especially Wong Gee in Wheaton and Oriental East in Silver Spring.  Look for reviews on Yelp, or start with some of the comments on a 2011 post about Red Pearl.


dzoey said...

They do have spare ribs because my daughter had some a few weeks ago when we were there.
I too think they've improved since a couple of years ago, though I miss the fry cart at Red Pearl that would crisp up the turnip cakes right in front of you.
Speaking of Red Pearl, it's sister restaurant in Potomac, Jade Billows(?), also closed.

Anonymous said...

I am an avid follower of this blog and a FB friend. Please include the address of the restaurant in each post.
I liked Red Pearl, it will be missed

RHfoodie said...

We had dinner a few weeks ago after finding out that Red Pearl was delicious! Maybe not quite as good as Red Pearl but better than any other around here. Loved that the wait staff was quick to make good recommendations.
We will be back!

Cliff Cole said...

My wife and I were very disappointed when Red Pearl closed. We ordered from there Wednesday and when we went on Friday for dinner we saw the sign and couldn't believe it. We have been looking for a good place for Dim Sum so we look forward to checking this out.