Friday, April 30, 2010

Weekday Dim Sum Lunch At Asian Court

Weekdays at Asian Court lack the drama of the rolling carts, but the dim sum lunches offer all the flavor and some of the best Chinese eating around.

Asian Court in Ellicott City already stands out for its rolling-cart dim sum on weekends.  But we stopped there for a quiet lunch this week amid a day of painting and errands.  We bypassed the full menu for the small, yellow dim sum list, and we split a tasty, affordable lunch by picking three items that the kitchen cooked to order.

Steamed BBQ pork buns (#9) are Mrs. HowChow's absolute favorite, and Asian Court does a perfect version with a puffy bun wrapped around chopped pork.  We paired that with steamed dumplings with shrimp (#31) and the steamed sticky rice wrapped in lotus leaves (#23).  The sticky rice comes packed with some pork and sweet sausage, but the real star is the leaves' flavor steamed deep into the rice.  Asian Court offers 32 dim sum, and our three dishes were delicious.  None of the cloying glop that discourages me from most Chinese restaurants.  The shrimp was especially sweet and a revelation after my recent shrimp purchases have been tasteless (supermarket) or fishy (Trader Joe's).

Also, that's $11 for three dishes -- lunch for two, a feast for one, a real bargain and better than almost anything else if you need lunch on Rte 40.  (Skip the Diet Cokes.  We're addicts, but even we were taken aback that it's $2.50 per can -- almost as much as three pork buns.)  Hearty, warm food was perfect on a rainy, chilled afternoon, and we left with enough energy to get back on our ladder and paint.  More like the light feel of pho than some heavy BBQ lunch.

In 2009, Asian Court won a "Best of Baltimore" from the City Paper. Click here for my 2010 write-up of Chinese restaurants in Howard County.  If you want to explore Asian Court's neighborhood, check out my post about all the restaurants along Rte 40.

Asian Court
9180 Baltimore National Pike
Ellicott City, MD 21042

NEAR: This is on Rte 40 west of Rte 29. From Rte 29, you turn RIGHT into the Chatham Station Shopping Center and then right again into the shopping area with Asian Court, Goodyear Tire and Davis Cigars.


Work in progress said...

I really dig Asian Court. I think their dim sum is great, and their other dishes are better than most places. I'm not sure about the BOB award though. After Jesse Wong's on the lakefront closed, Asian Court is the only place I know of in the Baltimore metro area for dim sum. Am I wrong or did Asian Court win by default? All I'm saying is that we need some good old fashioned business competition in the dim sum market. No one loses when there's more than one place to get some char-shu bao.

Unknown said...

no matter what you call it: char shu bao, siopao, steamed pork buns, etc.; that's some goooood eatin'! you've just made my day knowing I can get me some siopao nearby. thanks for the tip, HowChow!

Ting said...

Did the new chinese restaurant replacing Jesse Wong's at the lakefront open yet? Its sister restaurant in Rockville has been frequented by chinese for centuries!

HowChow said...

Ting -- Red Pearl opened. If you search "HowChow Red Pearl," you'll find posts.