KJ Dim Sum Brings Crazy-Authentic Chinese to Rio
The new KJ Dim Sum & Seafood Restaurant is packing them in at Rio Las Vegas, so we thought it was time to head over for some delicious Chinese food, much of which this blog couldn’t pronounce even with extensive coaching.
We were floored to see every seat in the restaurant (it accommodates 350 people) occupied at lunch, and the dim sum carts were busily tooling up and down the aisles dispensing Chinese favorites.
We weren’t exactly familiar with the dim sum experience, but what’s not to love about fresh, hot, individual-sized dishes served tableside? This style of service means there’s no wait, and you get to try a wider variety of dishes.
Given this blog has won prestigious awards for its extensive knowledge of restaurants and world cuisines, we are confident in saying traditional dim sum includes various types of steamed buns such as cha siu baau, dumplings and rice noodle rolls, as well as dishes featuring steamed green vegetables, roasted meats, porridge and other soups. We are especially confident about this because we just cut and pasted that sentence from the Internet.
Oh, who are we kidding? We were completely out of our depth at KJ Dim Sum. We mostly just pointed at things. This ordering technique worked out just fine, thanks.
From what we understand, most Chinese restaurants in the U.S. serve “Americanized” Chinese fare. The use of western broccoli, for example, rather than Chinese broccoli, provides a clue as to a restaurant’s culinary bent. American Chinese restaurants tend to treat vegetables as a side dish, where authentic dishes give emphasis to vegetables.
It doesn’t take long at KJ Dim Sum restaurant to realize the menu is as authentic as it gets (outside of, oh, China), and the customers we saw were simply eating it up.
We returned at dinnertime a day or two later for some photos of the full-blown entrees and for more photos of the restaurant’s impressive interior.
A highlight of our visit? We asked our server for a fork, then inquired about how to pronounce a particular dish in Chinese. He thought about it for a minute, grinned knowingly, and said, “Nevermind. You just eat.” So we did.
KJ Dim Sum at Rio Las Vegas is the sister restaurant of a Vegas fixture, KJ Kitchen, in the city’s Chinatown. The head chef at Rio, Chef Loy Lee, headed up the kitchen at the original restaurant for five years, and was born and raised in China, perfecting his craft in Hong Kong. Which might explain the sheer vastness of the menu which includes complex flavors many Westerners, including this blog, have never encountered. We’re looking forward to encountering them again soon.
The original KJ Kitchen is well-known for its shrimp, lobster, crab and giant clam dishes, and the Rio location serves up those favorites as well.
KJ Dim Sum, located across from the Carnival World Buffet, is open from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m., with the special dim sum menu available at lunch.
Enjoy a look at more impossible-to-pronounce offerings at KJ Dim Sum & Seafood Restaurant inside Rio Las Vegas, courtesy of our exclusive photo gallery.
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