Dining at the Star Kitchen is like being transported from the lazy American suburbs to the overcrowded and fast moving streets of China. On any given Sunday morning, the parking lot is full and a line has formed at the door prior to the restaurant even opening. It is not uncommon for there to be an hour wait just 30 minutes after opening. Although one could patron them on a week day, which I have done in times of desperation, the menu size is reduced as there are certain dishes they only offer on the weekends. So, go early and/or be prepared to wait.
The moment your rear hits the seat you will be surrounded by a swarm of servers diligently peddling their various goods with such speed and vivacity that you will think you have just entered into a commission only establishment. They appear to fight for your attention, although in truth they are simply trying to cover your table with as much food as possible.
It is easy to over order as everything looks interesting and is often far more delicious than even their appearance leads on. But fear not, if you order more than you can eat, they do provide to go boxes for any items you wish to take home.
The steamed dumplings (Shumai) are a safe bet for any first timer, as they typically contain the more common ingredients of pork, or shellfish. There is also enough variety that pretty much anyone can find at least one type that they are really interested in.
Of course, there are those items that may not immediately appeal to everyone, but are a very traditional dining option and therefore should not be passed up. The chicken feet (yes that’s chicken feet!) are one such item. Nearly every table of Chinese speaking patrons will have at least one bowl in their mix. Biting off the meat, one knuckle at a time and stripping the bone of any digestible meat before spitting it out onto their plate eventually forming a sort of bone yard.
If you feel the need to include greens in every meal, opting for the Chinese broccoli is always a good bet. Served warm with a side of Hoisin sauce, it’s definitely delicious.
If you don’t want the simple steamed vegetables, go for a leek filled dumpling or the turnip “cake” instead.
For those cold winter days that call for a bowl of soup, try warming yourself up with the Congee. It is a type of porridge that contains a “thousand year old egg,” which is really just a chopped up, pickled egg. Although, its brownish color is a little different.
Dessert is not a part of the meal that I typically partake in as my taste buds lean heavily toward the savory side, but every time I go to Star Kitchen I always get an order of egg custard dessert cups. A few bites in size, these mini-pies offer a hint of sweetness and heaps of creamy, delicious flavor. I whole heartedly recommend everyone try them at least once!
Whether it be the steaming baskets of dumplings, custard cakes, chicken feet, thousand year old eggs inconspicuously hidden within a bowl of piping hot congee, each experience at this authentic restaurant will surely be a unique one.
Cuisine: Dim Sum, Chinese
Restaurant Features: Family Owned, Onsite Parking
Address/Phone: 2917 W Mississippi Ave Denver, CO 80219/ (303) 936 – 0089
Sunday – Thursday 10:30 AM – 10:00 PM
Friday – Saturday 10:30 AM – 1:00 AM