New Port (was Heaven Star)

Note: I wrote the review below on February 1, 2009.  However, when I drove by the restaurant on February 15, 2010, I noticed they had changed their sign.  It is now called “New Port” instead of “Heaven Star.”

My wife Beth and I visited the long-awaited Heaven Star twice in their first week.  Though things were shaky both times, we’ll be back.

The first visit was on Wednesday January 21, the day after they opened.  We went in the evening, when they’re serving dinner from a menu.  To get dim sum, you must visit during lunch, between 11 AM and 3 PM.  The dinner menu was extensive, and included favorites of Americanized Chinese food (sesame chicken, for instance) as well as things that I can only assume are authentic (various tripe dishes).

We ordered scallops with vegetables and sesame beef.  I wanted some hot and sour soup, so I ordered a cup of that.  We also ordered a pot of tea.  The server asked what kind, and they serve three different types, but I can’t remember what they all were.  All I remember was they didn’t have chrysanthemum tea (which I like from King’s Land in Denver) and so I ordered jasmine tea.  I wanted steamed rice, but Beth wanted fried rice.  The server said that would be no problem.  But it turned out to be.

The hot and sour soup was fine, but nothing out of the ordinary.  I could’ve been from any Chinese restaurant in Broomfield.  They brought the scallops and vegetables out first, and at first I waited for a bit for the other entree to arrive before digging in.  But after a few minutes, it was clear the beef wasn’t following right behind so I started serving up the scallops.  About five minutes later the beef finally arrived, and kept right on going.  Apparently, the person running plates to the dining room didn’t know that plate was supposed to stop at our table, so Beth had to go flag her down.  When Beth asked where the fried rice was, she got a blank stare – the universal sign of “I don’t speak English.”  So Beth grabbed another server who came by to refill our water glasses and asked for the fried rice.  Another five minutes went by and some fried rice appeared.  So, we did eventually get all the food we asked for, but it was a confusing mess.  Negative points for service.

The food itself was very tasty, though.  Both entrees were nice.  The fried rice was pretty boring, however, and made us wonder if it was really worth the trouble of having to order it twice.

On this visit, it was pretty clear the restaurant opened about a week before it should have.  Many of the interior decorations were just sitting on the floor in the lobby, the walkway from the parking lot to the door wasn’t finished, and the servers were poorly prepared.

Our second visit was Sunday morning, just four days later.  We went for dim sum at 11 AM with some friends.  In just those four days, they finished the interior decorations.  We were able to get a table with only about a 5 minute wait, but I’m glad we arrived when we did.  By the time we finished and were on our way out, there were people crammed into every nook and cranny in the lobby, and it was almost impossible to move through the crowd waiting to be seated.

Beth wanted to order “something new” in addition to our usual dim sum favorites.  One of our friends had eaten dim sum before and the other was a total newbie.  So we had three different opinions on what we wanted.  All I can say is the quality was good; to me, it’s about the same quality as King’s Land, which is my favorite.  But this restaurant is only 3 miles from our house, instead of 30, which is nice.  The service didn’t seem as random as our dinner trip, maybe because dim sum served from carts is always a little chaotic.  I definitely got my fill, and we had most of my favorites, so I left happy.

Oh, as an aside, I did make my treacherous way through the mob in the lobby to use the rest room once.  I think Heaven Star has the nicest rest rooms of any Chinese restaurant I’ve seen, and definitely the fanciest of any dim sum restaurant.  We’ll see how long they stay that nice.

Overall, I’d give Heaven Star a thumbs up for both dinner and lunch.  I can’t wait to go back, in fact!  I just worry that with a dim sum restaurant so close to home, it may not seem so special to me any more.  But until then, more dumplings!

Heaven Star
6700 W 120th Ave
Broomfield, CO 80020
(303) 635-1688

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