After a couple of months of debating whether to try this place (mainly because we kept going back to Korean Garden in the same shopping center), we decided to take the plunge and try Joy Luck Barbecue for lunch last Saturday. I'm glad we did.
Joy Luck serves a very wide variety of dishes. In fact, the menu is large and diverse enough to be a little intimidating to me. The restaurant's focus is on Chinese barbecue, and a glassed-in area of the restaurant serves as the display for the duck, pork, chicken and various other types of meat cooked barbecue style. But barbecue is just the tip of the iceberg, with the menu spanning everything from "Fried Donut Fun Rolls" to "Pork in XO Sauce." Our waiter was very helpful in describing some of the less obvious items (XO Sauce, by the way, includes dried scallops and squid), and in guiding us gently toward things that might be less challenging to Western tastes. (My youngest son ordered chicken feet, for example, and our waiter said, "They are not like the ones you get at a dim sum place." My son ordered them anyway, and they arrived white, cold, steamed, and reminding me of the star of W.W. Jacobs' "The Monkey's Paw." Live and learn...)
Much better than the ill-advised poultry parts, we tried the barbecued duck (very good); a taro and barbecued pork sausage hot pot (excellent); crispy chicken (good), and a "combination" seafood and meat crispy noodle (excellent, although the seafood is mainly dried seafood -- an acquired taste for some). We also ordered the donut fun roll and another fun roll, both of which I barely got a chance to sample because my 14-year-old daughter unilaterally declared the fun rolls "hers." She advises that they were excellent, however.
Service was very good, prices very reasonable (the entrees generally run $7.95 to $9.95), and portions are large. Be forewarned: Joy Luck is not in the same Cantonese/Szechuan mode as the standard Dallas Chinese multi-unit places like August Moon, P.F. Chang's and Pei Wei Diner. I'm looking forward to returning to try some more of the items on the menu (including the congees), and highly recommend giving it a try.
Joy Luck BBQ Chinese Restaurant
2220 Coit Road (Shopping Center at NE Corner of Park and Coit)
Plano, TX 75075