- Address: 350 Gifford Street, Vancouver
- Visited: 10/12/2015, Breakfast, 4 people
- Cuisine: Chinese
- Rating: 4.5 5.0 Excellent, worth every $
4.5 Good, food & value
4.0 Good, but $$, would re-visit
3.5 Meh, good $, would re-visit
3.0 Meh, would not re-visit
2.0 Did not like $$ [$] <20; [$$] <40; [$$$] <80; [$$$$] >80
- Website: N/A
During my short trip to Vancouver, dim sum was near the top of my must eats list. I reached out to a few Vancouver bloggers, and the consensus was to visit a location of Kirin Seafood, that was known to be a good balance between quality and price. My friends and I were able to squeeze in two dim sum meals over the weekend, with Kirin Seafood being the most memorable.
Atmosphere: Based on geography and scheduling, we made reservations at the Starlight Casino location of Kirin Seafood for Sunday morning, a few hours before our return flight to Toronto. Pulling into the complex, I was surprised by how many parking spots were occupied so early in the day. The majority of visitors were there for breakfast and the restaurant filled up quickly after the doors opened. The restaurant had multiple rooms and we ended up sitting in one of their regal private dining areas. While dim sum was a casual meal, the restaurant was elegant and I could see it being a popular banquet venue.
Service: Our reservation was for the very first seating of the day and the hostess directly us straight to a table. A server came by to take our tea order and drop off an ordering sheet. Being on a deadline, I was more conscious of the time than usual. Fortunately, dishes arrived promptly and we had plenty of time to savour each item and even contemplate placing a second order. There was always at least one server in the room checking on the tables, clearing plates and refilling tea. Service was efficient and professional.
Food: Usually at dim sum, I order 2-3 dishes per person. I also find going with a group of 5 perfect as most dishes have four servings, like the dumplings or baos. At Kirin, we stuck to 8 dishes, including dessert. All of the dishes were delicious and on par or better than some of my favourite dim sum restaurants in Toronto. If we had more time, I would’ve loved to try a few more their unique or special menu items.
As is, we stuck to ordering classic dishes, starting with fried turnip cake and curry tripe. The turnip cake had a great texture, held it’s shape and had a crispy fried exterior. I liked how tender the tripe was and the honeycomb texture was perfect for picking up lots of tasty sauce. For savoury items, we tried the steamed short rib and chicken feet. Both dishes were tender and had strong flavours. We also tried a steamed tripe dish that had a good texture, but I thought was a touch under seasoned. The two dumplings we tried was the classic shrimp, har gow, and one with an egg and vermicelli filling. Both of the wrappers were on point, thin, not sticky and with just a bit a chew. The tray of shrimp dumplings were plump and folded with even, pretty pleating.
The meal ended with Leaky Sand buns, baos filled with a salted egg custard. I liked the taste of the filling, which was well balanced between sweet and salty, but I wish the consistency was more leaky. Overall, dim sum at Kirin was a perfect meal to cap of my time in Vancouver.