Friday, May 20, 2011
Dim Sum at Kirin on Cambie
One weekend in April, I convinced some of my friends to have dimsum with me. We decided to head to Kirin at City Square. I got there right on time for our reservation but still had to wait another 20 minutes before our table was ready.
This is one of our Go-Tos - it just doesn't feel like dim sum until the Har Gows have been ordered. They are one of the most popular items. The ones here are fairly average, although the skin is translucent and thinner than other "discount" restaurants. The shrimp inside are usually deveined, as was the case here.
We also got their Lotus Leaf Wrapped Sticky Rice. It's sticky rice with chicken bits, shitake mushrooms, preserved Chinese sausage, scallions, dried shrimp and usually a duck egg yolk (the yellow in the top left). It's not a big portion of rice but does a good of curing the "you're hungry an hour after dim sum" blues.
Here is a shot of the unwrapped package. The was a bit more rice in the package, but I had to eat some of it to expose the filling inside. The rice is the wrapper for all the filling and then the whole thing is wrapped in the lotus leaf and steamed when you order it.
Since we had a toddler with us, we also got the Spring Roll since most kids love the crunch of the skin. Our little guy was no different. It is commonly served with some Lea & Perrins so add some tartness to the meat/vegetable filling.
Next up was the Assorted Beef "innards". The various parts are tripe, stomach, tendon and occasionally lung and intestines. All these organs are slow cooked in a beef broth flavoured with soy sauce and Chinese herbs. Granted, it's not for everyone, but the surprise here in the rice noodle rolls they tucked into the dish too, great for soaking up the gravy.
Another thing that's not for everyone...yes, Chicken Feet. These are basically bones and skin with a bit of cartilage. I've read some recipes for these that include deep-frying the feet first, and then they are slow-cooked in a blend of oyster sauce, soy sauce and even black bean sauce. However, these ones are so tender that I find it hard to believe they were fried first.
I always try to order one "different" dish each time I have dim sum, so I get the usual favourites while making it possible to discover new items. The one I tried today was their Quail Egg Siu Mai. Sui Mais are a pork dumpling, usually open faced with the pork exposed and a yellow skin, meaning they look nothing like this. The one is made with a wonton wrapper, with a cooked quail egg inside. I think the potential for the dish is high, but perhaps they overcooked the quail egg initially, before combining it with the pork filling. Once they steamed the whole dumpling all together, the quail egg was way overdone and dry and mealy.
Dim Sum here is solid, with prices in the slightly higher than average range.
One thing we found weird...our bill was $28.50 pre-HST for this meal, and after paying in cash ($20*2=$40), they never brought our change back. I normally would tip 15-20% but this is a +25% tip! Presumptious...