gracecheung604 | write on time: Dim Sum at Kirin on Alberni

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Dim Sum at Kirin on Alberni

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With the demise of Imperial down in the old Marine Building on Burrard, there is a severe lack of good quality dim sum in the downtown core. Because I used to work at Royal Centre and now in Bentall Three, all I remember for dim sum option is Victoria. It's not that Victoria is bad, but one can tire of good food too, especially if it's the the only game in town. So when the chair of the board of the company I work for wanted to go for lunch and stated that he was bored of Victoria, I racked my brain and decided on Kirin. At first, I was thinking the Kirin on Cambie, but was soon reminded that there was on on Alberni! So off we went.
shrimp dumplings 
Of course, we had start with the Har Gow (Prawn Dumpling), and it was really good. Freshly steamed and stuffed with plump and juicy shrimp. The skin was nice and translucent as well, so this was definitely a hit. The only thing would have been a nicer presentation, rather than being haphazardly thrown into the steaming basket. Even the folks at Prince in East Van did it better. 
bean curd roll 
The next item was the Fried Bean Curd Roll. I know these look a bit oily, but they are deep-fried after all. Inside the crispy bean curd skin are a blend of prawns, pork and scallions. These were really good and the filling to wrapper ratio was better than most I've had. 
fried buns 2 
This item is a bit confusing, it's their Fried Steamed Buns, the buns are actually steamed first and then Pan Fried. These pork filled buns are first steamed to doneness, and then pan fried to produce a crispy bottom. And as a result of the steaming process, the inside of the bun is super moist and even slightly soupy, like an XLB. The crunchy bottom gives the buns a unique combination of textures.
sticky rice 2
Our final item is a staple for my boss, the Sticky Rice in Lotus Leaf. These stay nice and hot so sample the other items first. Besides, this carb-heavy dish might fill you up too much and force you to pass on the other items on the table, never a good thing.
sticky rice
And in case you wanted to see what the inside of these little bundles look like, wonder no more! It's filled with pork, some slices of Chinese sausage and shitaake mushrooms as well. The best part is a salted duck egg yolk, and it's the thing I save for last to savour. If you find the flavours just a bit bland, use the XO sauce for some spice and heat. That's the sauce that is provided when you first sit down.

The other thing that really impressed me with this location is the "coat wrap". You know when you sit down to a restaurant and you hang your jacket on the back of your chair? And you have a nagging feeling that the server might drip something on said jacket when they are serving your food? Well, fear no more, they have chair covers that completely cover your jacket on the back of the chair. It's brilliant and really appreciated! 

Take Note: 

  • Dim Sum options are rare in Downtown Vancouver, so be sure to make a reservation. 
  • They have an amazing dessert, Black Sesame-filled Sticky Rice Balls. Try them. 
  • Service is better than you would expect from a dim sum place.
Kirin Mandarin Restaurant ้บ’้บŸๅท่œ้คจ on Urbanspoon

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