gracecheung604 | write on time: August 2016

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Chinese Bites - Dim Sum at Kirin (Richmond)

I honestly do not remember the last time I had dim sum, primarily because my family prefers Cactus and similar chains to Chinese food. So I was eager to give this Dim Sum tasting a try. These are the dishes that we enjoyed courtesy of Chinese Bites and Kirin Seafood Restaurant (Richmond).

Sui Mai, 燒賣, another #dimsum staple. #latergram #instagood #instafood #instayum #foodporn #foodpic #foodspotting #foodgasm #potd #gastropostvan #instapic #Foodie #VancityEats #604food #vancouver #huffpostfood #dailyhive #604yvr #whentheyfindus #igfood #ig We had 15 dishes in total, some were ordered in multiples and some were larger shareable dishes. The first was one of the more ubiquitous dim sum dishes, the Steamed Prawn and Sakura Farm Premium Pork Dumpling Topped with Flying Fish Roe 安康豬鮮蝦燒賣. Or as most of us know it by a more common name, the Sui Mai. I hadn’t eaten since lunch the day before (24 hours) so I devoured this. I could have eaten the whole basket by myself, but etiquette requires that I share. These were juicy, plump and were larger than I expected. Add a bit of hot sauce and this dish is a great way to kick off lunch.

Sticky rice...#nom We always seem to get the Sticky Rice with Pork and Dried Scallop Wrapped in Lotus Leaf 荷香瑤柱珍珠雞, but we never actually seem to finish them…it’s a great to-go takeaway item for lunch the next day. The one from Sun Sui Wah was better simply because it had a salted egg yolk, but this one was still decent. It had the requisite meats, Chinese sausage as well as some shitake mushrooms.

Untitled One thing I remember as a child but haven’t seen in a menu in recent times is the Deep Fried Prawn Dumpling Served with Consommé 上湯煎粉粿. It might seem counterintuitive to dunk a deep-fried dumpling into the soup, but trust me, it works well together. Just don’t soak it for too long to maintain the slight crunch. The filling was sweet and juicy, and it’s not commonly available, so I’d say this is a must try.

Untitled The first rice noodle we tried was a more traditional rice roll, but it was steamed with liver, not your usual BBQ Pork or Shrimp. These Steamed Pork Liver Rice Roll 黃沙豬潤腸粉 can be a bit overwhelming to novice dim-summers, but if you’re in a group, and everyone is game, give it a try. The liver was a little overcooked and made for a tough texture against the rice rolls, but given that this is a rarity, I’d still go for it.

Untitled We also had the Steamed Green Onion and Chinese Donut Rice Roll Topped with Bread Crumb 蔥花金糠炸兩腸粉, this is more traditional and will likely be enjoyed by all at the table. The donut stayed crunchy and gives a good texture profile to the dish.

Untitled We also had the Deep Fried Minced Fish and Chinese Mushroom Bean Curd Roll in Steamed Rice Roll 脆竹魚茸香菇腸粉. This was interesting but I found the fish to be a bit mushy; but I will say that the filling to noodle ratio was bang on.

Untitled Another really good dish is the Deep Fried Tofu with Minced Pork 西施肉心豆腐. It’s another item that isn’t commonly available, so if it’s on the menu and you like tofu and pork, it’s a nice little parcel of both, and it’s deep fried!

Untitled Ah, the classic! Steamed Prawn Dumpling 麒麟水晶鮮蝦餃, these were moist with a thin skin and loaded with tasty shrimp. Enough have been said about this dish so I’ll save my breath, you know what it is and trust me, this is a good one. I did find it cool that the steamers are straight from HK...note the HK phone number stamped on the baskets!

Pan Fried Bun stuffed with Pork Belly and Preserved Veggies! Loved the sweet bum and crispy top and bottom! If you think fried steamed buns is an oxymoron, you should give this one a try. It’s the Pan Fried Pork Belly and Preserved Vegetable Bun 五花腩梅菜生煎包. The buns are steamed to cook the pork thoroughly and to keep its juiciness, but then it is panfried to give the buns its nice golden crust. It’s quite rich though, thanks to the pork belly, but the preserved veggies help to lighten the heaviness.

Untitled Our next dish was the Steamed Tofu Puff Stuffed with Minced Fish and Dried Shrimp 鄉蒸釀. Unfortunately, it was cool by the time we got to trying it, so it was hard to really tell if it was good. Ultimately, the flavours were still good but it was a bit too mild and texture-wise, not my favourite. It’s not something I’d normally order as there are so many other items with more intense flavours.
Ah…everyone is doing these now (XLBs), steamed Pine Mushroom and Pork Dumpling Filled with Consommé 野生松茸小籠包. These were juicy, and the broth was quite mild in flavour. However, the skin was prone to tearing…so perhaps a bit too thin?

Untitled These buns threw me for a loop. I expected BBQ Pork Buns, but actually, these were Steamed Abalone and Chicken Bun 鮑魚雞包仔. There was ample filling and the bun was nice and doughy…if you are averse to pork, then this is an excellent alternative.

Untitled We also tried for something a little off the beaten path… Braised Assorted Cow Offal in Chef’s Special Sauce en Casserole 麒麟牛雜. Now I know this might not appeal to everyone (it didn’t at our table), but if you are a fan of this type of food, an assortment of lung, tripe, spleen (my favourite) and intestines, you will be satisfied. The flavours are quite mild but as long as you can overlook what it is you’re eating, the textures are amazing.

Untitled Our last savoury dish was the Sparerib in Black Bean Sauce on Steamed Plain Rice Roll en Casserole 豉汁排骨腸粉. Many of you have had spareribs before, but the addition of the rice rolls pushed this dish to the next level. The rolls absorb all the sauce and is a great complement to the dish. They are just soft enough to soak in the flavours but were light enough so that they were gummy or mushy. I definitely liked this one.

Untitled Our last dish was dessert…the Thousand Tier Cake 鳳凰千層糕. This isn’t a super common item, Egg Tarts are usually the drug of choice at dim sum, but give this a try. The layers are steamed bun and also some sweetened salted duck egg yolk. I know it sounds “iffy”, but if you’re looking for something that isn’t totally sugar-laden, give this a try.

Overall, I did enjoy this lunch, and was happy to try some of the items off the beaten path. I hope you embark on innovative dining adventures of your own soon! If the order of items seems a bit random, that's to be expected at dimsum. Things come as they are ready!

If I had to pick favourites, I’d choose the Braised Assorted Cow Offal in Chef’s Special Sauce en Casserole 麒麟牛雜, Sparerib in Black Bean Sauce on Steamed Plain Rice Roll en Casserole 豉汁排骨腸粉, Deep Fried Tofu with Minced Pork 西施肉心豆腐 and the Thousand Tier Cake 鳳凰千層糕.
Note: I am assuming you will order the Steamed Prawn Dumpling 麒麟水晶鮮蝦餃 and Steamed Prawn and Sakura Farm Premium Pork Dumpling Topped with Flying Fish Roe 安康豬鮮蝦燒賣 anyways.

Disclosure-As a Chinese Bites participant, the meal was gifted to us by the restaurant and Chinese Bites, however, all my opinions are completely my own .


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