Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Kirin - My No. 1 Dimsum Choice


I'm going to say this again, regardless of how many times I've said this in every other food posts of mine, but THIS IS MY FAVORITE RESTAURANT ! Okay, I'll be more creditable by saying this is my favorite dimsum restaurant, now, is this better ? Kirin is also my parents' favorite dimsum place, we've been eating here every weekend as a family tradition since I could remember. Although, while eating with my parents, we always order the same dishes and never ventured out to try new things. 

I went with friends the other day, and was surprised by a couple dishes I've never tried before ! But before I begin, I need to make sure you can get a seat at this very popular seafood restaurant of Richmond. One rule of thumb for Kirin in Richmond - ALWAYS MAKE RESERVATIONS. Sometimes you can make your reservation just a couple hours prior to lunch on weekdays, and you will be able to get a table for your small party. On weekends, however, I suggest you make your reso a couple days prior to ensure seating. Most of the time when I called to make reservations, I was left with late lunch times like 1:30PM, so make sure you are flexible on your timing too. I heard other locations are not as busy. I've only tried the downtown location once, and did not like it as much,but maybe I was bias. 

Kirin Richmond is located on Westminster Hwy in the same plaza as Richmond Centre's side entrance. It's on the second floor attached to the parking lot. If you do park your car in the parking lot building (instead of Richmond Centre's like a good kid), make sure you buy your parking ticket then get it reimbursed by Kirin when you get your bill. I just park at Richmond Center's lot everytime because I'm a rebel like that.

The reception area of Kirin is huge, though typical for a Cantonese Seafood restaurant in Asia. But it's considered one of the biggest I've seen in Vancouver ! Imagine the cost of all those square footage ! *entrepreneur mode on.  But I guess they do need it because the waiting area is almost always filled with people waiting for their names to be called. Kirin is always busy, I've never ever seen a slow Kirin everrrrrrr in my life.

Below are the foods ordered by 4 (two guys, two girls) :

Now, here is the good stuff ! They call this the Taro Dumpling in Chinese. I've never ordered this dish before nor did I know its existence. It's like a hidden heaven !!!!!! It was sooooooo delicious I actually just had it again today :D The outside is so crispy and not greasy at all despite being deepfried. The inside is a mixed of mushrooms, meat, and taro, and some describable crazy stuff (excuse for my lack of words). It's so good and you have to order it ! If you say you want Taro Dumpling and the waiter thinks you are crazy, just show them this picture, order it at all means !

The Black Bean Pork Ribs is something I order everytime at every dimsum place. I have to say though, Kirin used to have better Black Beak Pork Ribs. I don't know what happened, this just doesn't taste as good as the older times. There's more fat on the meat and less flavor over all :( It's a shame because this used to be my favorite dish.

Chicken Feet ! This one is as delicious as ever :) Frank doesn't like chicken feet so if we go dimsum I'll have to consume the entire plate by myself (which I don't mind). And I know I know, I might as well not order it, but NOOOO, chicken feet is one reason why I dimsum.

This is another must order item - I believe this can be translated as braised beef tender and brisket with Chinese radish. This is a very flavorful dish and it comes in a bigger portion (in a big bowl) than the usual dimsum plates. So do order accordingly if you come with less people.

Not that I'm lazy (Okay, yes I am) but I don't have much to say about the rest of the dishes. I'M A LIFESTYLE BLOGGER, LET ME BEEEEE *crazy defensive mode. But I can say that we did not regret any of the dishes we ordered that day. And we actually finished almost all of them despite the crazy amount of dishes we ordered for four !

Another thing I like about Kirin is its environment and vibe - it's always so busy and energetic ! It's always very festive as though that place has been locked in Chinese New Year time all year round. Every table seems like they are either having a cozy regular family day or a celebratory big family gathering. It's a great place to go with friends who are youger folks too although the crowd seems to be my parents' age.

I wonder why Kirin's Urbanspoon review isn't as good as I expected. Many reviewers complained about its service. But I think if you go with a mindset that it's a very typical Chinese restaurant, you will expect less about the service itself. I think Kirin does have pretty efficient and friendly waiters though. Another reason I can think of is that Kirin doesn't offer very outstanding dinner, I've tried a couple times and left with disappointment each time :(  But whatever, it's dimsum makes up for everythinggggggg.

Kirin Seafood Restaurant 麒麟海鮮酒家 on Urbanspoon

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