1172 Alberni Street
Vancouver, BC V6E 3Z3
Kirin Mandarin is a well-respected Chinese restaurant in downtown Vancouver, which is named after a mythical dragon like monster. They have five locations in the greater Vancouver area. This particular location focuses on Northern Chinese cuisine and opened in 1987. Sherman recommended we visit this restaurant. Dim Sum Lunch is covered separately.
Decor, Vibe – Kirin Mandarin is located in any atrium of an office building. The decor is modern and corporate with elegant seating and lighting. The majority of folks were Asians, but there was a healthy mix of other races. We noted how much nicer people dress here than in the San Francisco Bay Area!
Menu (Click to zoom into any picture)
Kirin Mandarin Menu has an extensive menu with a wide variety of items. We ordered a super good value Special set menu that was only in Chinese.
$45 per person Set Menu included the following items:
Appetizers (preserved vegetables / Shredded Chicken with Jelly Fish / Smoked Salmon) was a nice starter cold dish of salt sea vegetables balanced out with the tame jellyfish.
Shark Fin with Fish Maw and Crab Meat Soup was a solid version. At this price level we could not expect the best. Lots of crabmeat, slightly salty broth, vinegar helped offset the flavor. Hong Kong had better versions.
Steamed Fresh Scallop in Black Bean Sauce was excellent. We scraped off most the heavy duty sauce which still left enough flavor to contrast the sweet scallop flavor.
Shrimp in Mandarin Style Brown Sauce was not too spicy, but more on the tomatoee side. Very nice shrimp that didn’t need this level of thick sauces.
Ginger Green Onion Live BC Crab had a good and strong sauce, along with very tender meat. Very fresh and super messy, but worth it. If you have enough people try their expensive King crab special.
Assorted Seafood Fried Rice was almost like a seafood dish of a little bit of rice. Tons of calamari, egg, chicken, scallops. We’ve never seen a dish like this.
Stir Fried Beef with Snap Peas with mushrooms was a great dish. The sauce was incredibly balanced and not salty. The beef was of decent quality too.
Roasted Squab ($16.80) was hot of the kitchen and had excellent flavor, crispy skin, juicy meat in the inside. Definitely one of the better ones.
Double boiled birds nest soup ($24.80 per cup) is an expensive dessert, but a must to test the kitchen! This version came on a heated platform and was fairly subdued flavor wise. A very good version, well balanced without the coconut not dominating. Not as good as Hong Kong though.
Almond Jello with Fruit Cocktail was decidedly average but included in the set meal.
Kirin Mandarin had excellent service. Servers are constantly scanning hall tables, so everything was taken care of quickly including refills. The food here is sort of like a fusion of Cantonese and Mandarin cuisine. We can’t think of a Chinese restaurant in the San Francisco bay area with this level of service. We have encountered this level of service in Hong Kong and China. We have no problem recommending this restaurant. The food quality meets or exceeds the top places in the SF bay area like Koi Palace, and the prices are reasonable. You would have to fly to Hong Kong to find better Chinese food.
201 City Square, 555 West 12th Avenue
Vancouver, British Columbia
Canada V5Z 3X7
(604) 879-0128 fax
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Canada V6X 1A5
(604) 303-8669 fax
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(604) 527-3838 fax