1172 Alberni Street (Near Bute)
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. We came for dinner in a previous review.
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 a fairly concise dim sum menu with a mix of Cantonese and Mandarin small items and larger noodle dishes. We arrived at the end of lunch and found several items had sold out.
Juicy shark fin dumpling in consommé ($5.75) was a solid version of the classic. The broth was fair, but the dumpling was large and filled with very good filling.
Pan fried shark fin and chicken bun ($4.95) was excellent. Normally they are made with pork, but this special one was filled with much better ingredients. It was also pretty large and had a good wrapper. Stellar!
Steamed pork dumplings filled with consommé ($4.95) or Xiao Long Bao had five tiny dumplings but they were delectable. They were filled with flavorful soup, translucent thin wrapper, and large tender meat filling.
Steamed shrimp dumplings ($4.50) or Har Gow had four good sized dumplings. Unlike the others we encountered on this trip, we were able to transport them without the wrapper falling apart. These were interesting because they were all white, but still managed to hit the spot.
Green tea and sweet Osmanthus pudding ($3.75) was a beautiful looking Jell-O with alternating layers. Not too sweet with some delicate green tea flavors. Osmanthus is like a Chinese truffle.
Steamed puréed egg yolk bun ($4.50) was excellent and filled with yellow goodness. As good as the ones in Hong Kong, but still very good.
Deep-fried lemongrass flavored minced prawn patties ($4.75) was recommended by our server. Excellent dish with a super crispy layer and a tender, springy and snappy interior.
Kirin Mandarin had very good 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 Dim Sum and some Mandarin dishes. 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. They did not even charge us for tea. Venture out to Richmond and try the super good dim sum at Sea Harbor. 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
200 Three West Centre,
7900 Westminster Highway (at No. 3 Road)
Richmond, British Columbia
Canada V6X 1A5
(604) 303-8669 fax
2001 Henderson Place
1163 Pinetree Way
Coquitlam, British Columbia
Canada V3B 8A9
(604) 944-8565 fax
350 Gifford Street
New Westminster, British Columbia
Canada V3M 7A3
(604) 527-3838 fax