Dinner at Kirin Seafood Restaurant

by Ed Lau on November 26, 2007

Kirin Seafood Restaurant, Richmond

My cousin and his wife adopted a baby girl from China a few months ago and today, we celebrated her first birthday at Kirin, located in the heart of Richmond. Some of you may remember that the Dot Com Pho folks had our second Dot Com Dim Sum here at Kirin during the summer. It is one of the more established and popular Chinese restaurants in town and for good reason. Food here is very good and service is usually excellent, which is quite important as some Chinese restaurants are less than stellar in their hospitality.

Unlike Gingeri, where I went last week, Kirin is TV-free. My baby cousins were more enamored with the crab and lobster tanks, though. The dining area is clean, well-lit and with large panoramic windows. Stephen mentioned the cleanliness of the bathroom is a good indication of the condition of the restaurant and Kirin’s are spotless.

Again, I only had my iPhone with me so bear with me on the picture quality.

Kirin Seafood Restaurant, Richmond

The opening appetizer platter consisted of jellyfish, marinated pork, bean curd and mushroom rolls, drunk chicken (basically chicken soaked in wine) and smoked salmon. Smoked salmon doesn’t seem very Chinese and I think I’ve only seen it on appetizer platters here at Kirin. It had a rather funny taste to it, honestly but everything else was great, especially the heaping of jellyfish.

Kirin Seafood Restaurant, Richmond

Next was a plate of geoduck, chicken and scallops on green peas. In case you’re wondering what geoduck is, imagine a giant clam sliced thin and sauteed. Nothing particularly special about this dish but it wasn’t bad.

Kirin Seafood Restaurant, Richmond

Our next course was minced shrimp on tofu. It’s tough to screw up on the shrimp but the tofu was far too soft, falling apart at the softest touch. I don’t mind tofu at all but it should be firm enough to eat easily with chopsticks.

I love shark fin soup. Personally, I think it really makes the meal at any Chinese seafood restaurant and Kirin’s is good. Not spectacular but it had the right amount of the title ingredient and a flavorful broth.

Kirin Seafood Restaurant, Richmond

The lobster and crab in consomme with ginger and green onion was nice and fresh and although it takes quite a bit of work to eat either one of these shellfish, the result is delicious.

Kirin Seafood Restaurant, Richmond

The rock cod (which I forgot to snap a picture of) was very fresh and cooked/seasoned very well. I wouldn’t say the same of the Chinese mushrooms and bok-choi, though. The sauce was overdone here and simply drowned the greens, making them mushy and too salty.

Kirin Seafood Restaurant, Richmond

The chicken course was rather unique and…honestly, I’ve never seen this before. I’m not even quite sure what it is. I believe it’s a stewed chicken in a wooden pot and although the chicken was rather good, I can’t help but notice the puddles of oil that it sits in. I like the idea but the execution is too oily.

I think the Kirin Special Fried Rice is fantastic. A sauce made with various vegetables and seafood on top of a bed of fried rice. It might be a bit too much sauce for some but I think it’s great. The stewed e-fu noodles are equally good as some restaurants make it too soft or with too much oil. Kirin manages to make it rather perfectly.

Service at Kirin is excellent as waiters are polite and swap dishes after every course. Tonight, there weren’t too many people in the dining hall (since it’s Monday) but the level of service is equivalent on most nights I’ve been here. Each course arrived promptly other than dessert, which seemed to take a bit longer than it should.

Overall, I’d still say Sea Harbour is the best place in town although I believe Kirin isn’t far behind. If you decide to have dinner here (or dim sum lunch), I doubt you’ll be disappointed.

in Food and Fine Dining

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

weew November 28, 2007 at 12:34 pm

Geoduck, lobster, crab, sharkfin…at Kirin of all places. True Blingin’ !!

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Leo November 29, 2007 at 3:26 pm

I like the Kirin on Alberni Street in downtown Vancouver better, it’s more Mandarin style and less greasy. I also find the service better. Although they’re all pretty good.

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Ray November 30, 2007 at 12:14 am

those pix look good enough to make people hunrgy~one of the best chinese restaurant in great van

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