My friend from London and his mom wanted to try the best Chinese food in Vancouver and they asked me to pick the spot. This was too much pressure for me but I figured Kirin was just as good as any other spot in Vancouver and the location was convenient (Richmond was out of the question).

We ordered the set menu which was 45 dollars a head. The first dish was the cold plate, and the highlight of that dish was the jelly fish. The second was the crab corn soup which came with its on candle to keep the soup hot, also tasting incredible. Next, a crab served in black bean sauce that was very tasty. After that, the last few dishes did not manage to keep up with the first few dishes. The chow mein was only just a bit tastier than what I would get at my regular take out spot and the prawns in sweet chili sauce were actually bland. The dessert was actually boring. I guess they impress you with the first dishes and the fillers just don't stack up. The good thing that none of the plates felt like they were packed with MSG.

The service was fantastic. Our dishes were served to us individually, the pace was excellent and they were very attentive to our needs. My UK friends didn't understand that the tip is not included and only left 10 dollars on the 170 dollar bill. I walked out with them so I would not insult my friends family but I ran back into the restaurant after to add some more money to the tip.

1166 Alberni St
Vancouver, BC

Kirin (Downtown) on Urbanspoon

I don't think Kirin is the best Chinese restaurant in Vancouver but what is? Sun Sui Wah?



gigi said... @ June 1, 2009 at 12:48 PM

My favourite is Sun Sui Wah on Main Street. Of all the Kirins in the Lower Mainland, I've been told that Richmond is the best one although I guess you were trying to avoid Richmond. :)

Jeff Ng said... @ June 1, 2009 at 8:45 PM

A lot of Richmondites know Kirin to be overpriced and overrated. If you want some classic yum cha food I recommend The Jade (Yook Ting Heen).

Anonymous said... @ June 2, 2009 at 12:19 AM

out of all the kirins, my all time favourite is the city square one- solid every time. alberni kirin to me is a caucasian business lunch/tourist dinner place... somewhere real foodies would rather not go.

Unknown said... @ June 2, 2009 at 2:14 PM

For straight Dim Sum, I think Sun Sui Wah takes it. Kirin is good but I feel the Richmond location is a bit more consistent in quality.

For a bit of everything, I think Congee Noodle House is great. The staff is friendly, the new decor is much nicer and it's open late! (MSG can be an issue though.)

Belinda said... @ June 2, 2009 at 3:00 PM

Try New Maple Inn (used to be HoTakKee) on broadway between main & kingsway. Cheap, authentic, great value - service leaves a bit to be desired but that's all part of it. The wontons are amazing as is the bbq pork & shrimp fried rice.

GO - you won't be sorry.

Unknown said... @ June 6, 2009 at 9:23 AM

The "best" Chinese restaurant depends on what you are looking for (eg, dim sum vs kitchen dishes, signature dishes, seasonal ingredients, regional cuisine, etc.)

That said, I do have a favourite Chinese restaurant: Alvin Garden (The Xiang) on Imperial St for hot hot Hunan cuisine. Clean, authentic, and uncompromising Hunan flavours.

La Petite Vancouver said... @ June 7, 2009 at 2:17 AM

I prefer Kirin to Sun Sui wah

Unknown said... @ June 7, 2009 at 4:15 PM

Red start near 70th ave on granville st for sure!

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