Kirin Mandarin Restaurant has extravagant and tasty offerings during the evening and well crafted dim sum during the day. At the downtown location, parking can be a challenge.
Located in downtown Vancouver, Kirin Mandarin Restaurant is within walking distance of most major hotels. Established in 1987, this magnificent restaurant, with its three-story high ceiling and giant Kirin statue on the wall, has received numerous acclaims over the years.
We went to Kirin for dim sim with a group of 12 people and I was a little disappointed about the ambiance - having been to the spacious Kirin on Cambie and 12th, I felt a little cramped here. Nevertheless the main character is the same - big tables mostly used by big Asian families, which is a good sign for the food quality.
Food was good, although not as good as in the Kirin on Cambie. My favorite are the mixed seafood congee, the prawn or pork dumplings and the deep fried spring rolls (although I did not have them this time).
Service is very fast at dim sum time, although not particularly friendly. They always seem a bit rushed and expect you to know the menu. It was the 3rd time that we asked the waiter about some items on the menu, and he not tell us anything more than what we could read ourselves: "What kind of vegetables are in this dish? - What? Ehem. Yes. Vegetarian." Not very helpful, especially as the menu contains some items you might like to try if you only knew a little bit of what is in there...
Value is OK for dim sum, not so for dinner - then it is really too expensive for Chinese food in Vancouver.
Kirin Chinese restaurant on Alberni !
Well having heard so much about this place we though okay lets try it,,,it has to be good right?
First of all...the young lady at the reservation counter could use a refresher on how to Smile and at least appear to be happy,,,even if we are Caucasion we have money to spend as well.
The layout is very typical Chinese, not having spent too much on decor...large tables for that banquet feel I suppose.
The service however was very good,,,better than average and certainly better than Sun Sui Wah!
The Menu is quite varied, lots to choose from,,maybe a little over priced because of its location,,,it has a new location in New West which I hear is $ 2.00 cheaper than any of the items on the menu DT.
But nonetheless you will definitely find something to please your palate from fish to soups to noodles etc etc
The food,,,,very good and HOT....not served warm as so many other Dim Sums are. Each dish we ordered came in record time and I must say tasted very good...no complaints
All in all I would say that Kirin would be a good choice for a more elegant and tastier Dim Sum experience, however be prepared to fork over more $ than you might be used to.
Would I return ?,,,,um...maybe....I would definitely take out of town guests there,,,Also I would like to try Kirin for Dinner sometime
All in all it was very enjoyable, it deserves a definite go to and eat!
I don't trust Vancouver Magazine much anymore, because apparently their judges' opinions about what's the best in Vancouver are a lot different from mine. But, I think they got it right by giving Kirin such high marks. Everything we had there was really good, and FINALLY a downtown restaurant that gives you value for your money without cutting corners, without sacrificing on quality, taste, and quantity. There was a mixture of Western and Asian diners when we were there, and I noticed that most of the Western diners ordered similar "safe" and familiar-to-Western-people things, rather that be adventurous and eat what the Asian people were eating. If you order the specials, guys, or if you look around and see what Asian people are eating, then order the same, you won't be disappointed. It's a good place.
This is probably my favorite chinese restaurant in vancouver. First of all its alot cleaner than most of them. That cleaness mentality goes along well with their simple food. Its easy to see why some people wont appreciate it because they are used to eating food that is over salted with too much sauce.
Our family went for Dim Sum on Canada Day and we couldn't have picked a better restaurant. Right off the bat, this downtown restaurant had FREE PARKING! That and I am a food fanatic when it comes to northern Chinese food!
Our waitress wasn't too bright, and mixed up one order and left out another item. But all our dishes ended up really good! We had pan fried buns, Chinese donut wrapped in sticky rice, savory soy milk, potstickers, gluten in soup with lettuce. The standout item was the savory soy milk - it had Chinese donut soaked in it. It was like eating a northern style Chinese cereal/porridge.
The mango pudding is give or take. My aunt can make better, although this one comes in the shape of a heart! Aaaaaand the condensed milk is served in the cutest mini gravy ship.
When we expressed our dissatisfaction with the way-too-heavy, way-too-oily Chinese donut, the manager graciously took it off our order. For four people, our bill came to only $35!
I recommend this restaurant to anyone who patronizes the cheaper $2 dim sum restaurants, wants decent dim sum, and doesn't have the time (or gas money) to head to Richmond!
We went looking for a new Dim Sum restaurant looking for dim sum - our old favorite has gone downhill (Sun Si Wah). We tried Kirin based on the online reviews. Everything we had was excellent. The congee was particularly wonderful. The waiter suggested a salt pepper fish which was probalby the best we've had. It was done with small whole fish, so came with the bones - everyone raved about it.
My daughter was disappointed that there were no carts; everything is ordered off the menu, but we had no lack of variety and everything came out hot and perfectly prepared. The service was wonderful. This is an upscale restaurant and is reflected in the prices, so know you'll pay more to eat there. We will definitely return.
I am going to keep this review short, but suffice it to say that this is the absolutely best dim sum I have eated - ever. I haev lived in Vancouver for over 20 years - and y'all know how many excellent Chinese restaurants there are here.
Kirin is head and shoulders above any I have eaten at. every dish I tried was prepared with great care, served with attention and all of us were made to feel like we were special customers.
I shared a birthday dinner with a dear friend at the downtown location, the very location that started it all in 1987. I had chosen this restaurant because I had been to other locations and have been treated from mediocre to superbly, and served with excellent food. I guess locations play a role, because this was the worse dining experience of the year.
We arrived on time for our reservations. I went up to the hostess to let her know another individual was coming, and was answered with a quick "yep." I had not told her which reservations she could add the seat to. After minutes of pondering of whether she knew which table, I approached her again, this time with a "Hi, we had reservations under - "
"Okay just go in." She interrupted me.
"Oh okay, I just want to let you know there will be one more person."
"Okay just go in and tell the waiter."
I led my thirteen friends into the dining hall, expecting someone to greet us or at least an empty table ready. No one and no table. A server told us turned us back to the hostess, and then the hostess turned us back to the dining room. Then finally a server diffused the situation.
Yes, it took over a half hour for us to be seated. The next challenge was to get an extra dining set for my last minute friend. Not understanding our request but assuming so, our server rolled her eyes, sighed, and moved the dining sets on our tables around, giving the friend with someone else's set. Yea, that took a little bit of time to diffuse too.
They gave us a kind of competent server who made a few mistakes. I admit, as the 10+ courses came by, my mood may have dampened from our super-difficult seating what I thought about the food: meh. Same Chinese food you can get anywhere else. Except it didn't feel like super greasy, I guess.
We went here once and it was very good. We returned and it was terrible, and now we tried one more time and it was terrible again.
The food on the last 2 visits equated in quality with the worst food court chinese. The chicken was tough, and chewy, and lots of gristle-when I got home I spent forever flossing my teeth. The lemon sauce tastes like artificial lemon flavouring and sugar...like those lemon drop candies. Tasted nothing like real lemon, which I'm sure there was none.
Service is fine, not far off from other chinese places, which are known for inferiour service, so cant really knock them too much for that.
This Kirin restaurant location is my absolute favorite! The quality of food and service is impeccable! The dim sum menu always features monthly specials as well as their tried and true fare. Make reservations so you won't have to wait as this location tends to be very busy especially on weekends. Dinner is also outstanding with dishes like Peking duck, steamed oysters with garlic, seafood chow mein (crispy noodle). They have very fresh seafood and all of the dishes we've ordered to date have been excellent. Managed excellently with great people and very attentive staff. Park in the underground parking and bring your ticket to be reimbursed. Kirin Alberni is the BEST!
I took my Mom here for Mothers day (big mistake). I made reservations about a week ahead for two pm. We showed up about 20 mins. early to be greeted by a waiting room packed full of people. I'm not sure why, but in the last few years they've decided to make the waiting area about half the size it was before so when you're in there you're like sardines in a can. I approached the hostess stand and tried to check in...I was compeletely ignored...the hostess wouldn't even aknowledge that I was talking to her. I let it roll off my back, it being Mothers day and all. I finally got her attention and she just jotted my name down on a piece of paper, I wasn't sure if my reservation even mattered to her. Surprisingly, we were seated on time. I thought that things were looking up. Ha! We sat down and pretty much knew what we wanted to order as we've had dim sum before. Finally, another hostess came to our table and took our order. I was surprised that it wasn't a server but figured it was because they were busy. We ordered about 10 items in total. The dining room was crazy busy and loud. It didn't help that the servers station was right behind us and the servers were almost yelling to eachother. 10 mins go by, 15, 20 and we finally got one serving of dumplings. At this point about 3 new were recently seated. We finished the dumplings and sat with an empty table for another 10 mins at which point one of the tables that was seated far later than us was already eating a few of the items that we had also ordered! One of the servers noticed that we were unhappy and sent the manager over. I explained that we had been waiting for our food for about 40 mins and every table around us was eating. He tried to explain that "the items we ordered took longer to prepare because they had to be steamed", when I pointed to the table that was seated 20 mins later than us and told him that they were eating the same items we ordered he threw his hand to his forehead, let out an exaggerated sigh and went to the kitchen. The fact that we had our entire order on the table 5 mins later didn't really help, infact, it just showed me that they could have brought us our food but just didn't care enough to. No one ever apologized or offered us anything to make up for dropping such a HUGE mothers day ball. Needless to say, I will never, ever step foot in that place again. Oh and another gem - When we told the Manager what had happened all he said was "At least the food was good". Ummm....No actually it's not that good. Imperial is WAY better. BUYER BEWARE
Forgot to mention BBQ pork on the cold plate was spoiled. And the honey garlic ribs were undercooked.
From observing the other tables in our area and the restaurant in general, it seems the whole place is in disarray. A lot of people seem to have waited a long time for their food. They just don't look like happy diners.
A friend, incidentally, had dinner there couple of nights ago. Comments were very negative as well: unfriendly and slow service, live fish shown to customer shrank significantly after it was cooked
The food here can be a hit or miss depenind on whos cooking. We usually end up going because its nice and clean and convientient. The ambience is very typical chinese.
Its set in kind of an office setting. The service is good and friendly. Sometimes they mess up our order but they usually fix that by giving us something on the house.
We really enjoy the food here when its good. Usually go for quick dim sum.
When we first arrived, I figured the experience would be really nice, because of the ambiance. WRONG. I ordered a spicy beef dish & I'm fairly certain it wasn't beef - or at least any part of the cow you should eat. It was riddled with fat & didn't taste anything like beef. Before I said anything, the waiter looked at me & said "Its no good, I know". So I cancelled that & instead ordered the lemon chicken, which is a battered & deep fried dish. Sadly, I was hard-pressed to find the CHICKEN inside the cardboard-like batter. Aside from the non-existent chicken, the dish was very poorly prepared & the lemon sauce tasted like Mr. Clean. I was shocked & thoroughly disappointed by the poor quality of the cuisine. I paid, but I just wanted to get the hell out of there. I'll never go back.
The food was weird! I've never had anything stranger than the chinese food here! The service was tired! It was my first time at the restaurant and me and my friends didn't know what to order. Luckily, the waiters there were eager to suggest expensive stuff which defeats the reason anyone goes to oriental food. AND, they don't force you to stop ordering the expensive stuff and tell you when to stop ordering because you've ordered too much...hahaha! It was not a busy night that day and we had waited approximately 5 minutes for the food.. i dont think it was worth it!
I had gone to Kirin with my girlfriend today and was put in a tiny table in a corner right beside a storage closet, so I asked if we could get another table and they said all other tables in the restaurant was booked up and no one would be going into that closet. Only about 1/4 of the restaurant had patrons, so I said fine and sat down then they left us alone with no tea or waiter even bothering to check up on us. After flagging a waiter down for some tea, they left us alone for quite some time again and not even bothering to take our order. I had to stand up and wave at a waiter in order to get their attention. The food came and was average but during our meal we had a staff member come by and open the closet door hitting my girlfriend's chair only then she said, "excuse me." After this meal I was left with a horrible after taste of this experience. For a restaurant in this area downtown and price, one would assume that service would be much better. I would not recommend this restaurant to anyone and warn others to stay away.
If there's one thing I can't stand in all my years dining out, its these haughty hostesses who think they're doing you a favour by having you spend good money in their restaurant! I've lived in New York and dined in Morimoto and Flay's Mesa Grill, never have I experienced such rudeness! I think the Kirin upper management should teach their staff a lesson in BASIC manners. There was a wait, I had this hostess named EMILY write my name in the waitlist. She said the wait would be 20 minutes so my family and I sat down in the chairs. 45 minutes passed and they were seating everyone except us. I followed up with her and she would stare blankly at me and answer me back with attitude. I tried being patient but I totally blew it when they seated two later parties who had no reservations before us. My 2 year toddler was crying already. I asked to talk to the manager, my request was ignored and this guy named Andrew came and said he'll seat us right away.
And to think the dimsum was just mediocre -salty...
All I can say is, Kirin just lost a well paying customer for good!
the service has gone downhill. We've been Kirin fans for a long time (we even had our wedding at Kirin Richmond). Had dim sum there on Sunday with another young family. We arrived and got seated at 11am, got two dim-sum dishes (out of 10) at 12pm, the rest at 1h15pm. Kids were getting cranky and we had to ask for our cheque 4 times (the 4th time, i had to go to the cashier myself). Service was very poor.
The food there is no better than other much cheaper chinese restaurants (like Penny's on Hastings). Needless to say, i will not go back there.
Went there today for dinner and have to say was seriously impressed with the service, in fact it's the best service I've had in a Vancouver resteraunt.
The food was extremely fresh, the taste wasn't to die over for me, but just with the service and freshness I was impressed.