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3
  • Food3.5
  • Service3
  • Value2.5
  • Ambiance3.5
  • Reviews26

Kirin Seafood Restaurant

555 West 12th Avenue
Vancouver, BC V5Z3X7
Tel: (604) 879-8038
Fax: (604) 879-0128
Neighbourhood: West Side
  • Cuisine: Chinese, Dim sum, Seafood
  • Price: $$$ ($30 - $45)
  • Reservations: Accepted
  • Located in City Square right across from City Hall, Kirin Seafood Restaurant on Cambie offers a refreshing dining experience: a wide selection of Cantonese dishes meticulously prepared, served in an elegant surrounding, with attentive service.

    Kirin Seafood Restaurant on Cambie specializes in live seafood prepared in both traditional and exotic styles, shark fin, and abalone. Freshly made Dim Sum is served daily during lunch hour.

Reviews

Displaying 1 - 20 of 26 Reviews FoundSort: Useful | Helpful | Reviews | Date
Delicious wedding banquet dinner
By Huge of Surrey (139 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, May 19, 2009 - 6:26pm [Dine in]

Last Saturday night I was invited for a wedding banquet at this restaurant. There were several dishes that was served. The first dish was cold meats like beef, jelly fish and other assorted meat. Very flavourful. The second dish was deep fried crab claws which was quite large and well prepared. Then we had the shark fin soupwhich was decent. Then we had the bok choi with sea abbolone and mushrooms which was very tasty and fresh. Then we had the fresh white fish with sweet soy sauce prepared to perfection. Lobster with cream sauce was my least favorite as it tasted a bit fishy. The noodle and rice dish was hot and delightful. The dessert was red bean soup and almond and cocnut pastries. I was very impressed with the presentation and service. I can only imagine the cost for this culinary experience. Will recommend and come again in the future.

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Best dim sum please
By CaptainNemo of Vancouver (97 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, December 29, 2008 - 3:07pm [Dine in]

This has been one of the best dim sum places I've tried yet. The dim sum wasn't humungous like all the other average places, but it was very good.

I was there for dinner a couple of months ago, and the food was average. Not too crazy about the dinner. The menu seemed ooolala, but it didn't excite me too much. Very expensive for the average food served.

The price is a little on the expensive side, but not overly crazy. And for the quality, I thought it was worthit.

The design there was very pretty. It was very obvious that someone took time to pick the decor out for this restaurant.

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Potential to be GREAT
By itadakimasu of Vancouver (101 Reviews)
Submitted Wednesday, January 2, 2013 - 2:09pm [Dine in]

I've been to Kirin many times for dim sum and dinner and it's always been decent. The food is good. But they could improve on their service. For example, the waiter was aggressive, spoke poor english and was rushing us to order. His manners were about the same as a greasy-spoon noodle house. I really got the feeling that they don't care about making the customer feel comfortable and/or pissing us off.
The prices for some of the seafood dishes were high ($70 for rockcod) but we don't mind paying that if the service to go along with it is professional and courteous (White Spot comes to mind).
Also the noise in the restaurant from everyone talking is loud and hard to hear others across the table. But not much that can be done about that I guess.
I have to start looking for a chinese restaurant that has good food AND good service.

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Fancy family fare
By chasiubow of North Van (675 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, August 27, 2007 - 11:41am [Dine in]

I was invited to a family dinner at Kirin, and I was happy to go for a free meal since my wallet always hurts when I pay. The ambience was nice for a Chinese restaurant, but it gets a bit noisy when the place is full. The service was excellent as always. Our tea pots were constantly being refilled, and our plates replaced.

The food was good, if not great. We had a selection of favourites from crispy Peking duck to duck lettuce wrap, roasted chicken, fish and vegetable dishes and the ubiquitous lobster and crab with noodles in creamy sauce. Maybe I am getting a little jaded, but it seems like there is nothing new in their Cantonese cookbook. But you don’t go to a place like Kirin to surprise the elders. It is more for the family dining crowd. The usual entrees elegantly served, etc.

Overall a good (if predictable) experience, and one I am doomed to repeat. I agree with a previous reviewer: Of all the Kirins I have visited this one is the best.

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Quality Dim Sum
By JooJoo of East Vancouver (82 Reviews)
Submitted Wednesday, December 8, 2010 - 7:18pm [Dine in]

We made reservations for 1:30pm but when we arrived we were seated right away, service was polite and professional. The congee with pork and preserved eggs was ok, I really enjoyed the shrimp dumping, steamed to perfection, the shrimp was so fresh! The shrimp rice roll was my favorite, it was sooooo good! The Shark's fin dumping in soup was delicious, the spring roll was fried to perfection, not oily, very crispy, and the fillings were really tasty. Overall I enjoyed our lunch here very much and I would definitely recommend Kirin Seafood for dim sum! I've had dim sum at other Kirin Seafood restaurants but Kirin on West 12th is probably the best out of all the other Kirin restaurants.

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Hmm... not bad
By EatsFats of Vancouver (321 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, October 11, 2009 - 12:27am [Dine in]

To be honest, I was not expecting much from this place. Not because of the recent poor reviews (I hadn't read that yet), but from experience several years ago and word of mouth.

Well, I gotta say, the place has held up well and it's a nice location. No complaints about that. Plus stuff seemed generally quite clean. (Sadly, that shouldn't even merit a mention, but when it comes to most Chinese restaurants...)

There was a wait (no surprise to me), but once we got seated, service did come promptly, and this was close to 1pm or later at this point. Nothing out of the ordinary for dim sum place, so I can't really complain, though I certainly wasn't bowled over. We did linger around a bit, even with a packed restaurant, but the waiters never made us feel rushed.
The table was full of crazies, so we asked for _three_ different kinds of teas plus hot water. 4 teapots in total, but the waiters didn't even hesitate.

We had a whacky guest who decided to basically order one of everything on the dim sum menu. Honestly, though there were too many deep friend items, most of it was quite well done. Nothing innovative though. Afterwards, we even ordered some regular menu items, special noodles & rice. No hesitations there and it was delivered in a timely manner.

Okay, here's the thing. It was solidly decent, both service & food. There wasn't necessarily anything outstanding. I'm not sure it is worth a special trip out here, but there aren't a lot of dim sum places of this caliber nearby, so I find myself (surprisingly) thinking that I wouldn't mind heading back if I ever had another craving and I happened to be in the area. Hmm...

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Always a Safe Bet!
By diningRL of East Vancouver (65 Reviews)
Submitted Friday, June 27, 2008 - 8:49pm [Dine in]

Never had a bad experience at any Kirin Restaurants. Kirin is recognized throughout North America as the premiere operator of Fine Chinese Cuisine. My last visit here was for a father's day dinner. Food was excellent as usual. They have many unique dishes with their own twists. Service was a bit sub-par (considering it's Kirin), but still great. It's a bit on the expensive side in terms of Chinese food, but it's definitely worth it.

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What a disappointment
By leonard h of Vancouver (39 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, June 21, 2011 - 12:51pm [Dine in]

We went there for dim sum. I wanted to like this place more, but the service was juts so poor that by the end of our meal I had a headache, and was out for revenge, that is, offering up my 2 cents on this website. Our order got lost, then our replacement order got lost again...no, it wasn't lost a second time, but took so long to come that I had snacked on passing dim sum that was available there and then, so by the time our order came, it wasn't as enticing. The food was uninspired. Greasy, tasteless spring rolls, tasteless fish broth, and the rest was passable, but no oohs and ahhhs. Maybe it's because these guys are in a great location and have no competitors around, as opposed to Richmond where if a dim sum place disappoints then people have many other places to go nearby, but the place was filled to the brim with customers, and a constant line-up of people eager to get in. Makes me think I just ordered the wrong things and had bad luck with the service. In my opinion, if you want good dim sum head for Richmond or the downtown Kirin.

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Incompetent, greedy and grasping service
By makeup_girly of Vancouver (49 Reviews)
Submitted Wednesday, July 15, 2009 - 6:40pm [Dine in]

Their food is consistently good and service consistently terrible. We have dined here throughout the years but avoid it if possible.

On a recent dimsum with the family, we had pretty good food, as usual. Our waiter, however, was unfriendly, unsmiling, and looked pained that he had to wait on tables. The "Suits" looked similarly unhappy. Their attitude was colder than the air conditioning.

We asked our waiter for something many other restaurants did with no problem. He forgot about it, then did it very poorly. Then we decided to add a few dishes to our order. And we waited. Then he came by to confirm our order. Odd, but we confirmed it, and waited some more. Then after about 20 minutes we asked one of the Suits about our order as someone had just come by about "last call."

He checked on our order and said there was no order. Confused, we asked our waiter who happened to walk by. He reluctantly admitted that he forgot our order. The Suit then said, equally reluctantly, that they could make our order now. We declined and asked for the bill.

We were going to pay by credit card a Suit brought to our table the PIN pad thingy. My husband was taking a little longer as he needed his glasses. This Suit then said to him to enter a $20 tip. Yes, he TOLD my husband to give them a $20 tip. Not, once, but he told my husband twice. And how much was our bill? Including tax, just about $74.00. Of all the greedy restaurant staff (the Sun Sui Wah also comes to mind), this guy takes the title!

It's baffling that the other Kirin's have excellent food and service while this location continually has awful wait staff and management.

We will not be coming back to this restaurant.

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Very good dim sum
By Andi710 of Kitsilano, Vancouver (34 Reviews)
Submitted Wednesday, May 13, 2009 - 9:57pm [Dine in]

It is always a good sign if the majority of guests in a restaurant are the ones knowing the food that is offered. Kirin on Cambie is one of those restaurants. For dim sum the restaurant is usually very busy, so you should better have a reservation.

Also service urges you to order fast and deliveres food when it is ready (it happens that you get what you thought to be desert before what you wanted to be the appetizers). But overall the service is OK, friendly and quick - just don't expect extensive guidance on the menu or nice small talk.

The food is very good - especially we like the seafood kongi (rice soup), any kind of dumplings, the deep fried seafood spring rolls and the mango puffing for desert. But most other hings were very tasty, too. Just the chicken feet were a little, ehm, special.

Value is solid, but not cheap. The ambiance of the place is an experience for sure - a very crowded place with lots of people around big tables and a nice view to relax. Our son likes the lobsters and fish at the entrance - other than this the restaurant is not especially child friendly.

Bottomline solid restaurant - a must for us if we have guests from Europe who want to experience a new side of Asian cuisine.

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Good aspects but an irredeemable low
By trudgen of Vancouver (6 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, February 7, 2009 - 7:11pm [Dine in]

Have been to Kirin previously for dim sum. The location on an upper floor in City Square allows for some beautiful views. The food is elegantly presented, a notch above the workmanlike presentation at other establishment. The tradeoff is a much higher price without necessarily tasting much better.

Our most recent experience was unfortunate. On arriving, we were asked whether we had a reservation. No one else was waiting for a table, and our party was small. When we said no, the hostess laughed haughtily. We were not provided information as to whether we could wait for a table and if so how long the wait would be. The hostess' attitude was one of scolding indifference. It was quite surprising. We walked away and won't be returning.

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Rotten pork in fried rice.
By Prassinos of Vancouver (9 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, December 20, 2007 - 1:08am [Dine in]

I have been in this place a few times over the years and each time I had a enjoyed their food. That was until recently.

I had dinner there with a group of friends. We ordered one of the set meals for 10. Each dish came out and tasted great. The waiters kept taking away used dishes almost after each meal.

All that ended with their last dish that was simple fried rice with salty pork in it. The pork was rotten. It tasted definately rotten the way meat tastes when it is left at room temperature for a week! I ended up spitting everything in a napkin.

Someone screwed up at that place and given its class and prices (over $400.00 for 10) this is inexcusable. I don't care if this only happened for the first and the last time. IT SHOULD NEVER HAPPEN; PERIOD. So, I am staying away FOREVER.

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Worst Kirin experience ever!
By Sidneylee of Burnaby (25 Reviews)
Submitted Friday, October 9, 2009 - 5:41pm [Dine in]

I am a fan of Kirin restaurants, but I have to say this is my most disappointing experience with Kirin ever. I was going to make a complaint on their website, but since it doesn't offer that option, so I am going to do it here instead.

The three of us went there for Dim Sum on Friday at around 1:30ish. The restaurant was busy, but there were some empty tables here and there. After we sat down, we could immediately sense that the waiters and the "managers" were not very friendly. It's the attitude, the way they talked to you, sounded very unwelcoming. Anyway, we ordered 7 dishes and they came promptly. The dim sum were fine. But out of the 3 Kirin I have been to, this is the worst one. The ones in Richmond and New Westminster both make better dim sum than they do. Same food, but more delicate, and more well-cooked and presented.

The service, which was the main reason why I write this review, was definitely really really poor.The waiters and "managers" are very unfriendly, they literally just threw things and dishes on your table. When you told them to refill the hot water, they reached over from right in front of you, and took the teapot with his sleeves touching your bowl. How bad is that? I mean, if I have to do that, I would at least walk to the other side and pick up the teapot without interfering my customer. To reach over like that is simply unacceptable and rude. Anyways, as soon as we finished the last piece of food on the table, the "manager" hurry in and cleaned up everything on the table. I asked him if they are closing soon, and he said last order is at 2:30pm (it was around 2:15pm when I asked). I asked him why he seemed to be in a such a rush to clean up, he said they need to get their banquet ready. Honestly, why would you rush your customers like that? Anyway, with all the noise from setting up the tables to banging the plates and utensils around us, we decided to leave. And no, we didnt tip at all. Sorry, they didnt deserve it!

I mean, their dim sum is relatively more expensive than the other Chinese restaurants. If this is the service you get from them? Then, no, I dont think their value is good.

I will not return to this restaurant. I rather drive to New Westminster or Richmond. But I'll never never return to this one on Cambie inside city square.

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Myth: a fantastic restaurant
By wahine of vancouver (14 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, May 12, 2008 - 6:41pm [Dine in]

Many reviews have stated that Kirin is an upper class Chinese restaurant where they are known for tasty seafood dishes. Based on those reviews we decided to try out Kirin - Cambie for Mother's Day. What a horrible mistake! We would've done better going to a won ton joint.

As with protocol, we made reservations to ensure a table especially on a special occasion. We were seated at a location near windows, which was nice; tea arrived and our order taken. Then everything went downhill from there.

With regards to the dishes - the Peking duck for the lettuce wrap was dry. We've had much tastier at other restaurants. I realize that abalone is not cheap but we did order a dish. The abalone was sliced so thinly and came with very few pieces (5) that it was so not worth the money. Again, we've had better and more pieces from other seafood restaurants, which is far less expensive.

Othen than the dishes being served to us, we were ignored the whole time we were there. What "attentive service"? We were a mixed table of Asian and non-Asian patrons. At the end of the meal, because we were being ignored, we could have walked out of the restaurant without paying our bill and the staff would not have noticed. Due to the multi-layers of service and no one noticing us, it took forever to get someone to give us a bill. For example, we finally asked a bus person for the bill. He in turn had to ask the waiter, who asked another person in a suit, who finally brought us the bill. This was a typical night in a Chinese restaurant so they couldn't have been any more busy than usual. To add insult to injury, this was Mother's Day and every table (be it large or small tables) around us who had Mothers, received a small gift from the restaurant with their bill. When our bill arrived, the Mothers at our table did not receive anything! What's up with that!

Ambience: while the restaurant was clean, the restrooms are so not.

In the end, we are never going there again. While the food was passable, the service was totally non-existent. Kirin - Cambie gets a thumbs down from us.

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Good service, for a change
By tasteeDlite of kitsilano,vancouver (10 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, June 3, 2006 - 9:43pm [Dine in]

Kirin is a very nice, higher end Chinese seafood restaurant. We went with a friend who has a very discriminating palate. The sweet and sour pork with lychees was outstanding- the best I've ever had. Other very good dishes include the abalone and sizzling prawn dish. Service was prompt and attentive, unlike most chinese restaurants. There is a nice view of the city at night. The only things I didn't like were the bathrooms- not up to par, kind of grubby and those pull-down towel things are not hygenic. The only dish we didn't like was the dessert, candied apple and banana; just tasted like gooey breaded overripe fruit.

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Recommended!
By foodluva of Vancouver (35 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, June 22, 2009 - 2:31am [Dine in]

Came here for wedding banquet last night. Typical fare included cold platter, shark fin soup, scallops & abalone w/ veggies, lobster, fish, fried rice, noodles and fried chicken. Food was very tasty and delicious. Service was good, our food was served to us (although i would prefer grabbing it ourselves). Decor was also nice as it had an very mandarin oriental feel to it. Would recommend this location for a wedding banquet of just dinner.

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Where do they find their staff?
By QTip of Burnaby (1 Review)
Submitted Thursday, March 21, 2013 - 3:41pm [Dine in]

The very poor service started from the lady who took our reservation to the "Suit" who process our bill.

Poor service could be due to the fact a Chinese looking guy would not speak to them in Chinese. They seem to have the idea that if you are Chinese looking you should be able to converse in Chinese, if you don't you are somehow putting them down?

We were only given1 set of menu although there were 3 of us. When ask for recommendation, we were told bluntly everything is good. Since the waiter was no help, I ordered a dessert based on the photo and description on the menu. When it came it look totally different from the menu!

The "Suit" came with the card reader and there is no options other than that listed ie 10% to 20% tip that included the tap! Since when we are supposed to pay tip on the tax.

Will certainly not patronise this joint until there is a change in Management.

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Good quality Chinese restaurant
By stents of Vancouver (2 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, November 23, 2010 - 10:51pm [Dine in]

This is our favorite high-class Chinese restaurant, we must have been here a couple of dozen times. Good quality dishes, very tasty and fresh. They have lots of interesting dishes you don't normally get in a standard fare Chinese restaurant. Our favorite dishes here are pepper beef & fish, stir fried prawns with eggplant, and lobster/crab in a bed of noodles. My parents love going there, they find it such a treat. Prices are higher than standard Chinese restaurants, but you pay for quality tasty food, clean and usually good service (though at times tardy when they are busy). The only complain I have is that they don't give complimentary desserts, even though you pay 2 to 3 times higher cost than standard Chinese restaurants.

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Yummy in my Tummy!
By Annie.W of Vancouver (Oakridge) (5 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, October 3, 2010 - 10:22am [Dine in]

My favorite Chinese restaurant for dinner! I have not yet tried their dim sum, so I cannot comment on that, but their food is delicious when it comes to dinner. All I can say is, Kirin's chefs are top notch Chinese chefs. Believe me, I am very hard to please when it comes to Chinese food. Kirin and one other Chinese restaurant in Vancouver made the cut for me (I made a review on the other one too). Also, the service is wonderful. The servers come around to change our plates and refill our tea pots without being asked. We were always immediately served when we needed them. Lastly, their desserts (usually a sweet soup): again, no one can make it like these guys.

A good place for a banquet, a party or just dinner.

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My 2nd Visit
By chemgem of Fairview Slopes, Vancouver (2 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, July 12, 2009 - 3:35pm [Dine in]

The very first time I went to this restaurant I ordered the Hot and Sour Soup. So did two other people in our party. All of us agreed that the soup tasted very very odd. Now no one likes to sick...am I right? So as a precaution we returned or bowls and explained to the waiter why we did not want to keep them. The waiter didn't agree with our assessment of the product, nor did he seem happy to be taking the items away from the table. Oooohhh well. The rest of our meal was just so so...nothing to really write home about. Them..
Today as a party of three we thought we would try this place again. Big mistake. Upon walking into the seating area we noticed that there were quite a few empty and waiting tables to be filled. But .....NO..... These are "All" reserved.. All of us felt very confused and out of place. No other explanation was given to us....I truly feel the colour of our hair and or skin played a huge difference in who was being served "first" at this establishment.
That will be the last attempt on this place. Besides Vancouver has far better dim sum rooms than this one.
No stars from me or from the rest of the group either.

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