Sherman's Food Adventures: Dim Sum @ Kirin (Coquitlam)

Dim Sum @ Kirin (Coquitlam)

*Restaurant is now closed*

When looking for the best Dim Sum in the GVRD, one of the first Chinese restaurants that come to mind is Kirin. There are several locations including City Square in Vancouver, Downtown, Richmond, New Westminster and Coquitlam. The Coquitlam Kirin is located in Henderson Centre which happens to be an Asian mall. However, over the past few years, it has become more of a ghost town with only a few businesses left. Kirin is one of the few tenants remaining, mainly because there is very little competition for this class of Chinese restaurant in Coquitlam. Much like the other locations, the Coquitlam Kirin has an elegant decor which is inviting and upscale. The cleanliness of the dining room and washrooms are a real plus since Chinese restaurants are synonymous with their apparent lack of sanitation. The staff are quite attentive and eager to please. In some sense, I found the service a bit too contrived, as in they tried to hard to please. It's almost freaky how the manager greets you at the entrance. It's like he's trying to sell you something on those infomercials. But then again, I guess this is much better than being rude.

The Dim Sum at Kirin is generally quite good and consistent. It definitely ranks up there with the best such as Imperial, Fisherman's Terrace, Spicy Court, Red Star, Fortune House, Sun Sui Wah, Sea Harbour and Victoria. I've been to all of the Kirin locations many times over and I've rarely been disappointed with the food. Rich Guy and I took in Dim Sum at the Coquitlam location since he lives nearby. On a side note, I'm not really all that impressed with the ordering system at Kirin. There are neither push carts or an ordering sheet; rather, you have to flag down a manager and order verbally. This presents several problems. First, it's quite difficult to get a manager to take an order since there are only a few of them. Second, there is not way to properly ascertain if you received your full order until you pay the bill (where you finally get to see the checklist). There have been many instances where we did not receive certain dishes and it becomes a he said, she said situation when settling the bill.

pretty good being crunchy and modestly seasoned exhibiting a nice sesame oil aroma. Next up were the Beef Balls (not what you think it is),
which are normally a mix of ground beef, water chestnuts, green onions, cilantro and baking soda, were good. The beef itself was not overly saturated with baking soda, so that was a plus. Many Chinese restaurants make the mistake of using too much baking soda; thus the beef loses all texture and flavour. These were pretty good with a nice beef texture while still being soft. There was the right amount of cilantro and green onion where it didn't overpower the meat. With a similar filling, the Beef Rice Noodle Roll was quite interesting. You see, this is the first time I've seen fried Chinese donut pieces hidden within the meat. That provided an interested texture contrast which usually doesn't exist with this dish. The noodle itself was a little on the chewier side; but it was still very good.

The Sui Mai (shrimp & pork dumpling) was visually quite appealing. A good mix of crunchy shrimp and slightly chewy pork (which is a good thing) topped with tobiko made for a delicious morsel. While the sui mai was aesthetically pleasing, the Scallop & Shrimp Dumplings were not. With one looking like a beached whale, it didn't look promising. And indeed it wasn't. The dumpling skin was far too chewy and the dumplings themselves were too small. Good ingredients, poor execution with this one. I am a big fan of offal (which is animal innards) and seeing that Mixed Beef Offal was available, I was all over it. Rich Guy doesn't really prefer it and thinks it's "awful"; thus I had it all to myself. Too bad the tripe was undercooked and chewy. The tendon was soft though; yet the dish was lacking flavour. Overall, this location of Kirin lags behind the other locations in terms of food consistency. Personally, I still prefer the City Square location more, but Kirin Coquitlam is still a solid choice, especially since there is no real competition nearby.

The Good:
- Nice decor
- Good service (albeit a bit overzealous)
- Lots of parking

The Bad:
- Food is not as good as the other locations
- A bit pricey (but I guess it's consistent with the class of restaurant)
- Expediting of the food was a bit slow

Kirin Restaurant
1163 Pinetree Way
Coquitlam, B.C.

Business Hours:
11:00am - 2:30pm, 5:00pm - 10:30pm (Mon - Fri)
10:00am - 2:30pm, 5:00pm - 10:30pm (Sat, Sun & Holidays)

Kirin (Coquitlam) on Urbanspoon


Kang said...

Great review, I love dim sum :)

Sherman said...

Yes, and there are so many good dim sum places in Vancouver. That's probably why it's so good, competition.