Kirin (City Square)
Thanks to one of our friends, we’ve had a Kirin gift card burning a hole in my wallet since last December. Kirin’s on the pricier end of dim sum but you usually get what you pay for.
For example, rather than your typical standard hot sauce, they provide you with XO hot sauce. This is great for having with dim sum.
And while their chopsticks come wrapped at the table, your waiter will remove them from their little wrapper for you (which, unfortunately means that I couldn’t make a home made chopstick holder like I did at Sui Sha Ya).
Also, at the end of your meal, they come by with steaming hot hand towels which is a very nice touch.
Anyways, back to the food… Kirin will often have specials listed at the tables so make sure you take a look. Today, they were offering a sauteed prawn, chicken and squid dish served with veggies (mushrooms, scallions, pea pods, and cute little carrots cut into decorative shapes) served in a crispy edible bowl for $13.80. It was a pretty good deal given the amount of food that came in the crispy bowl. The contents of the dish tasted great (the pea pods were nice and crispy) but let’s face it… it’s the crispy bowl that really sells the dish. When I first tasted the outer portions of the bowl, I wasn’t really impressed… Later, after we had finished more of the seafood and veggies, I noticed that the bottom portion of the crispy bowl had absorbed a lot of the yummy juices and sauce of the dish and it made the crispy bowl (now a bit soggy) taste a lot better.
Dim sum wouldn’t be dim sum without some type of dumpling. We picked the prawn and scallop with pea pods dumpling… it was okay… much better with the xo sauce though.
The deep fried donut wrapped in rice roll came draped with dried bonito flakes. While the bonito flakes melted on my tongue, they did make the dish a little saltier than expected.
We usually order a beef rice roll but noticed they had a shredded bbq duck and bean sprout rice roll. I was a little hesitant about the bean sprouts but they did add a nice crunch to the dish.
The steamed minced beef balls were made just right (with the right amount of greens, water chestnuts, etc..).
By the time the pan fried radish cakes came out, we were pretty stuffed but pushed ourselves past the proverbial food wall.
On a side note, we were at Kirin a while ago and noticed an elderly couple ordering crab during dim sum (it was one of their specials that day). It looked so good that we had to try it ourselves (even though it was a little early in the day to eat crab). We had it served with cream sauce and noodles… this was SO GOOD!
If you don’t mind paying a little extra, you should try Kirin out. It gets busy during special occassions like Mother’s or Father’s Day so sometimes you’re better off making reservations.
Food: 4.5 / 5
Service: 4 / 5
555 West 12th Avenue