Sunday, 26 June 2011
KIRIN SEAFOOD RESTAURANT, CITY SQUARE
I love Chinese banquet food. Though we didn’t eat a formal banquet menu today, we had many dishes that were banquet-wow.
Case in point is the Wintermelon soup. Yowsa, what a neat presentation! The soup comes in its own hand-carved Wintermelon bowl. The waiter uses a metal spoon to shave off slices from the melon bowl into each person’s soup bowl. Every person gets a good portion of seafood and clear flavourful broth.
Look at that wintermelon! It’s gargantuan! We had 16 people (give or take a kid or two) and there were leftovers to take home. This is a fantastic soup. My favourite. Rating: 6/6
Appetizer platter: smoked salmon, vegetarian goose (beancurd stuffed with mushrooms), smoked meat, deep fried chicken “knees” and jellyfish. Rating: 6/6
Here’s the mock goose. I have no idea why it would be called vegetarian goose because it looks nothing like goose. It was very flavourful and the beancurd skin was soft. The mushrooms were tender and savoury. Rating: 6/6
Here’s my portion of the almond-coated Stuffed Prawn. Rating: 5/6
This was an impressive presentation at the table and though it was good, I thought that perhaps the almond coating was a bit on the chewy side for some reason…whether that was due to the dish sitting too long before being eaten or whatever. If the almonds were crunchy, it would have been so much better.
Here’s my portion of the Wintermelon soup. The spongy clear thing on top is Loofah. Yes, loofah is edible. Of course, they don’t use the stuff from London Drugs that you buy in the bath section for scrubbies. Luffa is a type of gourd so definitely eaten like a veggie. There was scallop, pork, conpoy, prawns, mushroom and of course wintermelon too. There may be more elements but I really forgot to take note and list them all.
The ubiquitous kiddie dish. Beef and veg in oyster sauce on fresh rice noodles. Rating: 6/6
This is the Peking Duck first course. Duck skin, hoisin, scallion and a mandarin pancake seem to go so perfectly together. I’m never really disappointed with this flavour combination!
The second duck course is lettuce wrap with the duck filling. Don’t you just love wraps? I never tire of Peking Duck!
Water spinach in beancurd sauce. Rating: 6/6
Fresh oyster with ginger and green onion hot pot. Rating: 6/6
I am so glad that someone ordered this dish. I love fresh oysters! The oysters in the hot pot were humungous though; so if you’re faint of heart, ask someone to cut you half. I usually like my oysters on the smaller side so shared mine with Stomach.
Deep fried pepper salt black cod. Rating: 5/6
Good, but I don’t know…maybe not as awesome as it could have been. I like tons of fried garlic in these types of dishes. I wanted more of that.
Silky prawns and egg. Rating: 6/6
Our guests from out of town requested this dish especially. I am so in tune with their taste buds! This was my favourite dish of the night. I know it’s so simple…kind of like an egg foo yung, but it’s not. There’s no gloopy oyster sauce. there’s no sprouts and the egg is not fried in a pancake shape. The only veg is slivered whites of scallions. It’s just superior technique that makes the eggs so tender, soft and savoury and the prawns are just cooked through. This dish was so good I think I could have eaten the whole plate.
Salt-baked Chicken. Rating: 5/6
Only at a Chinese dinner table will you encounter at the end of a meal all the white meat left on the plate. Everyone loves the bony, dark meat bits. I like to gnaw on the wing tips myself.
Yeung Chow Fried Rice. Rating: 6/6
See those individual rice kernels? That’s a good sign. I liked the proportion of shrimp, bbq pork, veg to rice.
Red bean soup. Rating: 3.5/6
Who’s crazy about red bean soup anyway? This one had a LOT of dried tangerine peel and it wasn't sweet enough. I hate chomping on those bits of orange peel accidentally. I took home all the uneaten bowls of red bean soup to make red bean icepops in my new Zoku. I added condensed milk to the soup and then froze it all in the Zoku. It was way tastier as red bean popsicles!
Service at Kirin is always excellent. This is why when you have out of town guests, you bring them here. There is parking in City Square that is complimentary when you eat at Kirin. Remember to bring up your ticket to validate.