I believe that food like good music and a good book is a solace to a person's soul. Food is both a science and an art - a yin-yang balance to your body and also an appreciation of colors, textures and sensory experience.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Lin Chinese Cusine and Tea House, West Broadway & Granville

Lin Chinese Cuisine 林餐館 on Urbanspoon

The award wining Lin's is one of my favorites places when I need my fix for Chinese food and don't want to travel to Richmond. Their set lunch is a pretty reasonable deal - you get a main course, steamed rice and soup for less than CAN$10 (before tax). They are famous for their dumplings and hand-made noodles. One of the things I enjoy in this restaurant is to see the proprietors and their staff making the dumplings and the noodles by hand.

If I have company, I usually order their kung pao chicken or their beef with green onion (which comes in a hot pot). This time around, its time for a change.

The main course is sauteed soy beans and bean curd sheets. I was disappointed with this dish. For CAN$13, I expected better value for my money. But then again, good quality bean curd is expensive in Vancouver. Its pretty plain though. I must say that it was a surprise change to have endamame with bean curd. In most Chinese cuisine, snow peas rule the day.

I am used to eating bean curd sheets in a desert form. Like this barley and bean curd desert with ginko . So, this is a nice change but still CAN$13- heart attack!! That said, I miss ginko nuts - excellent source of brain food.

This dish is not cheap. Maybe, I am cheap. For CAN$13, I rather order a meat dish.

Strangely, the appetizers came after the main course. The customary xiao long pao or what Lin's also refer to Shanghai juicy dumplings. I like it, especially since I know they hand made the dough of the dumplings. This is good stuff!!

For CAN$5 (before tax), you get 6 pieces of xiao long pao. Which is alright.

I love the burst of juices inside the xiao long pao. Should have taken the picture on my spoon instead of a plate. The remaining juices were wasted :(

Finally, its time for desert - 8 treasures sweet rice. This desert is HUGE and looks so pretty. But in terms of taste, I would say that it is average. I guess I had eaten better stuff. But still, I was taken in by the colors and the I like the red bean that goes with the sweet rice.

The desert looks more colorful when you see it rather than on this picture.

Smashing up the desert to ensure a good mix of the toppings and red bean.

Service at Lin's is what you find in most typical Chinese restaurants in Asia. Its brusque and no pleasantries are exchanged. You have to proactively to ask them for refill of Chinese tea etc.

Their Chinese tea is pretty insipid, despite it being left in the teapot for sometime. I wonder why. The teapot is pretty but the thing which irks me the most was that the sprout of the teapot was broken. A big no-no for me.

I should have taken a pix of the broken tea sprout. But I can't stand things that are ascetically not pleasing.

Overall Experience:
Deco: 2/5. The place is clean but I deducted marks because their tea sprout was broken.
Quality of food: 3/5 - I have eaten better Chinese food and I was kinda disappointed with my main course. But I really like their kung pao chicken and beef with spring onions though. I am such a creature of habit!
Value for $$: $$/5 - Lin's is not cheap for what you are getting. Their lunch special is a much better deal though.
Overall experience: 3/5


  1. What would you expect to pay for comparable items at home? Bean curd sounds wonderful, but would be even more rarefied and expensive here in Europe.

  2. I would say between CAN$8-CAN$9. Sometimes, even less. Bean curd is so versatile - you can eat it as a main course or for desert.