Jenkins and I were in the mood for Taiwanese food one day when I remembered that I had been meaning to try Lin’s Chinese Cuisine for a while. Although it appeared to feature an eclectic mix of Chinese food from several different regions, its claim to fame were its xiao long bao. We arrived on a busy Friday night at about 7:30PM and although the line-up to get a table looked daunting, we were seated after about 10 minutes or so.
Jenkins and I perused the menu for a bit and finally decided on what to order. First came the pan fried beef pancake. When it arrived at our table, they looked a little flat but taste-wise, they weren’t bad. However, I felt that the green onion pancake used to wrap the beef a bit doughy since I like my pancakes to be crispier and not as heavy.
Next up were Lin’s famous xiao long bao. The skin on these dumplings was very thin and light, just barely holding the soup and juicy meat filling on the inside. They certainly were quite good and among the best I’ve had but I think I prefer the ones at Shanghai River slightly more.
One of Jenkins’ and my favourite dishes are tan tan noodles so we decided to give it a try at Lin’s. The broth was made differently from the lighter coloured version we’d had at other Szechuan and Taiwanese places which seem to be more peanut-based. The noodles were cooked perfectly and the peanut flavour in the soup were balanced with some salty soy-based flavours and a nice amount of spiciness.
Finally, Jenkins and I closed off our meal with some peppery chicken. We originally thought this would be made in the same style as at a Taiwanese restaurant but our server explained to us that it was not deep fried and had a huge abundance of peppers and chilis. The chicken itself was pan fried until it was quite crispy and this dish was quite spicy. We could really taste the unique flavour of the Szechuan peppercorns used in this dish. We wisely ordered a bowl of rice to go with this dish. Jenkins noted later that there seemed to be quite a bit of MSG in this dish.
Jenkins and I quite enjoyed our time at Lin’s but also felt that it was a bit overhyped in recent times. We noticed that some of the dishes on the menu did not seem to be your traditional Chinese fare but we surmised that they had to do that in order to cater to its wide range of customers. Similar to most restaurants, you just need to know what to order. We haven’t been able to find another restaurant with comparable value and taste so we’ll definitely be back to try some of their other dishes.
1537 West Broadway, Vancouver