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“Tasty Chicken Wings” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Kirin Chinese Restaurant

Kirin Chinese Restaurant
Ranked #2,766 of 5,626 Restaurants in San Francisco
Cuisines: Chinese, Asian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Reservations, Seating, Waitstaff
Neighborhood: The Richmond
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
147 reviews
101 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
“Tasty Chicken Wings”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 31, 2013 via mobile

Went here for their spicy chicken wings and they did not disappoint.
The place is okay, in atmosphere but the food is the real standout?
The wings arrived hot and crispy - the Chili seeds added the right amount of spice. The meat was tender and juicy.
They offer a complimentary soup of tofu and collards greens that was awesome.

  • Visited August 2013
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank gcosta58
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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15 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    4
    9
    1
    1
    0
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Mill Valley, California
Level Contributor
159 reviews
87 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
“Good and Local”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 20, 2013

I've been to this restaurant half a dozen times for dinner over the years because my parents love the food and the service so we go when I'm in town. It certainly isn't the ambiance as it's no better or worse than your typical Cantonese restaurant: worn greasy carpeting, pathetic live seafood swimming in less than pristine water tanks, restrooms demanding buckets of disinfectant, streaked windows and streaked wall size mirrors, etc. You get the picture. Still I have to agree with them, the food has always been consistently good. Their known for their fried chicken wings and though nicely spicy with a snow fall of fresh green jalapeños, they don't threaten to topple San Tung's version. Still, the moderated garlic hit from them does hit the right notes and they are bigger and juicier with a pleasant crunch. My sister always insists on the fish salad, a version that has never been fishy, instead full of ginger, crunchy rice sticks and won ton skins to contrast the soft slices of very fresh fish. My brother in law will eat only fresh tuna because he can't stand that fishy smell and after only a little coaxing, ate a healthy serving and wanted more. No such luck with my other brother in law driving the lazy susan! The flavored rice stuffed chicken (a whole chicken skin minus all the meat and most of the main bones stuffed with sweet glutinous rice studded with all sorts of tasty goodies reshaped into a plump chicken, the whole thing fried in toto till crisp and golden) is always a show stopper but after recently digging into the same dish at Empress of China, it does suffer some by comparison. My other sister wanted to have roast duck. What? Roast duck is a Chinese deli staple where the art of roasting has reached it's apogee. Why would anyone of San Francisco/Chinese heritage even contemplate such a diversion from truth and righteousness? My sister moved to Los Angeles over 20 years ago and, as Mike, my brother in law from the other side of the family would say, "she's been gone too long." But wait, my sister's instincts may have been on hyperdrive because, though lacking the intense roast flavor and super crisp skin of a deli roast duck, this offering was quite good. Not nearly as salty or as greasy as the regular quacker but still very respectable on its own. This dinner was, as usual, for a special occasion and so naturally, my parents, even in their dotage, had the foresight to pre order the whole winter melon soup. It's a small (for a winter melon) 10 pound, whole melon with the top cut off, filled with broth, pieces of tender white meat chicken, shiitake mushrooms, Virginia ham, lotus seeds, and other tasty bits steamed for 3 hours to render a flavorful, delicious and stunning dish. The sides of the melon, now tender and translucent from the slow cooking is scrapped from the sides of this natural tureen and served with the soup, hot, steaming and screaming of warmth and comfort. It's always been my favorite. By chance, I recently had the self same dish at the aforementioned Empress of China and though probably less than half the price and perhaps not as fancily decorated with peas and carrots but is certainly as tasty as the Empress version. We had pea shoots as well which only in the past decade has been found on local Cantonese menus. Before that, they were thrown away. Now they fetch a high price which always makes me somewhat uneasy, my Chinese genes are probably mutating with every delicious chopstick full. My demanding Angeleno sister also wanted clams. I'm not a clam person, mussels yes, clams no. I remember opening up those stinky sucker, pulling them out of their shell, skewering them on fish hooks and plopping them into the water for nighttime fishing. They are not supposed to be eaten by humans unless cooked in chowder. Enough said. What should be said is the yummy battered pork chops with just a mild hit of jalapeño heat and surprisingly juicy and tender pork under that crisp exterior. I haven't gone to this restaurant in fewer than groups of 10 or so and I suspect the offerings would still be delicious. The staff can be Chinese Restaurant Rude if you aren't a regular but the service is nonetheless efficient and If you just focus on the food and not the surroundings, you'll certainly get a better meal than your normal run of the mill Cantonese restaurant.

  • Visited March 2013
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank scottderrick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco
Level Contributor
25 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Friendly restaurant, delicious food”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 25, 2012

Kirin is where I chose to take Roman visitors who requested a "typical Chinese meal". Dinner was plentiful and absolutely delicious. The atmosphere in the restaurant was warm and friendly and the service was attentive. The chicken wings were the best I've ever tasted, and extra crispy. We also ordered a special winter melon soup, sweet and sour fish, a tofu-choy dish with a wonderful sauce, fried rice, crab--oh my gosh, everything was perfectly cooked. Kirin was a great choice for me and my guests.

  • Visited September 2012
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank localSanFranciscan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mill Bay
Level Contributor
74 reviews
54 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Good Chinese Food”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 19, 2012

We went in because this restaurant seemed to be a favorite with Chinese customers and the menu in the window was mostly in Chinese. The main menu was in english to our relief and the food was very good. The only surprise was the "clay pot vegetables with bean curd" - it was actually a steel pot and there seemed to be a lot of bean curd and not many vegetables but that might be what the dish is all about. Since the bean curd was a lot like soft tofu I wasn't a fan. Other than that the meal was excellent, we ate at 8:30 PM an at 9:20 the waiter reminded us that they closed in 10 minutes but that wasn't a problem as we were just finishing up.

  • Visited September 2012
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Comms_Guy11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hong Kong
Level Contributor
112 reviews
33 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
“Poor Chinese Food”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 14, 2012

We live in China but visit San Fran regularly. We visited this restaurant having had reasonable meals there before. On the last occasion we went the meal was awful and the service was poor. We had several dishes most of which appeared to be thrown together by someone who cannot cook and most tasted terrible. The clams in particular were very bad. Having finished the meal we were felt more than dissappointed as it was as if the staff had made no effort to produce decent food and serve it well. To add insult to injury they brought out some of the oldest oranges ive seen in a long time at the end of the meal. In soccer vocabulary that was a red card and we will never go back to the restaurant.

Visited July 2011
Helpful?
1 Thank Pat L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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