Friday, September 30, 2011

Kalvin's - good but be prepare to wait


Kalvin's Restaurant (松林居)

5225 Victoria Dr, Vancouver
 Kalvin's Restaurant 松林居 on Urbanspoon

Food: 3.5
Service: 2.5
Price: Fair

This is not my first time at Kalvin's restaurant, but it is my first time dining here. Well you see, the first time I came here was at least 5 or 6 years ago for a friend's birthday. We made a reservation and arrived on time, but our table was not yet ready. The waitress specifically told us which table will be ours and walked away. After 10 min. another group showed up as the people from our table were leaving. They walked up to the waitress and she told them to sit at our table. We informed her that we were here first, but she pretty much ignored us. By this time, we were hungry and angry and just left.

With the above experience in mind, once again we went to Kalvin's restaurant with a reservation for our large group of 12. This time, everything went smoothly and we were promptly seated in a rather small restaurant. We had to squeeze in at a table really meant for 10, but good things we were all good friends :).
First dish we ordered was their large pork blood (large).
I am so glad we got the large, because it really wasn't that big. Everyone really enjoyed this dish, as it was spicy, but not overly done. Also the pork blood was cooked so that it was soft, but not falling apart. I personally don't eat intestine, but from what I heard, it was also very good.
Second dish was the ants on tree (literal translation). This dish is made with vermicelli and ground pork. This was rather saucy, as my mom usually make it dry. Although it was rather soupy, but it worked, because the vermicelli was very flavorful because it soaked up all the sauce.
Next up is green onion lamb. There were no gamey taste due to the liberal use of green onion. The lamb slices were really thin and tender.The only downside to this dish was the size, it  was a rather small portion for our table of 12.

This is the dish I insisted on ordering. Although the sauce was sweet, savory and aromatic, but the pork was simply too fatty. There were barely any lean portion at all. Because of this, the dish was overly oily in my opinion.

Of course, we had more food, but we were just too hungry for pictures for some dishes. So the above is just 4 of the dishes we had. The prices here were not cheap, but nor expensive. It's in the range of $10 to $15/dish. Service is average and very typically Chinese. If you need anything, you must ask for it, they will not come by to fill your tea or bring you more rice.

Overall, everyone thought their food was delicious and perfect over rice (most dishes are very saucy). However this restaurant is small, make sure you make reservation no matter your group size. Even with reservation, there is no guarantee (like my first experience). So my one piece of advice, go on weekdays or before 6pm on weekend to avoid the crowd.


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