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Table: Lin's Chinese Cuisine

Four of us were quite hungry hippos so we headed out after much debate as to where to eat. After a while I suggested we get some xiao long bao as I haven't had it in a while. After discussing the merits of several places, and our initial choice of Shanghai River was sold out of their peking duck as it was quite late, we settled on dining at Lin's Chinese Cuisine. Located on Broadway between Granville and Fir, this place was a first-time affair for two of my friends.

We seated and ordered quickly, and when the food arrived we dove in right away. I myself was so hungry, I forgot about taking pictures until we had dented a lot of the dishes on the table already, haha. On order was the xiao long bao (of course!), the pan fried cake with marinated beef, the honey garlic ribs, some gai lan, hot and sour soup, sizzling beef, and house special fried rice.

I didn't have any of the fried rice, but Anata said it was quite standard. The rice looked like it was fresh and not the day-old rice that some other places typically use. It had shredded chicken, eggs, and the peas and carrots mix.

The xiao long bao was pretty good. One of my friends was commenting that the skin seemed on the thick side. This led to a discussion about the merits and aspects of the dumplings that we individually favoured. Some liked the soup inside and considered it the most important aspect, while others thought that the thickness of the skin was an important factor as you "didn't want to feel like you were eating a doughy mess". The ones that Lin's serves up are on the tasty side, and though the skin might be thicker than other places, the dumpling itself holds up well, even after having sat on the table for a while (this picture is from our second round order, as we ate the first so quickly. It also sat on the table for quite an amount of time while we ate the other dishes, and thus by the time we got to it the baos were cooled). One friend commented that typically the skin would break after the dumpling had cooled, hence the importance of eating it while it's piping hot and fresh, but Lin's XLB held well and none of them broke.

The sizzling beef arrived with flair to the table, sizzling and popping. The taste was pretty standard - some kind of soy marinade. There was a healthy amount of green onions.

The hot and sour soup came with a lot of bamboo pieces. Each mouthful was full of crunching. I think it was a little bit too much bamboo for my personal taste, but otherwise the soup was good and delivered. There was a very strong taste of white pepper in the soup, which some people may not like, but I'm a fan of pepper so I enjoyed it.

The pan fried cake with marinated beef wasn't what I thought it would be (I usually find menus describe it as a beef roll - I thought it would be the rice cakes with beef) but it was still very enjoyable. I recall eating it at another establishment and it was really dry, but Lin's beef was very flavourful and the rolls were not too oily. The marinade was the typical sweet and savoury sauce.

The gai lan was pretty standard, though it was good to see that it wasn't overcooked and very crunchy. The honey garlic ribs were spot on with a thick and rich sauce that looked like molasses.

Good and tasty eats that got the job done :) I think the debate will still continue for the best XLB in vancouver, but Lin's certainly hits the spot!

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