I unapologetically, unabashedly LOVE Chinese fast food. Sweet & sour pork? Honey garlic ribs? General Tso’s chicken? Egg fried rice? YES! YES! YES! and YES!
So this brings me to Lin Chinese Cuisine. They are probably best known for their various dumplings, in particular xiao long bao (XLB). I wasn’t that interested in their XLB however; I already know where to find the best XLB in Vancouver and it’s in my mom’s fridge. Yes, I know it’s dumb and cheesy but I seriously think that my mom makes the best XLB that I’ve ever had and no, I’m not writing this to make my mom happy since she isn’t even aware that I’ve got a blog (and it’s best that I keep it that way – she’ll seriously kill me if she finds out just how much money I’m wasting on food). No, I was interested in their lunch specials. For currently $9.5 you get to choose from a wide selection of dishes that’s served alongside a bowl of rice and a choice of soup (Sweet & Sour or Chicken & Corn). I went to my ultimate go-to dish, Sweet & Sour Pork, which I had with their Hot & Sour soup.
Sweet & Sour Pork ($9.50):
First of all, I was really quite impressed by the portion size: for under $10 they give quite a generous amount of pork with very little filler (I’d say that the dish was roughly 90% pork and maybe 10% peppers and onions). Moreover, the pieces of pork were actually very meaty, and was sufficiently tender and juicy. The batter was a tad soggy, but still had some crunch. I stirred the rice in with the pork so that the sweet and tangy sauce provided a great flavour to the rice.
Hot & Sour Soup:
The soup was thick (probably through cornstarch) and had some bamboo shoots, mushrooms and egg. Flavour-wise it was mildly tangy without much heat. It wasn’t bad, but nothing that I’d order on its own.
On a return visit, I got their Sesame Chicken with their Chicken & Corn Soup.
Sesame Chicken ($9.50):
Once again, the portion was very generous. Although the flavour the dish was very good (sweet and tangy with a nice fragrance from the toasted sesame seeds), I was unfortunately a bit disappointed by the chicken. First of all, the batter was quite soggy and had lost most of its crunch. Moreover, while there were a few large pieces, the majority of the chicken were quite small and did not have much meat, but was mostly batter. This was still tasty, but a big step down from their great sweet & sour pork.
Chicken & Corn Soup:
Again the soup had a thick, cornstarch-thickened texture. It contained some eggs, corn and had a nice fragrance from chicken broth. I personally preferred this over the Hot & Sour soup.
I’ve really enjoyed my visit to Lin Cuisine. While their Sesame Chicken was a bit disappointing, their Sweet & Sour Pork was absolutely delicious, and they give pretty generous portions for under $10. The service can be a bit dodgy. The food comes quite quickly and the staff are reasonably friendly, but they aren’t particularly attentive and do seem to mix up orders quite frequently. Overall, this is a fantastic place for a tasty and affordable lunch that I’d highly recommend visiting!
Recommendations: Sweet & Sour Pork (from their lunch special)