1500 Robson Street, Vancouver, BC
I came across a restaurant write up about Kin Resto Bar and I was quite intrigued by the reference to a fusion of Vietnamese and Taiwanese cuisine. While it's not the greatest deal, I went ahead and purchased a $15-for-$20 voucher on Groupon Now! Oh well, I wanted to try this place so a saving of $5 is better than nothing.
We started with a plate full of Rice Paper Rolls (four types of rolls: Nem Pork & Mint, Lemongrass Chicken, Prawn & Thai Basil, Black Cod & Mango). We've ordered all the rolls except for the Vegetarian Ham & Tofu. All the rolls had cucumber, vermicelli, lettuce, crispy shallots and crispy noodles. Other than the sweet chili sauce, the other three sauce looked and tasted the same. The rolls were fresh and very well prepared. The black cod & mango roll was the highlight.
Next was an order of Spicy Chicken Wings. The wings were crispy and well flavored. The wings were tossed in a sauce mix of Thai sweet chili, garlic and fish sauce. The only peeve I had was that the wings were not sectioned, which was a bit messy to eat.
Both Buddha Girl and I enjoyed the Little Viet Fried Rice. I would have preferred the egg either fried into the rice or cooked so that the yolk was runny, but nonetheless, this was a tasty dish. While the dish lacked wok-hei 鑊氣 (or huo-hou 火候 in Mandarin), but we'd order this again.
Our biggest disappointment was the Chay Curry, with chicken. The chicken was nicely grilled and sliced, however, the curry was horribly bland and tasteless. I couldn't detect any coconut milk richness, was there even any? The curry flavor was weak. Not a repeat.
In the end, I was fooled. The restaurant was mostly Vietnamese with limited (next to none) Taiwanese influences. The food was overall decent, but the service was slow and weak.