From Humble Beginings

Kalvin Restaurant takes its name from a popular pine forest, chosen to invoke the feeling of friends and family travelling from afar to dine in luxurious comfort with loved ones.  

We specialize in Taiwanese and Szechuan cuisine, offering a wide variety of snacks prepared to order as well as a full menu of traditional fare. Over the past 30 years, we have played a role in the development of such new and popular Taiwanese dishes as Three Cups of Chicken, Five Shifts of Sausage, Hakka Stir Fry, and Shrimp Puff. To ensure our customers also have the opportunity to enjoy the tried and true dishes they have come to love, our menu also includes such classics as Buddha’s jumping wall, braised pork knuckles, Xiao Long Bao, and potstickers. 

In our 20 years of service, Kalvin Restaurant has been the recipient of several awards including:

  • 2012 First Chinese Restaurant Award “Red Dried Pork”
  • 2015 Food Blogger Award “Best Three Cups of Chicken”
  • 2018 Hennessy Award “Ten Years. Vancouver’s Best Chinese Restaurant”.

Kalvin Koo
Chef of Kalvin's Restaurant

Kalvin Koo, the founder of Songlin House, is known simply as Koo to his customers and junior employees. Chef Koo opened his restaurant in 1993 on Vancouver’s bustling Victoria Street. His wife. Jenny, was of great assistance to him in this endeavour, working alongside him to select the finest quality ingredients and develop sauces that retained the flavour and integrity of those found on the streets of Taiwan. One of the biggest challenges they faced was utilizing local ingredients to replicate certain foods that were not available in Vancouver. Through careful experimentation and hard work, Chef Koo and his wife were able to craft Taiwanese and Szechuan cuisine so authentic in its flavours and preparation that it could be served in any restaurant in Taiwan with great pride. 

From the spicy bean paste for the gruyere, the shark skin for the Buddha’s jumping wall, the rice wine for the three cups of chicken, and the filling ratio for the Xiao Long Bao, each dish is constantly scrutinized for areas of improvement by Chef Koo. This insistence on quality and uncompromising authenticity are two of the reasons why Kalvin Restaurant has enjoyed such enduring success throughout these past two decades. 

Each month, we import key ingredients from Taiwan by air to allow us to prepare dishes that remain completely true to their Taiwanese roots. Among our most popular banquet dishes are Dongpo Pork, Wuxi Pork Ribs, and Crab Roe Seafood Tofu which features real crab meat. This dish was made famous in restaurants in Jiangsu and Zhejiang and can now be found prepared in the traditional manner and from the finest ingredients in Vancouver’s Kalvin Restaurant. 

Other banquet dishes our guests love include braised cabbage, braised trotters, shrimp puff, fish head in casserole, Buddha jumping wall, and more. 

Consider booking our banquet hall for Chinese New Year or your next big birthday celebration. Our handmade and delicious cuisine is sure to make an impression on your guests. 

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