(Hi all. I've altered my post formats slightly.. Better, worse? Would you like them to go back, or are the bigger pictures friendlier on those stressed out eyes?)
An aunt that had been living in London for the last handful of years came to visit : ), and so we decided to all go out for lunch. Honestly, I'm not too sure why we settled on Top Gun. I personally am not a fan of the Top Gun Group, but I'm thinking it had something to do with the convenient location.
The first thing I noticed when we walked in were the tea leaves they had shown at the front of the restaurant. Usually the higher class (or pretending to be higher class) Chinese restaurants make a big deal of the tea... probably so they can charge you for it ; D The white porcelain jar to the far right is what you place the tea leaves and water in before pouring it into your tea cup.
We were seated promptly, as we had come a little before 12. The servers were quick to give us our tea, which was nice since I down the stuff.
See? I ordered chrysanthemum, which seems very hard to come by in the grocery stores..
All filled up and wonderfully fragrant. I enjoy my teas very much. There was a pot of water that was kept hot with the hot-pot stove in the middle of the table. The servers kept the pot full of water (even after we had finished our meals). Unfortunately, I was no good at using the tea jar to pour tea into my cup... As you can see.. :
And that was only after my first attempt! Hah. By half way through the lunch I had a tea soaked napkin and a very wet paper placemat... Quite embarrassing actually... Oh dear;
The waiters however were very attentive. They brought a plate of extra napkins without even being asked.
So, on to what we ate.. You'd think we'd come to a hot-pot restaurant for hot-pot, right? Wrong~ It's far too hot for hot-pot right now.
Instead, I went straight for the dim sum menu because of this little dish here:
Baked char siu bao (with pineapple bun topping). ($5~). Honestly, this was the only reason I had no problem with visiting Top Gun. They came rather fast, so I'm assuming they have these prepared beforehand, and then warm them up for you before serving. These in general are amazing to me, regardless of where they come from. The topping was sugary and crisp. Sweet upon sweet~
The quality of the filling inside definitely did not live up to the class that Top Gun is trying to run in. I definitely believe Kirin had better quality and more filling with larger pieces of pork. However, the filling in itself was fine. This was my favourite dish of the day.
Next, fried squid. The picture doesn't quite capture it, but they had dumped far too much spicy powder on some of the squid. Luckily, I like spicy : ). This was average, with the squid too gummy, but the frying done well.
The next dish was a more fusion cantonese dish. Deep fried fish paste and seaweed roll ($5~). Save for the sesame seed topping, this did not appeal to me at all. The fish paste was rather tasteless... as was.. well. all of it was tasteless really. Quite the miss.
Har gao ($5~). Standard.
Steamed riceroll with scallop and cilantro ($5.50). I usually like this dish, but the soysauce did nothing for the taste, and at least in my piece I got no scallops...
Deep fried pork and tofu skin wrap ($5~). I rather liked this, really.. but that's probably because it was deep fried~ haha.. Crispy tofu skin wrapped around a just seasoned enough ground pork with flecks of carrot, mushroom and shrimp.
And to finish off our meals, steamed salty egg yolk bun ($5?~). Don't be fooled by the title, these are really quite sweet. At the beginning of the meal, the server asked if we would like to be served this with our meal, or at the end as a dessert. Small questions and gestures like that make good service I find. : )
I liked these as well, and it helped that they didn't come to the table scorching hot (which really makes the filling quite difficult to eat).
After we had finished the servers brought over some toothpicks, and cleared away our dishes. Again, kudos on the good service. I felt bad that we took up a table for so long, as there was a considerable crowd as we were leaving the restaurant.
In the end, Top Gun is really just a middle of the road Chinese food joint, trying to tote themselves as something more. Still, the food was good enough, and the service was rather good (By any standards). But if someone ever brought me back, I'd just fill myself up with bbq pork buns and salty egg yolk buns~
Top Gun Hot Pot (Crystal Mall)
- Average, with some definite misses on the dim sum
- Have not tried the hot pot, but have heard the same
- Pricey for what you get
- Excellent and observative
- good by any standards (not just Chinese restaurants)
- Clean and casual