Sherman's Food Adventures: Top Gun Sushi

Top Gun Sushi

*This restaurant is closed*

Had a little more time for lunch today and reflected on all the food I had eaten in the last couple of weeks. Boy, was I feeling guilty! I really needed something that would be healthier, lighter and would rid me of the guilt. Naturally we decided on all-u-can-eat sushi! The closest one was Top Gun Sushi in New Westminster. I have been to this place many times and it is generally an okay place to have lunch and dinner. I definitely prefer Fish on Rice, despite their poor service.

Top Gun sushi is actually one of 3 Japanese restaurants run by the same company, they include Kingsway Sushi and Richmond Sushi. All of them are not run by true Japanese people, but if you are cognizant of that, you probably would not expect authenticity. I often wonder what the staff would do if someone actually wanted to order in Japanese? It would be like walking into a Chinese restaurant and the staff are Italian. Anyways, as mentioned in my other review of Kingsway Sushi, there are 2 menus for dinner. One is the regular AYCE and there is a deluxe AYCE. Although the deluxe AYCE has substantially more choice, it is not worth it if you do not like raw food. If you mainly like the cooked food with sushi rolls, stick with the regular menu. You will be paying a $6 premium for things you probably won't eat.

The AYCE lunch is a good value at $10.95. I know some people will argue that the Japanese food is generic, not authentic, mass produced, not refined etc... Let me state that $10.95 will get you only a burger and fries at most places (if you are lucky). So my colleague and I ordered quite a few things for lunch (since I want to eat less...). The Salmon Nigiri Sushi was fresh and had a good amount of fat, which I personally like (it tastes better and has a buttery quality). The Beef and Chicken Teriyaki came swimming in sauce and were a bit cold. The Oyster Motoyaki was also luke warm, but at least the oyster was fresh and it tasted alright. The sushi rolls (California Roll, BC Roll and Dynamite Roll) were pretty standard fare, neither very good or offensive. The Shrimp Bombs (which are minced shrimp balls coated with bread crumbs) were alright, the shrimp is barely noticeable since it has lost its texture and flavour from being ground up. They remind me of a Chinese Dim Sum dish called Shrimp Toast. Although the Gyoza was pan fried with a well browned bottom, I never have liked these AYCE Gyozas. They are way too stiff and are bland. The Chicken Karaage was fried nicely with a crispy skin and moist, juicy interior. The Ika or calamari were big rings of squid, but they were a bit chewy and salty. The highlight of lunch was surprising the Black Cod Collars. No, there aren't a bunch of collarless cods swimming around; rather these are the leftover pieces that are not used during dinner service. But unknown to many people, this is probably one of the tastiest parts of any fish (it's soft and a bit chewy at the same time).

The dining room at Top Gun is spacious and has nice views of the Fraser River. The restaurant was not always a Japanese restaurant, previously it was a bar/restaurant. Thus, it's strange to see the remnants of the old bar with the mural of cowboys splashed on the North wall of the restaurant. Essentially you have a Chinese-run Japanese restaurant in a Saloon. In front of the cowboy mural, there is a salad bar where you can serve yourself to Edamame (soy beans), green salad, spicy bean sprouts, cold whole shrimp, Sunomomo salad (vermicelli in a vinegar dressing) and mango pudding. The service is efficient since the staff uses PDAs to take your order, it goes directly to the kitchen. Overall, I would say the food at Top Gun Sushi is average at best. However, it is a real good value, especially if you take into account the environment, cleanliness and decent service.

The Good:
- Good value, especially at lunch
- Efficient service
- Comfortable dining room with a view
- Validated parking

The Bad:
- Food is pretty average
- Some dishes were cold
- For the same price, you get less selection than some other AYCE restaurants

Top Gun Sushi
#230 - 810 Quayside Drive
New Westminster, B.C.
604 523-3474

Business Hours:
11:30am - 2:30pm, 5:30pm - 10:00pm (Wed - Mon)

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