Can you believe it? Snow in April! Talk about April Fool's. I'm not sure what was worse, the snow or the Pavel Bure joke on the Team 1040. Anyways, cold weather always accompanies snow and today was no exception. My friend DT was back in town and we decided to meet up for dinner tonight. We briefly considered Sui Sha Ya and quickly thought otherwise. What were we thinking??? Sui Sha Ya... Bleck! So we thought about where we were going to eat and we settled on Top Gun Hot Pot. That's something good to eat when the weather is cold! I have been to Top Gun for Dim Sum before; but never for hot pot.
There has been a polarization of reviews on the net regarding Top Gun. Some people really like it and some really do not. There have been a lot of reviews complaining about their service or lack of. Well, we go there tonight with an empty stomach (didn't have much for lunch, someone threw out my lunch!) and an open mind. Incidentally, I picked up my Canon SLR today and wanted to try it out too. However, I have never owned an SLR before and if you look at my pictures, they're not really all that good. I need lessons (I think I didn't set the depth of field right).
So we arrive at Crystal Mall (yes, the place with the crazy parking lot) and upon entering the underground parking, we find a space immediately. I think I'll only come here on weekday nights from now on... We were greeted by a friendly hostess in the front who brought us to our table. There are 2 types of AYCE (all-you-can-eat) dinners available. The first one is $19.95 and the deluxe is $26.95. I personally do not think that the deluxe is worth it, unless you really want an even bigger selection of food than the standard menu. It's much like that at the other Top Gun Group restaurants: Richmond Sushi, Top Gun Sushi, Kingsway Sushi and Garden City Hot Pot. One important note - the soup base is an extra $7.50 - $8.50.
Once we decided on which AYCE we were going to have, a friendly server wheeled a cart full of condiments over to us. We got to customize our dipping sauces. Some of the items included cilantro, scallions, chilies, sweet soy, sa cha sauce, and sesame sauce. We were then provided with checklists for us to order our items. Although the menu is in both English and Chinese, the checklist is only in Chinese. Thank goodness Viv can read it (although one could technically just match up the items on the menu and the checklist). Don't be shy about ordering lots off the checklist, most of the items are per piece or per 2 pieces.
The beef slices were well-marble and cut thinly. We thought they were pretty good. I'm not so into pork for hot pot, but I gave the pork cheek slices a try and they were quite good. The shrimp, oysters and fish slices were all fresh. The fish slices were tender and did not fall apart while in the boiling broth. We really liked the sui gow, they were filled with shrimp. However, the wontons were completely filled with pork. Other items we ordered were the ox tongue, bible tripe, honeycomb tripe, pork's blood, tofu, fried tofu, intestine, winter melon, spinach and watercress. Only 2 items from that list were disappointing. The watercress was a bit old; thus is was quite chewy and stringy. The bible tripe was also very chewy, despite efforts in varying cooking times. Overall, we enjoyed our hot pot at Top Gun, the food came out quick and the service was good (despite what others have said). It may not be as good as Landmark Hot Pot (which is not AYCE), but for the price it is a good value.
- Food is fresh
- Decent selection of items
- Restaurant was designed for hot pot with built-in burners and proper ventilation
- Extra cost for soup base
- It's in Crystal Mall, site of the worst designed parking lot on earth
Top Gun Hot Pot
#2228 - 4500 Kingsway
9:00am - 3:00pm, 5:30pm - 10:00pm (7 days a week)