Saturday, November 23, 2013

Top Gun Hot Pot 尖東火鍋


Top Gun Hot Pot is a part of the Top Gun chain which includes Kingsway Sushi, Richmond Sushi (my favourite AYCE Japanese restaurant), Top Gun J&C and Garden City Hot Pot. The restaurant is located in Crystal Mall and I believe this is the priciest AYCE hot pot joint. I used to come here a lot in high school based on convenience and despite the average food, it is the unlimited sauce cart that is the highlight! However, there is no more sauce cart. As for the menu, there is a regular along with a deluxe option now. The biggest differences would be the deluxe menu offers salmon sashimi, hokkigai, angus beef, top grade beef and quail eggs.

As for the interior, the restaurant is fairly large, spacious, and has comfortable seating arrangements. Moreover, there is a large amount of booth seats available and quite a few tables for larger parties of eight to ten. I definitely recommend reservations if you are picky and prefer a booth seat (like me). 

DELUXE $27.97 || CHILD (5-9) $16.95 || ADULT $21.95 || CHILD (5-9) $12.95
BROTH $9.95 || POP $2.25


SOUP COMBO, PORK BONE & PEPPER SOUP AND SZECHUAN SPICY SOUP ($9.95).
Every table is provided with satay sauce, peanut sauce, soy sauce and an ice-cream scoop of wasabi. How I wish it was a scoop of matcha ice cream… As for the soup bases, we selected a pork bone and pepper along with a Szechuan spicy. The pork bone and pepper soup base has a flavourful pork bone taste, without being heavy on the MSG (which I am not against btw). As for the Szechuan spicy, the broth has a medium level of spiciness but is lacking in the peppercorn department.

VEGETABLES AND SEAFOOD.
With regards to the vegetables and seafood, our selection includes Chinese mushroom, enoki mushroom, pumpkin, corn, deep fried Chinese donut, spinach, tong ho, prawns, tofu skin, mussels, quail eggs, fish slices and dried bean curd sticks.

MUTTON SLICES, TOP GRADE BEEF SLICES, ANGUS BEEF AND PORK CHEEK.
To start, the mutton along with the pork tastes generic, not too chewy and are fairly tasty. Following, the slices of angus beef taste lean but tender. As for the top grade beef, the meat tastes fattier than the angus but also chewier. Is it worth a $6.00 difference for the angus beef? Yes, for us, but to most, the rest of the meats may be good enough.

CURRY FISH BALLS, HOKKIGAI AND SALMON SASHIMI. 
A good bonus of dining at a Top Gun group restaurant is that sashimi is included with the hot pot! Beginning with the hokkigai, there is a chewy snappy texture along with a hint of sweetness. Folowing, the slices of salmon sashimi taste fresh, buttery and fatty. As for the fish balls, there is a mild curry flavour.

DEEP FRIED SQUID AND DEEP FRIED CHICKEN'S DRUMETTE. 
Top Gun also offers a variety of cooked goodies. The deep fried squid is lightly battered, tastes crispy, tender and exhibits a nice snap. The squid is neither overfried nor too chewy. As for the chicken, the batter is thick as well as crunchy and the meat tastes dry. I would not order the chicken again. However, the seasoning on both cooked items are fairly tasty.

SHUI KAU. 
The dumpling consists of pork, Chinese mushroom, bamboo shoots and prawn. Considering this is an AYCE restaurant, the dumplings are not bad and are fairly good fillers.

MANGO PUDDING, COCONUT JELLY CAKE AND GOJI BERRY JELLY CAKE.
Beginning with the mango pudding, the dessert tastes slightly sweet but is lacking in the mango department. The pudding tastes more watered down compared to Kingsway Sushi's and Richmond Sushi's too. Moreover, there are no pieces of mango jello like at the other restaurants! Following, the coconut pudding has a slight coconut flavour and does not taste bland. Last up, the goji berry jelly is the highlight. The jello has a strong and refreshing flavour along with a taste of wolf berries. The goji is definitely the best pudding out of the bunch.

POSITIVES
- Great goji jello
- Spacious and comfortable restaurant
- Staff is not rude or miserable looking

NEGATIVES
- No more sauce cart!
- Crystal Mall parking lot
- Priciest AYCE hot pot restaurant (that I know of)
- Staff could be more aware of their surroundings

LITTLE THINGS
- Priciest canned pop at an AYCE restaurant ($2.25/CAN)
- If in Burnaby, I rather come here than Little Sheep Mongolian
- Is the deluxe menu worth an additional $6.00? 

Food: 2.5/5
Service: 2.5/5

Top Gun Hot Pot 尖東火鍋 on Urbanspoon

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