Top Gun J & C Restaurant

July 2nd, 2008 · 2 Comments

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Top Gun J & C Restaurant extTarget 9: Top Gun J & C Restaurant
Address: 8766 McKim Way, Unit 2020 Excel Center, Richmond
Phone: (604) 231-8006

Dim Sum Menu: Page 1; Page 2; Page 3

Dim Sum prices: $3.95-$7.50 for the usual items, order from menu – no cart service

Opening Hours:
Lunch/dim sum: 9am – 3pm
Dinner: 5pm – 10pm

Visit date: June 28th, 2008
Visit time: 11:15 AM


Jason’s ratings –

Steamed dumplings: 65% or 22.75 of 35 possible points
Steamed other: 70% or 10.5/15
Fried & deep fried: 75% or 11.25/15
Baked & sweet: 80% or 12/15
Rice-noodle-veg: 75% or 7.5/10
Other factors (service, atmosphere, etc): 80% or 8/10

Jason’s total: 72/100 or 72%

Des’ ratings –

Steamed dumplings: 80% or 28/35
Steamed other: 75% or 11.25/15
Fried & deep fried: 80% or 12/15
Baked & sweet: 80% or 12/15
Rice-noodle-veg: 75% or 7.5/10
Other factors (service, atmosphere, etc): 75% or 7.5/10

Des’ total: 78.25/100 or 78.25%

Total Score (averaged across both raters, all variables) = 75.125/100 or 75.125%

Notes from Jason:

A smackdown at Top Gun J & C Restaurant was a risky venture, but one that turned out better than I hoped it would, but not as good as it could have. For one, our dim sum Sunday group defied our moniker and ventured out on a Saturday. Sundays have become so entrenched in our dim sum ritual, we weren’t quite sure what to do with ourselves. Would traffic be the same? How crowded would it be? Are there dragons out on Saturday mornings?

Then there was the venue itself. J & C ostensibly stands for Japanese and Chinese, and being one that is always suspicious of restaurants that try to do to much, I was worried that they would do neither as well as a restaurant that specializes. Not to mention the fact that these are two vast and nuanced cuisines to master. And finally, this restaurant was nearly impossible to find on google and by all accounts, very difficult to find geographically, tucked away in a relatively obscure Richmond shopping center.

Despite these worries, Fortuna and the dim sum gods were shining on us last Saturday as we navigated the not-too-bad traffic, absence of dragons (!), and questionable directions, to enjoy an above average Chinese brunch.

Top Gun J & C RestaurantTop Gun sets itself apart by offering individualized tea service. Unlike the majority of Chinese restaurants that I’ve been to, teas are ordered in their dry state and alight from the server’s trays in small plastic containers that contain enough tea for two to three people (we chose equally delightful portions of red and green tea). From there, it’s up to the customer to steep the tea in the small pots provided, using hot water from larger pots on small burners at the table. It’s interactive, and you know the tea is not under- or over-steeped (unless you so choose or err), so this feature gets a thumbs up from me. I was also impressed with one of their signature dishes, a baked pork bun with a sugar crusted top. For me, sweet tends to go very well with Chinese roasted pork (char siu) and although the sugar crust on these buns was a bit intense, I liked the crunchy texture and it wasn’t so sweet as to overwhelm the pork. I was also a big supporter of the delicately deep fried smelt, which came to the table piping hot and a very fresh fish flavor. Speaking of freshness, baked egg tarts also came out straight from the oven, which is heaven for dan tat lovers because it promotes a warm silky center and flakey crust.

The rest of Top Gun’s dim sum offerings were middle of the road. I did not care for their shrimp dumplings (har gao) – quite a damning problem for a dim sum restaurant – because the centers were tough, packed very tightly, and had a processed taste to them. Further, the shrimp and pork dumplings (siu mai) were unremarkable and the honey glazed pork cheeks were chewier than I’ve had at other restaurants.

Desserts were better, featuring the aforementioned egg tarts and a refreshing gelatin creation full of wolfberries and darker than usual, probably because of tea base.

So, Top Gun J & C Restaurant: a little different from the average dim sum restaurant, both for the better and the worse, but on the average worth a try for sure.

Note: Frequent visitor cards can be purchased, which entitle the holder to 20% off each visit, surely a sound economical move for the frequent wingman.

Tags: Chinese · Dim Sum

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 meowee // Aug 8, 2008 at 4:30 pm

    I feel offended…doesn’t sound like you liked it at all 🙁

  • 2 Marshall Placid // Jun 9, 2010 at 7:03 pm

    I go to the restaurant at least once or twice a month. They provide great service in addition to their food. Their dim sum is really good. Try the fried squid (the best out of all the Richmond dim sum places), and the special almond jello pudding topped with Japanese red bean.

    Their dinner dishes are also very well prepared. Try their sweet honey barbecue pork ribs, geo-duck specials (fried and steamed = 2 dishes), lobster (any sauce is good at this restaurant). Their $22 shark-fin individually served soup is also good, with an ample amount of shark-fin.

    I even had my wedding banquet there!

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