Top Gun J&C 尖東新派食館 – Review 3

Restaurant: Top Gun J&C Restaurant 尖東新派食館 – Review 3
Cuisine: Chinese/Asian/Dim Sum
Last visited: June 12, 2011
Location: Richmond, BC
Address: Unit 2020 Excel Centre, 8766 McKim Way (2nd floor)
Price Range: $20-30

1: Poor 2: OK 3: Good 4: Very good 5: Excellent 6: Tres Excellent!!

Food: 4.5
Service: 4
Ambiance: 5
Overall: 4.5
Additional comments:

  • Part of Top Gun Group
  • Fine dining Chinese
  • Cantonese Chinese cuisine
  • Popular to Chinese locals
  • Busy/line-ups for dim sum
  • Extensive menu
  • Clean/Comfortable
  • Traditional dim sum dishes
  • Some innovative dishes
  • Some Japanese sushi & sashimi available
  • Discounts with VIP card – see intro
  • Chinese/English menu
  • Private room available
  • Reservations recommended
  • Some parking available
  • Mon-Sun Brunch/Lunch 9am-3pm
  • Mon-Sun Dinner 5:30pm-10pm
  • Closed Wednesday
  • Top Gun J&C Restaurant – Review/Visit 1
  • Top Gun J&C Restaurant – Review/Visit 2

Recommendations: Ask about “Gold Card Holder” card and come before 11:30am! Har Gow, Baked Seafood Pie with Portuguese Sauce, Baked BBQ Pork Bun, Stuffed Fried Chicken Wings, Steamed Beef Ball, Steamed Rice Roll with Chinese Donut & Green Onion, Fried Vermicelli in Homemade Style, Pea Tips and Geoduck Rice Rolls, Steamed Sponge Cake, Fried Rice Wrapped in Lotus Leaf, Steamed Rice Roll with Shrimp & Chives, Fried Flat Noodle with Shrimp and Egg Swirl

This is one of my go-to dim sum restaurants in Richmond, BC. It’s partially because it’s convenient, but also because it’s very good although a bit on the pricey side if you don’t come before 11:30am. If you’re a fan of dim sum, I strongly suggest applying for their “Gold Card Holder” card which is essentially a “VIP Card”. My family has one and if you come for dim sum breakfast/brunch and leave before 11:30am you get 40% off! And if you come for dim sum lunch after 11:30am you get 20% off and it’s 10% for dinner too. The card gives you discounts at all 5 Top Gun Group restaurants in Metro Vancouver, which include a couple hot pot and sushi restaurants. I’d highly recommend getting this card and I think it’s only $20 (?).

I’ve actually only come to Top Gun for dim sum and I have yet to try their dinner. I probably come for dim sum here at least once every two months though so I’m quite familiar with their menu.  They’re good at keeping things fresh and rotating the menu which isn’t a surprise considering a lot of their clientele are regulars (having the card really gets you). It’s considered a fine dining Chinese restaurant and it is very popular to the Chinese locals. Although not everything is “the best” it’s reliable, consistent and a solid choice for dim sum.

It’s predominantly a Chinese Cantonese restaurant but they also offer a limited selection of sushi and sashimi. I know it sounds random but the Top Gun Restaurant Group does own Richmond Sushi and a couple other sushi restaurants. I’ve ordered sushi once here, but it’s quite overpriced and you definitely come here for the dim sum more than the sushi.

Just to sum it up, if you’re looking for dim sum in Richmond, other ones include: The Jade Seafood, Red Star Seafood, Dragon’s View Chinese Cuisine, Vivacity Seafood Restaurant, Empire Chinese Cuisine, Rainflower Restaurant, and Good Eat Restaurant. There is also Sea Harbour, Kirin, and Fisherman’s Terrace, but I don’t have dim sum posts for them yet. I like each for different reasons and different dishes, but they’re generally all pretty good.

On the table:

Tea – It’s $1.20/person and you get to select your own tea. There’s not many dim sum restaurants that offer this option, so it’s one of the bonuses to dining here. You can select from Chamomile, Chrysanthemum, Oolong, Rose, Pu Erh, Lychee, Jasmine as well as other teas.

**XO Chili Sauce6/6

  • Complimentary, but some places will charge. Only fine dining Chinese restaurants will offer XO Chili Sauce.
  • I really like this XO Chili Sauce and especially here. It’s better than Kirin‘s (see here) and as good as the one from Red Star Seafood (see here).
  • It’s expensive because of all the dried shrimp and dried scallops in it. The more the better because those are delicacies. The one here uses a lot and it’s very chunky with good texture.
  • It’s very aromatic, sweet, tangy, savoury and medium spicy, but not hot. i can eat it plain.
  • This one also has some preserved Chinese cabbage for added crunch and tang and I really love that stuff.

**Har Gow (Shrimp Dumpling)5/6

  • $5.45
  • It’s the dim sum staple and the test of how good a dim sum restaurant really is.
  • Sometimes they put bamboo shoots in the stuffing for extra crunch, but they didn’t do that here which I don’t mind.
  • They were a good size and the skin should be translucent enough to see the prawn, yet still springy and chewy, and it was.

  • The skins were nice and thin and slippery and not dry nor oily.
  • The prawns were very crunchy, juicy and roughly chopped and they had fresh prawn flavour.

Siu Mai (Shrimp & Pork Dumpling) 4/6

  • $4.95
  • These were very good because they have more prawn than pork, but they were all stuck together.
  • They were frozen, which they usually will be, but they should be separated upon serving.
  • The stuffing was crunchy and juicy with coarsely chopped prawns and tender pork, but the skins were a bit dry and not slippery.
  • I liked actually biting into the prawn pieces rather than have them too blended with the pork.
  • They had very little Shiitake mushrooms in them and I wouldn’t have minded a little bit more.
  • I also wish they did a better job topping it with tobiko, but I’ll let that go.
  • They’re frozen at Red Star Seafood too, but I liked those ones better – see here.

Steamed Beef Ball with Tofu Skin4/6

  • $4.95
  • I’m usually not keen on steamed beef balls because I don’t like the orange peel they often add to it.
  • These were very juicy, tender and squishy and there was a hint of orange peel flavour.
  • I like more tofu skins wrapped around it too and these almost had none.
  • It’s a very flavourful and aromatic home made beef meatball that’s very soft.
  • It’s often enjoyed with Worcestershire sauce for dipping.

Steamed Diced Pork & Vegetable Dumpling 3.5/6

  • $4.95
  • Sometimes they’re called “Chiu Chow Fun Guo”.
  • I think they used to be better and they also increased the price – see my post for them last time here.
  • The skins were translucent and thin, springy and chewy, and I appreciated them more than I did the filling. The skins were actually great and better this time around.
  • The filling was almost like lettuce wrap filling, and compared to other dumplings of this kind it was a bit boring.

**Baked BBQ Pork Bun6/6

  • $4.95
  • This is one of my all time favourite dishes to order at dim sum, or just in general too.
  • They’re especially good here and sometimes you have to pre-order them because they sell out.
  • It’s a sweet and savoury bun and it’s probably one of the best kinds of BBQ Pork Buns you’ll have.
  • This is a Vancouver dim sum dish and it’s not traditional, but they’re popular here and I love them.
  • A lot of restaurants will alternate with a “Mexican Bun” topping and a “Pineapple Bun” topping, but the Mexican topping is way better and Top Gun always serves it with this topping.
  • The Mexican bun topping is a buttery sweet and sugary fine crumb topping that forms the crispy baked crust on top of the bun. See the Baked BBQ Pork Bun with the “Pineapple Bun” topping here.
  • My white friend calls them “savoury Krispy Kreme buns” because they just melt in your mouth.

  • The inside is filled with a delicious saucy BBQ Pork filling. The only thing is, is that some of the diced BBQ pork meat is a bit fatty, chewy and gelatinous and I really don’t like that. I just take those pieces out and there wasn’t much of them anyways.
  • It’s a creamy sweet and savoury pork filling in a freshly made and baked bun.
  • The bun has a very crumbly crust and the bread just melts in your mouth because it’s so soft and tender.
  • These are amazing and a must try! I order them at every dim sum restaurant that offers them, and these are one of the best. It’s like a savoury dessert.

Fried Chicken Wings**Chicken Wings Stuffed with Sticky Rice5/6 (Excellent)

  • $3.50 per wing
  • This is a signature chef’s dish and not a traditional dim sum dish.
  • They were crispy chicken wings stuffed with sticky rice, Chinese cured ham and Chinese mushrooms.
  • The sticky rice was the same as their normal sticky rice, but just inside a chicken wing.
  • The chicken skin wasn’t too fatty and there wasn’t so much chicken meat, but I could still taste both meat and rice.
  • It was moist, not too greasy and a nice surprise! They’re quite substantial.
  • It came with Worcestershire sauce for dipping on the side and it was good with or without it.

Steamed Rice Roll with BBQ Pork 1.5/6

  • $5.95
  • They offer 3-4 kinds of steamed rice rolls on the menu and switch them up every so often. Assorted Mushroom, Shrimp & Chives and Beef & Cilantro Rice Rolls are the standard and always available.
  • I went for the BBQ Pork Rice Roll and I almost always order the shrimp, but this isn’t always on the menu. I preferred the shrimp.
  • The BBQ pork was extremely fatty, chewy and gelatinous and they used the leftover poor quality of the BBQ pork. The good parts of it probably went to the Steamed BBQ Pork Rice.
  • It was roughly chopped with some cilantro and almost bland and not that sweet or well marinated. It tasted a bit cured and a little medicinal too, and it was different than the BBQ pork they used in the Baked BBQ Pork Buns. There’s better BBQ pork and BBQ Pork Rice Rolls in the city.
  • The rice roll skin on the other hand was very well made being nice and thin, slippery and tender.
  • It’s served with a sweetened soy sauce.
  • Besides the Shrimp & Chive Rice Rolls, the other ones I’ve liked at Top Gun are the Scallops and Black Wood Ear Mushroom Rice Rolls and the Pea Tips and Geoduck Rice Rolls, which I’ve never seen anywhere else.

**Baked Seafood Pie with Portuguese Sauce4.5/6 (No longer on menu)

  • $5.25
  • This was available on the “Chef’s Specialty or Suggestion” page, which often rotates.
  • These were a bit pricey since it was only 2, but they were good at least.
  • You can find them stuffed with beef and chicken at Chinese bakeries sometimes, but seafood ones are usually only at restaurants.
  • It’s a Chinese dish catered to Western tastes a bit, but who cares when it’s good.
  • It’s a curry seafood pot pie in tart form.
  • The top of the tart is a sweet almond pastry crust and it’s very buttery, moist and tender, yet crispy and crumbly. It’s not dessert sweet, but it almost tastes like one of those Chinese almond “Dainty Two Cookies they serve at banquets. It was an excellent pie shell.

  • It’s filled with scallops, baby shrimp, imitation crab, diced pork, button mushrooms and onions in a creamy sweet and aromatic coconut curry sauce.
  • It’s not spicy at all, but a bit sweet as well as being savoury and the curry powder isn’t overpowering.
  • It’s a pretty good tart with coarsely chopped ingredients and it’s not the finest quality of ingredients, but it’s standard for this type of dish.
  • If you like baked pies or tarts at dim sum, a great one is the Baked Mushroom Pie at Jade Seafood Restaurant.

Mashed Pumpkin with Cheese & Quail Egg3.5/6 (No longer on menu)

  • $6.25
  • This was also available on the “Chef’s Specialty or Suggestion” page, which often rotates.
  • This is one of their Japanese inspired dim sum dishes so it’s not traditional Chinese.
  • It was pretty much a “knock-off” of the Pumpkin Croquette offered at Guu.
  • I liked these ones a bit better because they were smaller, but it was a bit too sweet and I wanted them to be a bit more sweet and savoury.
  • They’re quite rich and indulgent, but well made and I liked them. I’m glad I tried them, but I probably wouldn’t care to order them again.
  • Half of one was enough, but if it was a bit more savoury, a full one would be quite enjoyable.

  • It had great texture with the crispy panko crusted exterior and an ultra creamy Japanese kaboocha squash, which was naturally sweet.
  • I’m not sure where the cheese came into play and if anything it was melted into the squash. I couldn’t really taste any cheesiness though.
  • The quail’s egg gave it some substance and I wish the yolk was only half cooked, but I guess that’s hard to execute.
  • The white cream sauce was unexpected and it was only sweet and too runny and I wanted it to be a savoury cream sauce or a bechamel. That was the only part that was throwing it off.
  • It was topped with a Thousand Island like dressing for some tang, and it was quite good, but it just needed some savouriness.

Deep Fried Shrimp Paste Wrapped with Tofu Skin3/6

  • $5.95
  • This was also available on the “Chef’s Specialty or Suggestion” page, which often rotates.
  • I actually ticked the wrong box by matching the wrong Chinese characters and I didn’t mean to order this. It was under the Baked Seafood Pie with Portuguese Sauce.
  • This is a good alternative to the traditional Prawn Spring Rolls, but they were a bit oily.
  • They’re prawn and cilantro patties wrapped in a crispy light deep fried tofu skin. It’s quite basic, but good.
  • It’s quite crunchy and crispy and there’s lots of juicy crunchy prawn and it’s roughly pureed so I could actually bite into pieces.
  • It’s served with sweet and sour sauce for dipping so it really is like a spring roll. They’re also good with Worcestershire sauce, if you don’t do the sweet and sour thing.
  • Red Star Seafood does a better Crispy Tofu Wrap with Vegetables and Terracotta Modern Chinese actually does a pretty good version of one too – see their Prawn Rolls.

Steamed Rice Roll with Chinese Donut & Green Onion4.5/6

  • $6.75
  • This is a childhood favourite for many Asian kids.
  • It’s a crispy, fluffy, chewy and savoury Chinese donut wrapped around a slippery soft rice noodle skin.
  • This one was made quite well and the donut was very good. It was very light and airy as opposed to bready and the rice noodle roll is very thin which is hard to achieve.
  • I really like it when they have pork floss in them too, but in this case they didn’t. For good pork floss ones try the Steamed Rice Rolls with Chinese Donut from Empire.
  • You pour sweetened soy sauce over top and eat it with Hoisin and sesame sauce served on the side.

Pan Fried Rice Roll with in Maggi Sauce 4/6

  • $5.25
  • This is one of my favourite things at dim sum.
  • It’s basically a rolled rice noodle and the dried shrimps and onions are usually rolled into the logs and in the rice roll skin.
  • These were lightly pan fried, but not that crispy and you dip them in Hoisin and sesame sauce served on the side.
  • These were quite perfectly made with clean technique and the rice roll skins were delicate, very thin and tightly rolled.
  • As perfect as they were they were a bit boring though and they didn’t taste as amazing as they should have been. The execution was a bit plain with just the Maggi sauce and they lacked a bit of flavour since the shrimp was served on top.
  • It did need more dried shrimp, but the fact that they were using large dried shrimps is a gourmet plus because usually they serve this dish with small dried shrimps.
  • I prefer their steamed version – see Steamed Rice Roll with Shrimp & Chives. They only have it on the Chinese menu though and I can’t read it, but you can ask for it.

Pan Fried Green Bean with Ground Pork3/6

  • $8.95
  • I actually ticked the wrong box again by matching the wrong Chinese characters and I didn’t mean to order this. It was underneath the Mashed Pumpkin with Cheese & Quail’s Egg dish.
  • I do like this dish though so I didn’t mind, but there’s nothing very special about this. It was very regular in execution for a high end Chinese restaurant and also overpriced.
  • The green beans are the long wrinkly type of Chinese green beans and they were crunchy and tender.
  • It was topped with savoury lean and tender ground pork marinated in soy sauce, but not much of it.
  • I prefer the fermented soy bean, or black bean flavour, or when it is sauteed with XO chili sauce for some heat and aromatics.

**Fried Flat Noodle with Shrimp and Egg Swirl4.5/6

  • $18.95
  • This is more of a dinner item, but also offered for lunch.
  • This was a very expensive noodle dish although the portion is quite large and it comes with a very generous amount of shrimp.
  • I love this noodle dish and it was very well made here and not greasy with a good amount of sauce.
  • The shrimps were large, very crunchy, tender, juicy and savoury and it’s coated in a lightly scrambled and creamy soft egg swirl sauce.
  • The sauce is silky smooth and it almost just melts in your mouth like runny scrambled eggs mixed with clear broth.
  • It was very saucy with delicate flavours and the flat rice noodles were thin and chewy.
  • For the price it should have been fresh prawns and not shrimp though. See Scrambled Eggs and Prawns with Fried Rice Noodles from Rainflower.

Green Tea Almond Tofu Pudding (Cold)2.5/6

  • $4.50
  • I’m not a fan of Chinese desserts, but when it’s “modern” Chinese desserts, or in this case Japanese influenced, I don’t mind.
  • I would prefer it without the red bean as I pretty much hate red bean.
  • I like almond tofu and matcha though, so I expected to like this. It was okay and better than most “Chinese” desserts.
  • This one was more like pudding than it was tofu and it doesn’t taste like tofu, so non-tofu lovers could like this.

  • It was almost not sweet at all (typical of Asian desserts) and it’s creamy in texture, but it’s not rich.
  • It was light and very mild in flavour and the texture is a bit powdery from the matcha powder in the pudding.
  • The matcha flavour is faint, but I could taste it and the almond was more aromatic, but not that flavourful.
  • The red bean sauce was pretty much the only sweet component and it was just too mild for me overall.
  • I would much rather have a matcha bubble tea and I was expecting something different.
  • I do like the fact that Top Gun offers Westernized Asian desserts that are different than usual though. See other creative desserts they’ve offered before in my post here.

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