Top Gun Hot Pot – AYCE
Top Gun Hot Pot is part of the Top Gun Group of Restaurants that includes Kingsway Sushi among others. Located on the 2nd floor of Crystal Mall, it’s a very popular and busy All-You-Can-Eat hot pot spot given the price – $23.95 for adults (Fridays, weekends, and holidays are an extra $1) plus an extra $7.50 for the soup base.
You might wonder why you would pay so much to cook your own food but it’s very easy to get your money’s worth here.
The thing that really makes the meal is the custom dipping sauce that they make for you. Once you sit down, a waitress will pull up beside your table with a cart full of various ingredients that you can put together to make your perfect dipping sauce. Everything from soy sauce to satay sauce, cilantro, garlic, green onions, sesame oil, hot bean paste, and a bunch of other things that I couldn’t remember.
Depending on the type of soup base you get, the dipping sauce is very important… we chose a basic chicken stock soup base which doesn’t impart a lot of flavour to the boiled food so the dipping sauce really stood out.
We tried to get a little bit of everything and most of the items came out pretty quick. Here we have a bowl of spinach, siu choy, mushrooms, winter melon, and tofu puffs.
I’m glad we only ordered one plate of udon noodles because it fills you up really quick.
It’s always a good idea to separate your hot pot… meats on one side and veggies on the other.
Yes, that is a bowl of sticky rice that we ordered. We also had the dumplings, won tons, and sirloin beef.
To really get your money’s worth, you have to order the seafood. I was disappointed with the mussels that we had – it had a definite fishy taste to it and I wound up getting sick afterwards so I’m attributing this the mussels not being very fresh. Besides that unforunate incident, the rest of the food including fish slices, shrimp, and dried bean curd sticks were pretty good.
They also have a bunch of different freshly made meatballs available. We chose the dice fish, shrimp, and squid balls (the squid was probably the best). We also got the fish paste for 2 people but forgot to take a picture (it’s a huge dollop of fish paste about the size of 1/2 of my fist).
We also ordered top grade beef slices (which had more marbling to it) and really huge oysters. All of the beef slices were frozen and thinly cut which made the cooking process really quick and easy.
The main problem with cooking your own food is that you have to make sure you don’t overcook things. It’s very easy to start eating and forget to take out food from the pot that’s ready to come out.
Since we were having AYCE, I felt that we needed to do a second order of food even though we were already pretty full. Like most AYCE places, they suffer from the dreaded it-doesn’t-matter-what-you-write-on-the-ordering-menu-your-order-will-always-be-slightly-incorrect syndrome.
For example, on our first round, some of the dishes came with slightly less items than we ordered (instead of 4 meatballs each, they gave us 3 each) and some items didn’t come at all. On our second round, we wound up getting a lot more than we asked for… I guess it’s pretty much a toss up depending on your server.
After being stuffed beyond reason, we waddled out of the restaurant vowing not to eat again for a couple of days… of course now, I feel like I could go back and try it again 🙂
Food: 3.5 / 5
Service: 3 / 5