Jenkins and I met up with Jenkins’ mom for dim sum one sunny weekend afternoon. Jenkins’ dad was supposed to come as well but there was a slight mix-up in coordinating the date and our original lunch for four ended up being just for three. I had previously reviewed Top Shanghai Cuisine a few years ago but it had been quite a while since my last visit and I had never actually been for dim sum before.
Jenkins’ mom was pretty flexible and decided to let me and Jenkins do the majority of the ordering. We thought we weren’t very hungry that day but we ended up ordering a good mix of dishes anyway. We started with the spicy wontons. I kind of expected them to be similar to the Cantonese version but the Shanghainese version was completely different. The small pork wontons came dressed in a sweet and spicy peanut and chilli sauce that was delicious. The peanut flavour was further heightened by the crushed peanuts on top. I would say this was a fairly spicy dish but it didn’t bother me at all. This dish was quite a hit at our table and we ended up saving the sauce as a condiment for some of our later dishes.
One of Top Shanghai Cuisine’s specialties is obviously the xiao long bao so we definitely needed to order some. I thought that the skin was slightly thicker than my previous visit but still gave way easily to the juicy pork filling inside. I think this place still ranks among the better xiao long bao eateries in the city.
One of Jenkins’ favourite dim sum items is the pan-fried pork buns. Nothing out of the ordinary with the offering here but it was well made nonetheless. The bottom was quite crispy and the filling seemed to be the same as the pork filling used in the xiao long baos. Even though the pan fried buns were not as juicy as the XLBs, they were definitely juicier than the version at many other restaurants, which I liked.
In hindsight, we probably shouldn’t have ordered the pan-fried dumplings because they tasted like a cross between the pan-fried pork buns and the xiao long baos so we really didn’t get a lot of variety. The only comment I can make here is that they were fried nicely, with the bottom being nice and crispy. Similarly, the filling seemed to be very similar (if not the same as) the filling for the XLBs and pan-fried pork buns.
We also wanted to order a filler item so we perused the noodle section of the menu for some options. I really like the sticky rice cakes so I wanted something that had that and Jenkins settled on the Shanghai rice cakes with vegetables and pork. I thought the sauce was a little on the salty side but the rice cakes are generally pretty bland so it soaked up a lot of the flavour so the saltiness wasn’t overwhelming. I enjoyed the chewy consistency of the rice cakes and the veggies provided a nice crunchy contrast.
Overall, we had a pleasant lunch at Top Shanghai Cuisine. As I probably noted in my previous review and as many other people have noted, service really isn’t the best here so you have to go in with fairly low (if any) expectations. That being said, the service at lunch seemed to be slightly better than what we’re used to during the dinner service. The food here is quite good though and their dim sum menu is a nice change from the usual Cantonese dim sum fare that I’m used to.
5880 No. 3 Road, Richmond
Service: [rating: 2]