Hey ET and Christina … we finally made it to Top Shanghai after all these months and it was exactly like you said it to be … the food was excellent but the service sucks!
So this one is dedicated to you guys.
When we first met up ET and Christina of doesnttaztelikechicken.com for lunch at Famous Hakka Restaurant, Christina raved about the Top Shanghai Cuisine Restaurant. However, ET vowed never to step into the restaurant again. *shrugs*
You guys know that Suanne and I are Chinese illiterate. So, Christina wrote down for us some of the must try dishes in Chinese and the English translations.
Top Shanghai is located at the strip mall on Akroyd and No #3 Road in Richmond. It is on the part of the strip mall where Boston Pizza is. We had always known of this place but had never been there before because these kind of places intimidates us frankly.
What intimidates us is our perception that the service is rude to non-Chinese speakers, the service rushed, and not knowing what to order. Our perception were mostly wrong. You’ll see why.
Top Shanghai is obviously very very popular. We made it a point to go early. Arriving at 11:30AM, the place was already bustling with customers. Obviously, it is like a typical popular restaurant where it is noisy and for those not used to it, could be somewhat stressful!
What helps us a lot was that they have lots of large delicious looking pictures of their popular dishes on one side of the wall (not shown above). Perusing the menu, we were quite surprised that the prices were quite reasonable … mostly at the $8 and $9 range.
It is so packed that they put tables and seats so close together that it’s hard to maneuver around. Why, they don’t even have a waiting area for customers. So the customers actually stands besides eating customers waiting for tables.
Service wise, they are quite horrible. Suanne and I tolerates these because we got used to these kind of places a lot. I guess to these people, impersonal service means professionalism. LOL! But the gripes ends here because we love their food.
Service is slow and so let me give you a tip here. When you get settled, first order their quick service items like Xiao Lung Bao and other kinds of appetizers. They make their Xiao Lung Baos on site and have a section where you can see the proof of that. I guess it is important that they show the customers — that’s why it is somewhat a vogue to do that in many Chinese restaurants here in Metro Vancouver.
We ordered the Pan Fry Buns. Six pieces costs $5.50. It is pretty much like Xiao Lung Bao except that they pan fry the bottom part of this. It was excellent … very juicy and one has to be careful with the hot broth inside the bun. Although I am not really a fan of Xiao Lung Baos, I actually like this a lot. (more…)