Friday, December 21, 2007

the (dim) sum of all things

{click to enlarge}

coming from a former dimsum addict (suge and i used to double-dimsum a weekend), Top Gun Seafood in factoria is bizzomb. like, holy wow that place is good. i've been there literally hundreds of times, but i'll never forget my first time there. it was when i was in high school, and my uncle called the family together to enjoy some food and catch up. i don't speak chinese, but he and his family do, so out came all sorts of crazy good shit that's not skating around the room on steel carts, like cold sesamie jellyfish, special noodles, crispy and chopped duck (creatively deemed "duck two ways")...i can't even begin to list it all, but it was truly magical (and that was back in the day before i was sans-meat).

my family is chinese, so when i was younger, we would all go out to dimsum. every weekend. my father has two brothers that live in the greater seattle area, so the extended family would convene for dimsum at least every two months. sun ya used to be our favorite spot, but after changing over to new ownership back in 1999, it's never been the same.

the last time i went to dimsum there was probably 2-3 years ago (i lived next door), and it was good....just different from my rose-tinged memories.

ah, tea. i love tea. one nice thing about Top Gun is that you can ask for different kinds of tea...i always go for jasmine because i love the perfume, but you can get something heavier, like oolong. i also wash my hands with tea after i eat because the tannens cut through any oil that's made it's way onto my hands. :)

so here's the spread: shrimp on green bell pepper with a black bean sauce, hargow (shrimp dumplings encased in a rice noodle hug, turnip cake with flecks of pork, siu mai (pork dumplings with a rice casing on the bottom, nor mai gai (sticky rice stuffed with pork, "gravy," dried shrimp, and lap xioung [delicious sweet sausage]), and shrimp-stuffed eggplant covered in black bean sauce.

here's another look at suge's hargow handstyle. :) i forgot to capture the char siu bau (steamed bun with bbq pork stuffing)!

and of course, the crowd favorite, honey-walnut prawns. i had actually never had these little gems of fried goo until about three years ago, but i do like them. i have a tenuous relationship with shrimp, so i'm not always in the mood for HWP, but these were tasty.

ah, mango pudding. how do i love thee?? covered in condensed milk, of course!!! i like the mango pudding at Top Gun because it has chunks of mango in it, and they make it with a little bit of coconut milk, so there's the slightest hint of that flavor in the pudding. also, it's not really pudding, like bill cosby-style. it's more of a cross between jello and's soft, but you couldn't stir it. whatever it is, it's awesome. it actually so inspired me to make some red bean jelly/pudding at home! all i need is a can of lychees, and it's dessert time all the time!

last, but certainly not least, the black sesamie balls. holy crap i love these. they're little balls of mochi covered in black and white toasted sesamie seeds, stuffed with black sesamie puree, and flash fried until the outside is juuuuuust crispy. damn, they're so good. i like the white sesamie balls, too, but they're stuffed with lotus paste, which is a little too rich for me in this particular incarnation.

Top Gun Seafood
12450 SE 38th St
(between S 124th Ave & S Factoria Blvd)
Bellevue, WA 98006
(425) 641-3386

CAVE: this place is uber-busy on the weekends, especially sunday in the post-church time. i would suggest arriving early, like between 10 and 11. if you arrive after 1130, you're completely screwed and will have to wait at least 30 minutes. going late is also an option, when we went, it was nearly 2, but we still had to wait about 15 minutes. you have now been thoroughly warned.

parking is a bitch, too, so park in the back movie theater lot. do not park in marked places, because they will surely tow you. they are serious!

Top Gun Seafood Restaurant in Bellevue

3 comments: said...

nor mai gai sounds SOOOO good right now.

can we all go, soon???? puhleeease?

i only go with you, tekka don. it's the only fair thing to do.

ndrwmtsn said...

honestly, that was a mind-expanding experience.

top gun's food is so clean. i love china.

Suge White said...

It's funny when you see peoples face when you say the best dim sum is in Factoria.

I like that Chinese are really rude so you can just brush off the cart Nazis with a cold gruff tone and they respect you for it. Any thank yous that you add are not getting you any points here.

the food is great and cheap.

it's kind of a bitch to get anything to drink otehr then tea.