For belated Mother’s Day celebration, we brought DH’s mom to Top Gun.
I knew my mother-in-law really loved whole fish with bone-in; and I could trust that Top Gun would deliver a great dish for her.
Decided that we were going to get steamed fish before we arrived.
However, the restaurant threw a little curve-ball on us — upon inquiry, the smallest fish they had that night was a 3.5 lb Ling Cod.
Honestly way too much fish for 3 of us.
At the end, we decided that we were going for it, and asked for the fish to be served 3-way.
It was customary to get live fish, lobster or crab in a Cantonese style Chinese restaurant and had the live seafood divided and prepared as multiple courses.
Usually restaurants would make soup, stir-fried, steamed, or deep-fried (e.g. salt and pepper) with the fish.
For lobster or crabs, restaurants would offer up stir-fried with ginger and scallion, steamed, or deep-fried; sometimes they could make fried rice or noodle with the meat or inert, even bake in shell etc.
We picked our 3-way: soup, stir-fried with vegetables and steamed.
First was the soup.
Absolutely loved it.
It was done in a traditional way that was milky, aromatic and creamy.
My grandmother made this kind of fish soup as well and the secret was frying the fish first.
Cooked along with cilantro, gai choy (a bitter Chinese vegetables), carrots, Chinese mushrooms and silky tofu, this soup was irresistible.
It was sweet, creamy, milky and a lovely white peppery taste to temper the fishy-ness.
Next was steamed.
My love was the sweet soy sauce that accompanied the fish.
I could eat lots of rice with just the sauce and a little of the crisp green onions and ginger.
Fish itself was again tender.
This was my mother-in-laws favorite as she enjoyed working around the fish bones and savoring them.
It was too much work for both DH and I for the most part, and we were certainly digging around for meat.
Lastly was stir-fried.
The tender Ling Cod fish fillet was lightly sautéed with green onions, carrots, celery, straw mushrooms, snow peas and most importantly ginger.
Every piece of the fish melted in the mouth with a light hint of sweetness just naturally from the fish.
The aromatics of ginger and green onions gave the flavors and the crisp and cooked just right vegetables delivered crunchiness to the overall dish.
I still have not master stir-frying fish fillet at home unfortunately; usually they would fell apart brilliantly — the skill in Chinese cooking I have yet to learn!
This was DH’s favorite as there was no work required to eat the fish fillet.
Overall, the Ling Cod was not a meaty fish, and positively for bone lovers.
I believe my mother-in-law had a good time — and it was all worth it.
Top Gun serves dim sum for lunch and it is the only eastside restaurant I am willing to go for dim sum; it is however, with eastside price tag as well, especially compare to our usual dim sum fort, Jade Garden.
Their dinners were great as well with my favorite such as Singaporean noodle, stir-fried broccoli with fish fillet and tofu clay pot.On our recent to-go gluttony, we had my super spicy heavily curried flavor (how I liked it!) Singaporean noodle with shrimp, bbq pork, egg, green onions, onions and crisp bean sprouts. It was always dry as how it should be and delicious.
I craved for the sweetness and slight tangy sauce of the pork chop with Peking sauce; with Top Gun’s, I could even feel the crispness of the very tender pork chop underneath the super addictive sauce.
Bok Choy was fresh, crisp, sweet with garlic, and the eggplant was a bit on the greasy side but flavor still lovely with satay sauce and oysters.
Top Gun was a decent all round Cantonese style restaurant, and the owner would be opening Dim Sum Factory soon where dim sum would be served from 8 in the morning to midnight!
I can’t wait!