Do you miss the feel of eating in a cafeteria in a communist country? Then a trip to "Top Shanghai" is a must. You visit with start with being ignored by a surely hostess, who adverts your glance while walking by you four times. After finally getting their attention, you are placed on a waiting list, with wait-time time estimates that varies, depending if one of the "regular" customers should walk in before you are seated. Should this occur, you are mysteriously bumped down the list, on some false pretense of an "earlier" phantom reservation. The food is decent, when you are ultimately seated, but you can never shake the feeling that the staff feel like they are doing you a favor by serving you. There are NUMEROUS Shanghaiese restaurants in Richmond, and frankly, the food's comparable in most. My bet would be for a visit to "Shanghai River" on Westminster and No. 3 Road, where the service is MUCH more in line with expectations. "Top" Shanghai? Only Tops in the Bizzaro world.
Over an hour to get all of our food. They took our tea pot away half way through lunch to refill it. Or at least I thought that's what they were doing. It never came back. Should have sent out search and rescue. No one really came by our table at all over the course of a couple of hours.
Beware, when it come to paying the bill, ALL THEY CAN FOCUS ON IS THE TIP. When I said I wasn't a going to leave a tip, they suddenly showed up at our table. Finally, some service. Oh wait, it was only to ask for a tip again. When I told him about our problems, all I got I was a half hearted, "we're busy". No apology, no real explanation, nothing. When he figured out that he was t getting a tip, he gave me THE FINGER. Yes, a very classy person. Wonder if he learned that in ESL. Oh wellie sure they have enough business without me ever returning. But if you look at other review sites, their sucky service is well noted.
You can find other places with just as good food but with much better service. Please let this place die.
First the positives: The food was good. It is definitely good food and definitely a decent value....But these are the only positives.
Last night we had my sister-in-law's birthday dinner here (party of 9) and the service was atrocious! It took around 30 minutes after we ordered to get our first dish and when the food did come, it all came at once. We barely had any space to put our tea cups! No one came around to refill our teapots. And they delivered the wrong dishes to our table twice!
Lastly, when my father-in-law tried to get the bill, he must've tried to flag someone down for about 15 mintues. All 5 waitresses/waiters in the place must've walked by us at least once. There was even one that came to clear our table but didn't bring the bill or go get the bill for us! Finally after we got the bill settled, as we were leaving the waitress has the audacity to chase us out the restaurant and into the parking lot saying "Was there a mistake in your payment?" and "That's not enough tip". What really pissed me off about this is that I (6' 1") was walking right behind my wife (5') and my sister-in-law (5' 5") was walking in front of my wife as we were leaving the restaurant and she "strategically" went to talk to my wife about this probably thinking that she was easy to pick on.
I can honestly say, even if they were handing out money......I don't think we'll ever return!
This is my first ever review on this site and I am not a very picky diner at all! This would be a completely 100% honest review about this restaurant based on my experience.
Today I had a table of 3 with my parents. After being seated by the server, he set up the table at an efficient pace and allowed us to find out that 2 of 3 the bowls were very dirty and had damaged bottom. We expected to get some tea after we settled down but ended up had to remind the server 4 times in order to get a teapot of tea and water. One of the dishes we ordered a dish call "棒棒雞"- this dish comprised of cucumber and chicken with sesame source, the proportion of cucumber and chicken was: 4:1, it was $8. If I had known that, why would I just go make this dish myself? Why would I pay $8 for mostly cucumber? After finishing up the meal, the server asked my dad how come we paid so little tips and my dad even wanted to ask the server to go outside the restaurant to ask for my comments...
One positive comment: I would like to thank one of the lady server that she listened to my comment about that dish and actually went to the kitchen requesting the chef to add more chicken. However, as we observed other tables who also order this dish that the proportion of cucumber and chicken was more equalized.
On November 12, 2008, at 1:30pm I went to go buy take out food from the Top Shanghai Cuisine restaurant for me and my 3 year old son. While the restaurant was preparing my food for take out, I went to Save On Foods to buy groceries. I picked up the take-out at 2pm. I ordered a bowl of fish-soup and buns. After arriving home, I fed the soup to my son, who ate some of the soup. At around 5pm, I was eating the leftover soup and I felt something unusual in my mouth. I spat out the food and discovered a mesh wire similar to those that are used for pot scrubbing. The mesh wire was around 2cm in length. I looked into the plastic take-out bowl and I found a longer mesh wire approximately 5-7cm long. After discovering the mesh wires in the soup, I contacted the restaurant. The restaurant said that they could refund me for the soup or do an exchange. They also said that I could get a lawyer to speak with them because they have insurance for matters like these. That night I felt discomfort in my throat and around midnight my son started complaining about stomach pain. The pain subsided shortly after so I did not take my son to the emergency room. The next day (Thursday), we went to see a doctor at the Aberdeen Health Clinic. The doctor examined me and my son. X rays were taken for my son and me. I am still awaiting the results. I contacted the restaurant later that day again, and spoke to the manager of the restaurant. He told me to keep all of the medical examination and treatment records relating to this incident and to get in touch with them again afterwards. On Friday, I called the restaurant back again, and I was told that the manager whom I spoke to no longer worked there and that they have no managers at the moment. I requested to speak to the owner of the restaurant, but they refused to provide me with any contact information. They also denied of having any knowledge about the soup incident. It seems to me like the restaurant is avoiding me on this issue.
As everyone has already said, service at this place is non-existent. The tables are quite squished together and this is clearly not the most comfortable place to dine. However, this place is always packed for a reason, this is Shanghai cuisine of utmost authenticity and deliciousness. The xiao long bao, the pan fried buns and the silver thread rolls are the best i hav had anywhere. Both buns are loaded w/ juice, and you can see all the layers literally unrolling itself off of the silver thread roll, divine simply dipped in condensed milk. Basically, expect nothing from this place except for pretty darn tasty and authentic food. Make sure you make a reservation though, or you'll never get a seat.
Shanghai is mid China. I just want to remind those that Shanghai is middle of China, and there is NO hot food in Shanghai.
And sorry, TANTAN noodles is not Shanghai food, nor is beef wrap. So before one critiques the quality of the Tan Tan noodle, please reassess. Tan Tan noodle and Beef wrap is like Sichuan food or Taiwanese food. Shanghai food is soy sauce, oil and sugar. If you goto this restaurant, order the Shanghai food, not the Cantonese idea of Shanghai food.
As for the Shanghai food, it is good, not outstanding, but good. Service is acceptable. I am there!
Went here on a wet and windy Sunday for some comfort food.
We ordered 9 dishes and the only thing that was passable was the sho long bao but everyting else was small in size and very bland.
No value in the food and the service was the sh*ts, no tea pot refills even though we had the lid on the tea poit and the hot water pot tilted for a 1/2 hour (traditional signal for more water please)
The funny chicken was a joke and the hot and sour soup was way to watery , lacked any significant ingredients and was not flavorful enough.
Will not be going back, Top Shanghai is at the "bottom" in my books.
Will try Shanghai Wonderful and Dinesty again for sure.
I went to this restaurant with my parents last Saturday. After we paid our bill and everything, as we were about to head towards the doors to leave.... One of the waitress immediately chases after us really quickly and asked us for more tip!! She asked if we could give them another $5!!!
I've tried pretty much every single shanghainese restaurant one can think of in richmond. taste wise, top really does beat shanghai river because shanghai river's food tastes really bland to myself and a lot of my friends. definitely try top's drunk chicken and steamed dumplings, those two dishes are my utmost favourites!
service wise, it's hard to get seats so perhaps go earlier? and my experience is really different because i have always gotten pretty decent service for a chinese restaurant. the price range is really nice to your wallet. will always go back!
Shanghai food is among my favourite types of food and so when I saw this place, I knew I had to find out for myself whether it is the TOP Shanghai Restaurant in Vancouver!
Out of the many times I've been to this place, every time, the restaurant was packed! you definitely need to make reservations if you have a group any larger than 2 wanting to eat there at lunch/dinner time.
The food, i gotta say, is very very delicious! And also very authentic to Shanghai cuisine. Their Shanghai little dragon buns is the BEST I've ever had -- even better than the ones I had in Shanghai! I also have tried their fresh sauteed shrimp with vinegar dipping sauce, which was also very delicious. If you're going there for lunch, I recommend you get one of their many hand pulled noodles, they're very delicious.
Service however, is a different story. We asked the server to recommend us a type of noodle and he just said "I don't know, what do you want to eat?" and we said "what's good?" and he just kept not wanting to answer! Also, we were continually treated with the same attitude the whole time we were there. Don't go here expecting good service! This restaurant is one that feels they don't need to treat their customers with any respect since they have so much business already.
However, despite the poor service, this place is definitely worth a try. The food is absolutely delicious and that will have me coming back again.
I've been to this place many times. Usually it involves a REALLY LONG WAIT and them rushing you to leave.
I think it servers the best Shanghai food in Vancouver but I think it involves a lot of MSG. There were over 500 unique food items to choose from the menu.
The service usually sucks - no body tries to greet you when you stand at the door, no one taking orders or bills or what-so-ever. Until one month ago there was a dramatic change to that. Suddenly they were all polite and stuff, I don't know why but it certainly is a good thing if they keep it that way.
I love Shanghai food as my parents are from Shanghai and I grew up there. This restaurant used to do nice job to produce the type of Shanghai food that was quite close to the refined way of cooking in Shanghai city. After repeated visits, I noticed the obvious decline in quality of the food (workmanship) at this restaurant. As commonly recognized the service in this restaurant does not exist. This is definitely NOT the waiting staffs' fault. They are good and hard working people. The sheer volume of people in the cramped space, very drafty entrance (cold air), no waiting space, lack of mgmt organization made effective service impossible. The food's quality is slipping visibly and so is the value of what you get. A sustainably successful restaurant rests on professional discipline. I'm afraid Top Shanghai does not even understand this. As such I'm afraid it will not enjoy the success it used to have should it stay as it is.
It's true what people say- bad service, long waits without reservations, horrible ambiance. But oh, the food is amazing.
IMHO, the food at Top Shanghai Cuisine is much better than at Shanghai River and is much cheaper as well. (Xiao Long Bao is about $3? cheaper here) Xiao Long Bao and their Shanghai Noodles are superior to Shanghai River's.
However, the service is bad and it is hard to get the attention of a waiter. On a busy day without reservations, expect to wait at least 45 minutes for seats. Often, you will be asked to share tables with other guests. Even with reservations, you should be prepared to wait at least 15 minutes.
But generally, I think the bad service and ugly decorations are worth the good food. If you are more into happy waiters and intriguing decorations at a restaurant then I suggest this is not the place for you.
Regardless of the poor service of the restaurant, the food taste appears to be "so delicious" because of MSG. After dinning in Top Shanghai, my friends and I have to drink a lot of water to release feeling thirsty. That's one sign of absorbing too much MSG. Someone we know working in the restaurant also confirms that chefs there are the heavy users of MSG. We understand that almost all Chinese restaurants will use MSG in their dishes. But Top Shanghai is just using too much. For your sake of health, just leave it.
I agree the food is good at Top Shanghai Cuisine. However, I received the worst service in my life that I wouldn't re-visit this restaurant. It's just not worth it! We ordered different dishes and it was supposed to be obvious that some dishes should come before other dishes but that was not the case in this restaurant. We were 3 ppl and the whole meal took us almost 2 hours, no matter how many times you reminded the waitress(es) that we're still waiting for our dishes, the answer was the same - THEY'RE ON THEIR WAY. Forgot how much we paid for the meal but we also left less than $1 tips! Don't go there cuz it'll ruin your mood of the day!