I got a quick chance to try what seems to be a rather hidden gem in terms of Chinese Szechuan food the other day! The restaurant is called Top 1 Seafood BBQ Restaurant & Bar or “Top 1” for short.
My mom’s friend told her about this place so we decided to check it out for dinner. Unfortunately, I didn’t have much time to dine in that night so we only ordered two dishes to eat with rice.
When I walked in, I was so impressed with the layout and decor of the restaurant. Top 1 Seafood BBQ Restaurant & Bar is located on East Beaver Creek in Richmond Hill and one of the many eateries on the group of units in place. It was the first time I had seen a Chinese restaurant outfitted with so many minute details of “stuff”. There was a wall of bookcases filled with various books and knickknacks, a wall covered with probably hundreds of wine bottles, and the seats at the end of the restaurant were tables with sofa love seats! Everything inside the restaurant tied together to give a mysterious yet homey feel. There was even a small stage with hanging light equipment ready to use for special events, I believe. This was a really special place to dine on some Szechuan Chinese food!
Even after we received the menus, the server brought us an old-style teapot that was green and looked “flattened”. I had never seen something so artistic used at a Chinese restaurant before!
We ordered the Szechuan Style Sliced Lamb and Stir Fried Eggplant, Bitter Melon, and Green Beans.
The Szechuan Style Sliced Lamb arrived with the sliced lamb in a bowl with the spicy sauce and bean sprouts and some glass noodles at the bottom of the dish. This was really tasty and slightly ma-la spicy. The consistency and method of cooking of the sliced lamb was that of hot pot style where the raw sliced lamb was boiled in the spicy sauce to lap up its flavour.
The Stir Fried Eggplant, Bitter Melon, and Green Beans was also a bit spicy but the vegetables were otherwise well done and tasty.
I am most certainly coming back for a return visit! Szechuan food is a love of mine and there are so many other dishes I’ve yet to try on their menu to further feel out the restaurant.
While we were dining there, we saw almost all of the other tables order a big square cooking pot which seemed to contain a choice of different things. It looked so good! I can’t wait to come back. The service here was also polite and efficient.
Oh, and I was so pleasantly surprised that we got complimentary desserts at the end! It was a small glass of chilled mango pudding. It was a perfect ending to a spicy meal! 🙂