Restaurant Review: Blue Top New Chinese Cuisine
Blue Top New Chinese Cuisine is the joint that set up shop inside the address long held by Thai Taste. It sits in a strip mall on Kenny Road that has always held a jackpot of authentic international cuisines: the buildings have been home to a collection of offerings that has included an Indian restaurant and and an Indian grocer, a Japanese grocer, Asian bakeries and Akai Hana, the immortal sushi institution.
Like its predecessor, the interior of Blue Top is elegant. The bar’s at the front, and the dining room boasts a streamlined design, but comfy padded chairs. The menu is on the streamlined side too. It’s all an easily digestible mix of options (although some parts of the menu are written in Chinese).
The starter options are familiar and very good. The Crab Rangoon ($4.99) is especially outstanding: an order delivers four pouches filled with quality ingredients. It’s not sugared-up like many rangoons. Instead, the crunchy pockets are filled with a natural combination of real crab and cream cheese; it delivers bite after bite of rich flavor.
Also in the appetizer-department are the Steamed Dumplings ($5.58); they’re lighter than the Crab Rangoon, offering tender pockets that are equally worthy of stomach space.
The menu features a few mainstream items such as General Tso’s Chicken and Kung Po dishes. But it also offers finds you might not normally see at a mall-bound fast food joint. Case in point: Fish Fillet with Seasonings ($13.98). It’s actually several fillets, a giant pile of fish-fish-fish, thick and dense, in a mild garlic broth. The fish lover at the table was in heaven. For fish fans, it is pure overload of a good thing. The rest of the table was done after one try.
Beef Curry ($13.99) was more popular (the photo above is the tofu variant). It is comforting, truly as comforting as any Midwestern stew. It’s filled with chunks of potatoes, and chunks of beef that are of good quality. It’s easier to appreciate the quality of the meat by describing what it is not. It’s not the tenderized, pounded beyond recognition, pieces of brown stuff that might be found elsewhere. The big chunks are tender and beefy, absent any tell-tale chemical aftertaste. The cubes of beef mix it up with the potatoes in a thick stew of mildly sweet curry slurry.
The favorite at the table was the Mongolian Chicken ($11.98). Be forewarned, it has a lot of onions. Probably more onions than any one person should consume in a single setting: green onion, red onions, every conceivable thing in the onion family, all julienned and sauteed with chicken with an irresistible smoky sesame oil. The point is to share the love there, and it’s so very good.
A nice starchy rice serves as a companion to most dishes. And even if sharing is difficult, it’s really best to split orders with a group in order to mix and match offerings.
You can find Blue Top at 1178 Kenny Centre Mall. It’s open Mondays through Thursdays from 11am until 10pm. On Fridays and Saturdays, it’s open from 11am until 11pm. And on Sundays, the hours are 12 noon until 10pm.
For more information, visit www.mybluetop.com.
Photos by Mollie Lyman of www.fornixphotography.com. Photos are taken at a different time than review, so discrepancies between photos and review may occur.