For a long time Top Gun in the International District (ID) was my friends’ and my go-to dim sum spot. Many a happy Saturday or Sunday morning was spent gathered around one of the large circular tables, spinning the lazy Susan ’round and ’round, while we shared and sampled and decided if we had room for just a little more. The food was good and always hot (we didn’t too often select the cold items), there were plenty of carts circling the room, and if you didn’t see something and asked for it they’d make sure they directed whatever cart had some in your direction. And at the end of our meal, when we’d eaten enough to keep us full for the rest of the day, we’d settle the bill and each owe about $10. $12 tops.
At some point they opened another Top Gun in Factoria. But we never went there. It just wouldn’t have been the same without the surrounding ID. Even when they closed the ID location we didn’t make our way across the bridge. Instead, we tried to find a substitute here in Seattle. We solicited recommendations from everyone we could think of but nothing ever seemed to be just right. We had a little luck and some okay meals but somehow the magic was gone. And we even contributed to our own downfall. Not being sure if a place would be good or not we only sent out small scouting parties for our research. While dim sum with four people can be fun, it’s not the same as dim sum with ten or twelve.
So finally, last weekend M and I took the drive across the bridge to Factoria to the "new" Top Gun. It took us a minute to find it as it’s a little buried behind a construction project. We actually just noticed the sign as we were turning the car around thinking we’d passed it. But we finally got there.
We arrived just as they opened and before we knew it the carts were making their way around the room. Now, I have to admit that I really don’t know many (okay maybe any) names of the dim sum dishes. I can recognize many of them but in all my years I’ve either used the pointing method (I’ll take one of those and one of those.) Or the affirmative head shake method where they show you something and I just shake my head while saying Yes, please! Or I rely on my friends who actually do know the names of things to ask for them. So I eat them and love them and cannot really tell you the names of things I especially like. But then, part of the fun of dim sum is just trying whatever looks good. Maybe it’s better that I don’t tell you any names so you can experiment for yourself!
Our dim sum at the new Top Gun was good although we weren’t really able to try a wide variety of items. I think it was a little more expensive, though. There were only two bad things about our experience. The first is that with just two of us we could only have a few different things before we were full. The second is that the location still feels a little odd. There was way too much light from the walls of windows, for one thing. I missed the little jigsaw of rooms that comprised the ID location. The Factoria location has two very large rooms. But I think if we gathered up ten or twelve friends and settled ourselves around a big circular table and really got the lazy Susan spinning around we’d be so busy laughing and enjoying the food we wouldn’t really notice any of the rest of it. Still ,there’s a part of me that says the search is not yet over.
Top Gun Seafood
12450 SE 38th St