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Top Island Chinese Restaurant

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A new Chinese restaurant opened in Alhambra yesterday called Top Island. It is at the same location were Sea Star Buffet used to be. I went today for dim sum at 1115 and had to wait about 10 minutes for a table. When I left about an hour later there were lots of people waiting.

All dim sum dishes here are $1.88 (weekday price). I had the usual dishes like siu mai, har gow, cheung fun, dan tat, egg rolls, jook, chow fun, fung jow & choi sum. I liked the siu mai, kind of reminded me of they way Tai Hong used to make them. The fung jow were large and cooked soft the way I like. The jook had lots of thousand year old egg. Tea/setting charge is 88 cents p/p. They serve dim sum here with trolleys. I didn't like their napkins here, they just give you several paper napkins which are similar to kleenex.

When I left I saw some different items coming out so I'll have to come back and try them. Also their newspaper ad says they have a free crab special during dinner hours. Not sure what the min. requirements are for this though.

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  1. Great job sniffing out the new place.

      1. Out of curiosity we went to Top Island for Christmas morning dim sum. Weekend and holiday's are $2.08/dish and 88 cents/person set up. By 8:30am it was about 90% full. Think people are attracted by the curiosity of a new place and the prices. ROM (run of the mill) dim sum, nothing outstanding but adequate. Their luncheon menu specials priced at $4.75.

        1. Went back here for dinner and got my free crab. The deal works like this: if you have 5 or less people in your party you get 1 free crab, 6 or more people and you get 2 free crabs. I saw lots of families here tonite eating some nice sized crabs.

          The restaurant was full at around 700PM and the kitchen seems kind of slow at dinner time.

          1. Went back here for dinner tonight and the place is still packed. So packed that the head waiter angered some tables (including mine) by trying to rush our dinner. We were still eating (lots of food on our table) when we were presented with our bill and dessert. After a short slightly heated conversation our bill was taken back and not presented until we finished our meal and requested it. When I left we heard one of the employees tell a senior couple that "they should leave because they would not be getting a table for only two." Not cool.

            1. went to top island for dimsum yesterday.

              totally average. skins too thick, dishes lacking in flavor. we arrived at about 2pm and they were out of luo buo gao

              1 Reply
              1. re: modernist

                I was also totally underwhelmed by Top Island.

                Cheap =/= quality.

                See my prior post: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/367687

              2. My girlfriend and I went there tonight. My coworker told me this place was good when it was a buffet.
                Oh boy was it terrible.
                Maybe we ordered the wrong thing.
                My gf likes hot pot, which was around 16 bucks. When it came we thought we ordered the wrong dish. It had something like MUSHROOM, some sea cucumber....and one another thing. Absolutely no flavor.
                It had NONE of the good seafood like shrimp, scallops, etc...
                Then we ordered a whole fish. Of course they try to disguise the fact that half of the fish is gone. They must mix and match with other fish dishes because our fish had 2 tails.
                The fish was totally soggy, flavorless, bland etc...
                Oh by the way, the fish came out to 40 bucks.
                For those 2 items we ordered it was 60 bucks.
                They never gave us our water by the way.
                That place should be called Top Ripoff!

                1 Reply
                1. re: buytheredcar

                  As I mentioned in another thread on this awful place, a group of us went there for dinner and thought it to be pretty poor. Overpriced, tasteless food that was not of very good quality, either. Nomally we eat at this place in Alhambra called Ritz Gardens because my MIL likes it (I thnk it is mediocre at best, and am always complaining about it) but after eating at Top Island, it made Ritz Garden seem like the Ritz Carlton. Top Island is ugh.