Top Choice Sizzling Hotplate is on the posh north side of the escalators, where folks don't yell at you. They just smile. They know we want it. They know because they've been there for fifteen years.
Top Choice is run by top blokes who are more than happy to explain what some of the different dishes are, and even offer advice on their favourite ones. The menu is about half'n'half sizzling plates and hotpots. The sizzling plate dishes are oily by nature (oil + hot plate = sizzle), the hotpot dishes much less so. A sizzling plate and a hotplate dish work well together. So if you're two people, you might want to change your medication. Add a $4 plate of greens and you can tell your mum you've been eating healthy.
Make sure you check out the notepad where they write down their orders - no space is spared, the whole pad is filled with cramped Chinese characters, we'd love one framed.
#33 Fillet Steak Chinese Style - $9.50. Large, thin slices of steak in a dark, thick, sweet sauce. Served sizzling. Not super melt-in-mouth tender but certainly tender enough for the price. We found this one easier to eat if you cut the steak up, like the way nanna cuts up your sausages for you.
#14 - Salted fish & chicken hotpot with bean curd - $9.50. Lovely big hunks of tofu swimming in a thick, mild sauce dotted with wee chicken bits. Don't be afraid of salted fish folks, it adds a nice salty kick, it rarely tastes overly 'fishy'.
Ginger and shallot chicken hotpot - $9.50. Lovely fresh clean steamed chicken with a healthy dollop of ginger and shallots on top.
Spicy four seasons beans - $9.50.
Tomato sauce prawns - $9.50. Cooked in the shell, in a thick sweet sauce. We found it easier to eat the shells as well.
Vegetables in oyster sauce - $4. Highly recommended.
Dry octopus and chicken claypot rice - $9.80. Simple flavours. The dried octopus is subtle, if it wasn't written on the menu you wouldn't know it was there, yet it adds some depth of flavour. Yum.
The best part of the hotpot is is the crunchy rice baked onto the bottom, fight for it!
Top Choice Sizzling Hotpot is in the Sussex Centre Food Court - 401 Sussex Street, Chinatown\Haymarket. Head up the escalator and fly like an angel in the winds of heaven. Top Choice also has an stall in the Market City Food Court.