Monday, October 19, 2009

Leong's Legends : A one trick pony ?

I have been to Leong’s Legends about six times now and have tried most things on the menu.

The restaurant claims to be Taiwanese but has many standard Cantonese dishes that one would encounter in most of the Cantonese centric establishments in London’s China Town or other comers of the world where Cantonese communities are well established be it Hong Kong or of course Taiwan.

My conclusion on this restaurant is that the vast majority of dishes are average to poor but there are a few really outstanding ones.

Other dishes that are good to above average include Taiwan Mini Kebab with pork though sometimes it is far too fatty, grilled minced pork buns (not a patch on Hunan’s) a spicy beef noodle soup (again the brisket can be too fatty for my taste) and the pork belly stew.

The Xiao Long Bao (pictured above) are certainly the best I have had in London and only second to some I had in a restaurant in Liverpool called The Orient over 15 years ago (in terms of UK). Both restaurants achieved the perfect balance of dumpling texture broth and pork filling. Of course neither reach the levels that I have been lucky enough to sample in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Taipei but they get close !

Leong’s Xiao Long Bao are in fact so good that I will continue to frequent this establishment even if it’s only for a late breakfast at noon when it opens it’s doors.

Leong’s Legends on Urbanspoon


Hollow Legs said...

I agree - I liked the pork 'kebab' and the xiao long bao but the cheung fun were not so good.

The cold beef and tripe slices in chilli oil and the tofu with century egg are also good.

Liz said...

I've been three times now, and have come to much the same conclusion. It's worth going along for a starter of Xiao Long Bao, then going next door to Rasa Sayang for the rest of the meal...and perhaps over the road to De Hems for a digestif!

Laissez Fare said...

Hmm...interesting. I've been there twice now and taken it away once to eat at work. Agree it is fairly hit & miss there, though on my last lunch we had some pretty good dishes. I really liked the tofu with 2k year egg - thought it was a well balanced and nicely spiced dish.

What in your view are the better places for this type of food? Many thanks indeed.

Best regards,


Kavey said...

I went to LL for the first time a couple of weeks ago. As I had a lot of posts in the queue, I wrote up my visit shortly afterwards but scheduled it to post tomorrow morning, as it happens.

I liked some of the dishes very much, others were not great.

But, as you, I will certainly go again, ordering those things that really stood out for me. (And trying some of the other dishes, so I can further refine my list).

Helen @ World Foodie Guide said...

I've been a few times now, and although the XLB are very good (and good value for money too), I've enjoyed the Taiwan mini kebab and the pork belly on rice (and this is from someone who swore she'd never return to LL again after her first visit!). The Cantonese dim sum aren't that great in comparison. Maybe I'll take my parents there and see what they say!

gastrogeek said...

A great review, I find it so hard to pinpoint the decent places amongst the tourist dross in Chinatown - will certainly check this out next time I'm there. I can't believe I still haven't made it down to Hunan's either.

bethany (Dirty Kitchen Secrets) said...

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Gastro1 said...

Lizzie . Liz , Helen and Kavey seems everyone likes the XLB and Lix I think you have hit on a golden idea to hit severl places for individual dishes/courses though I would give De Hems a swerve in favour of The French House

LF I think Helen and Lizzie have much more knowledge and experience than me on where to go for Dim Sum and various variants of Chinese cuisine. My favourite bar none is Hunan have been goingthere for nearly 20 years run by a Taiwanese family but would not say it's a typical Taiwanese restaurant !

Rejina I promised Signe I would arrange a meal at Hunan just us girls :-)

Bethany good to connect would love to come to your shin dig !