Monday, 21 October 2013

Leong’s Legends

Taiwanese in China Town

It has been a while since my last dim sum lunch in London, and sadly, there aren't that many great places around London that offer decent dim sum, not even the likes of Yauatcha impressed me in the past. So when I was on a hunt for a good dim sum restaurant in London I actually found it rather difficult. Then I came across Leong's Legends in China Town which I've walked past millions of times in the past. Unlike most Chinese restaurants in London, Leong's Legends offers Taiwanese style cooking which is not too common and I've always been a fan of Taiwanese cuisine so I settled for a visit to Leong's Legends on a Sunday afternoon.

Leong’s Legends

As expected it was totally jam packed, we waited about half hour before we managed to get a table. The lunch time menu offers a selection of traditional Taiwanese small plates as well as some classic dim sum. For the Taiwanese specials, we ordered the famous Siu Loung Bao, a pork and crab dumpling with soup then wrapped and steamed in a wooden case. It was packed with a rich and very savoury taste, not too bad for London's level of Chinese cooking. The mini kebab, pork belly and pickled vegetable sandwich in a steamed Chinese bun again was done pretty well. Moist pork and nice sweet and bitter notes from the pickled vegetables, but I found the steamed bun a little too thick for my liking.
crab meat and pork siu loung bao
Taiwanese mini kebab with pork

The classic Taiwanese grilled minced beef patty was the weakest dish of the day, while nothing wrong with the patty itself, the beef and vegetables within wasn't blended well enough and left lumps of chewy bits inside. Both pan fried turnips and char siu bao were done at a good standard level. The best dish was the prawn and spinach dumplings. The timing was spot on with the steaming, the skin was silky thin and the prawn and spinach released wonderful aromas, all sealed within the dumpling. The stir fried glass noodles had a good mild spicy flavour but just a touch too salty for my liking, and I wished the pork was minced a bit more and spread evenly in the noodles.
Taiwanese grilled minced beef patty
pan fired turnip and shrimp paste
char siu bao and
rawn & spinach dumplings
stir fried glass noddles with dry shrimps and minced pork

While Leong's Legends by no means is perfect, it does offer some nice classic Taiwanese cooking at a decent level which saves you the time and money to travel all the way to Taiwan. The major plus about this place is the price, we ordered far more than we could handle and we still ended up paying less than £20 per person which is very good value for what we had. The let down here is the service like many other restaurants in China Town, it took forever for them to notices us and we had to wait almost 15 minutes to get our bill. To sum it up, Leong's Legends is worth a visit if you've never had Taiwanese food before and wondered what it is all about as it offers a nice insight at a very reasonable price.

Food 4.5
Service 2
Ambience 5
Value 8

£18 per head

4 Macclesfield St, City of Westminster, London W1D

Leong’s Legends on Urbanspoon

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