Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Leong’s Legend

Garlic Diced Beef- bland, chewy, and crap. Appalling value at a tad under a tenner!
(In actual fact my advice is to steer clear of any beef dishes in Chinese restaurants. The beef used is more than likely to be inferior and beyond poor)


The best in London!

Taro and Preserved Vegetable with Vermicelli in Soup

Spicy, sweet and sour- refreshingly delicious.

Highlight dish of Steamed giant Meatball with Salted Egg Yolk. Mega yummy!


There's really no point coming here if
the Xiaolongbao dumplings are not ordered. Forget about the claptrap surrounding the fact that they taste better in Shanghai. Look this is London and we're more than 7000 miles away, so stay put and allow Leong's Legend to serve you the best XLBs in Europe.

At long last and I’m more than glad to have made this pilgrimage. This place has been talked and blogged about among the cognoscenti and followers of the ‘alternative’ Chinese food scene. I came primarily for one thing and that’s the Xiaolongbao (Siu Loong Bao in Cantonese)- the remarkable soup dumplings that’s so easy to cock up during preparation and recipes often tempered with to ease mass production for the freezer and delivery to restaurants who don’t make them on site.Like all new Chinese restaurants of this ilk, the dining room is dark, in fact they’re all getting darker; I think we’ve got Alan Yau to thank for with his pioneering chic ‘lack of light’ ambience at Hakkasan. Before I talk about the food, there’s one thing I ought to point out; the service at this place has been constantly lambasted as being rude and callous, I think this may well be true but I’m not in a position to judge on this alone. This is because I just about speak the same lingo as the waiting staff, this advantage alone will prevent me from getting mentally frustrated, being ejected from the table before finishing the meal and receiving the final bill that’s inflated with a double dose of that dreaded gratuity charge. Take heed and good luck.

Came here for a solo lunch and after careful perusal of the ‘tick yourself’ dim sum menu, I started to regret that I came on my own. There’s simply no way I could try out all the appetising sounding dishes that you don’t normally find at your Royal Chinas and Ping Pongs (sniff).

The Noodle with Oyster ordered was certainly stodgy in appearance, which is due to the thickset gravy that the noodles and oysters were swimming in.

This heavy tasting dish was surprisingly yummy, mildly spicy and I’m pretty sure it was meant to be slurped without a care in the world of what your next door diner thinks!

Now for the pièce de résistance- I’ve certainly found soup dumpling nirvana in London. Leong’s Xiaolongbao came in a basket consisting of eight of the most perfectly formed and heavenly tasting dumplings. I was lucky enough to savour all the dumplings intact without any of them being pre-punctured. These dumplings should come with a warning or two; like McD’s apple pie, the contents are very hot and likely to cause an injury to the uninitiated, and when you bite onto them the soup within is likely to splurt everywhere (goodbye finest cotton shirt!).As ever with all new-found treasures like Leong’s Legends, I have this unfeigned desire and hope that at the very least the good cooking is maintained and the mere thought of complacence should be banished without ado.

4 Macclesfield Street
London, W1D 6AX


Gastro1 said...

Will have to try the Xiaolongbao .

The best I have had outside Shanghai to date was in a strange Chinese restaurant in Liverpool circa 1987.

It may have been called The Orient anyway it was really like having pot au feu in a dumpling.

bellaphon said...

Gastro1- Would be interesting to read your review on this. Watch out for the bill and indifferent service!