Ever since visiting Shanghai as a young child, xiaolongbao is my favorite Chinese dish, by far. "Xiaolong" refers to the stackable bamboo pans used to steam the "bao". I don't know how I feel about a restaurant that bills itself as Taiwanese claiming a Shanghainese specialty as its most popular dish though..
I've had the xiaolongbao at Leong's Legends twice, both pretty early on a weekend afternoon. Both times, they were done quite well - thin skin that breaks easily, flavorful brothy soup and a juicy little lump of meat inside. The best way to eat (in my highly scientific opinion) it is to gently roll the dumpling into your soup spoon, nip the top of it, suck out the soup, then dip it in the vinegar and eat the rest of it in one bite. I quite like Leong's crab meat xiaolongbao. My only complaint is that it should be served on steamed cabbage leaves because that helps seal in the flavor and protect the integrity of the skin -- they serve them on paper here, so if you leave them sitting for too long (as if anyone would!) they can potentially tear a little more easily when you're lifting them up.
The fried turnip appetizer is really interesting and delicious, and I've never had it anywhere else. I think the stir fry veggie dishes are too expensive (£7 for string beans...) but on the whole, this is a nice little lunch spot with fairly authentic food.
This little joint seems to have quite the reputation. Ordinarily I would have given it a pass but I couldn't resist taking my partner here one evening as we passed through Chinatown towards Soho. It's a little clandestine, like a speakeasy for dim sum! Heed the sign on the front and knock their door to be let in. Don't be shy, they are very nice and service at Leong's is noticeably more personal than at any of the other places in or around Chinatown.
Do yourself a favour and treat this place more as a tapas style dining experience than a fully loaded, plates all around Chinese meal experience. Leong's make their own xiao long bao (little dragon buns) which are a melt in your mouth revelation. If you don't know the correct way to consume these little pieces of paradise then it's a good idea to watch others closely or Google it. Its a nibble, sip and chew kind of thing... It sounds crazy but I promise you it tastes better this way and you won't hurt yourself in the process.
My partner and I ordered the xiao long bao, chive dumplings, sticky pork and mushroom rice (which came in a bamboo pot) and a pot of tea. We would have ordered more but were on our way to dinner in Soho. Apparently neither of us have any self control. :P
Come at the right time and it can be very intimate (late lunch or early dinner.) Come at peak time and face a queue that begins at the bottom of the basement stairs. The customers here are a good mix of British and Chinese and are mostly locals (living, working or studying in London.) The feeling I had at Leong's was a world away from the kind of experience I've generally had in restaurants in Chinatown which quite often pander to a tourist demographic and are not concerned with repeat customers for that reason. It's lovely to see Leong's taking a huge step in the right direction. Hopefully others might follow suit.
PROS - While the majority of Chinatown is known for tacky and rude service, things are slightly better here! Along with better service, their xiao long bao (little dragon dumplings) is also considerably better here than many places including Dumplings Legend around the block. The xiao long bao here has a more flavorful juice pocket and the meat is more lean. The shu mai and chicken feet are excellent here as well -- ask for chili sauce and soy sauce to dip the shu mai in!
CONS - The waitress spelled some soy sauce on my partner but apologized with some wet wipes (thank goodness he was just wearing a casual hoodie!). The xiao long bao with crab tasted funny...almost floral? Our guess was that someone applied hand lotion and started to make our dumplings? Or maybe the crab they used was not fresh? o_O We wouldn't get that again.
CONCLUSION - We will definitely go back again for the regular xiao long bao, shu mai and chicken feet! Can't wait to try the other dim sum from them as well.
I came here for takeout sometimes when I studied abroad in London last fall, the last time with a friend who had come to visit me in January.
I never really expected much out of it (being Taiwanese and used to cheap, good food - a little less so now that I'm studying in the USA) but it was surprisingly okay. Not the best (I still think Old Tree has got it beat, in terms of Taiwanese food in Chinatown) but enough to satisfy.
I really like their Coffin Bread - which is something you Do Not See outside of Taiwan ever (except maybe in California...). Funnily enough as it's probably one of the most westernized xiaochi I can think of. Their beef noodles are alright, but the slightly sweet cumin taste is a little weird. A nice touch, but not really 'authentic' I would think.
If you are a vegetarian, then don't go here. There are very few items on the menu that is pure vegetarian. But for non-vegetarian folks, this would be heaven.
I don't know why Taiwanese cuisine has barely any pure vegetarian options. Most dishes marked vegetarian had fish sauce or oyster sauce in it. Which is not vegetarian for pure-vegetarian Indians. You might argue that vegetarians aren't welcome. But I disagree. My friend was lucky to find something that was vegetarian. But wasn't happy with the taste.
And to make things worse, there was a dead fly in our Jasmine Tea.
I had mango pudding as dessert, which was pretty good. I also had a vegetarian pan-cake and some noodles that didn't particularly have any flavor. It was all vegetarian. Probably that is why.
I wouldn't say the whole restaurant is bad. But it is sad to see that it doesn't care about vegetarians. And the dead fly was a real disappointment.
We went there on recommendation of friends for their dumplings. Did it turn out alright, well.....
First off you have to knock on the door to enter - it's locked. Once inside you literally are standing in the cashier area and if you don't change direction you'll walk directly into the kitchen. Somewhat you get the feeling that you instead of walking through the entrance you rushed to Heathrow jumped a plane to Hong Kong, Taipei etc. and went into the first food stop you saw, that's the immediate impression.
However sitting down at our table we pretty quick came back from our imaginary trip to East Asia. Our waiter was polite but very indifferent to our presence and the general attitude (smile people!) had a kind of "we-don't-really-bother" feel to it.
That being said the dumplings (and prawns with oyster sauce) that we got was quite nice. Also the fried rice and chicken was enjoyable and priced at just shy of 45£ for three adults it's worth a visit - for the food. The attitude and service level of the staff is gonna' to cost a star, sorry.
Wonderful xlb wonderful
Crystal shrimp are humongous here
Fast hot delicious
Classics done well
Can see the chefs making xlb
Seriously?? This restaurant site has had more guises than Sherlock Holmes in his heyday
I love the restaurant group which owns this site for their commitment to introduce food from wider variety of regions in China. Their first great hit was Leong's Legends located across the road from this site, which serves Taiwanese food
They seem to use this site as a testbed for new concepts and over the years, we've had dongbei cuisine with Manchurian Legends (now moved to Lisle Street) and just recently jiangsu cuisine at River Melody. However, River Melody doesn't seem to have lasted long and I was surprised to find that this site has now turned into Leong's Legend's Two, literally just across the road from the original Leong's Legends and confusingly, there's also another Leong's Legends Two on nearby Lisle Street
I do hope this doesn't mean that the lack of support from London diners has forced them to give up on their plan of bringing new styles of Chinese cuisine to us. The main menu is identical to the original Leong's Legends across the road but they have a small list of Jiangnan dishes as a legacy of River Melody
The only other advantage of dining here as opposed to crossing the road is that you don't have to knock on the door to be admitted unlike at the original Leong's Legends
I came to London to live for a term, and immediately started craving Taiwanese food. A local friend took me here, and I was so happy! They had all the classic dishes that I love, and the prices were pretty affordable. Their soup dumplings were tender, and I got full pretty fast off of sticky rice and their braised pork. Order a milk tea to go along with the meal, and you're pretty set!
Some things to note though:
+ They'll make you wait in a staircase before being seated, so prepare to be crammed with strangers
+ You're also asked to knock before entering the restaurant. Odd.
Siu Long Bow (okay, I cannot translate Chinese to English spelling if it was the last thing required of me before death, so sue me) were FANTASTIC. Surprisingly. Beef noodle soup was a negative, horrendously bland with forgetful rice-esque noodles. Sticky rice with pork, amazing. 3-cup chicken was AITE...
All in all, a great find in London...where Taiwanese food is pretty much nonexistent. I'd eat here again. And for a table of 4 with all the trimmings it came to about 75 pounds. AWE-SOME.
Yum. I've wanted to go to Leong's Legends in honour of my friend Ms Leong for ages, and finally I made it. Hurrah.I like the way it's low lit and with lots of different dark corners. It looks really pokey but in an exciting way for budding explorers,
I couldn't be that adventurous as I don't eat pork and well the menu had a lot of that on it, but dear Yelper let me live vicariously through you... please try the dumplings with the hot porky soup inside. It sounds amazing.
I tried the vegetarian fish (deep fried vegetable goodness), the vegetable noodles and Kung Pao Chicken and they were all delicious. The only downer were the chicken dumpling we had, bit blah - bland and tough. Snore.
About £15 each including service and beer (2 courses).
Best beef tendons I've ever had. Just wonderfully spicy, succulent and sinewy. They're like an adult version of Haribo, ridiculously morish to the extent that once you finish chewing one your chopsticks have lined up another for your mouth to delight in.
I'm sitting watch football right now and couldn't think of anything more desirable right now than Leong's Legends beef tendons and a large bottle of Tsingtao. I think I'm turning into the quintessential Chinese dad without being either Chinese or a dad.
Also good: pork sandwiches, tall cups of hot soy milk and great meat and rice dishes for under a fiver.
Not so good: salty soy milk... ewww. Men's bathroom, just as bad.
Whatever you do, don't turn up to Taiwanese institution Leong's Legend without all your party present... I'd have had a better reaction standing outside a school offering peeks at my etchings than having the temerity to arrive friendless at Leongs. On learning that my guest was running late I was made to stand on the staircase, like a chubby schoolboy waiting to see the headmaster, until she arrived. It may have slightly classier decor than other Chinatown joints but the welcome and service are reassuringly brusque.
We were there on recommendation for the weekend dim sum menu, I've become slightly obsessed by the dainty Oriental tapas of late. Once I'd persuaded them that I did have someone joining me and wasn't some sort of solo dining restaurant pest, I took advantage of my guest's tardiness and got my ordering on. She arrived as the food did (or possibly the other way round), my social pariah status at an end. At an average of £3-4 a plate, £25 will more than cover two hungry souls.
It was all fresh and seemingly home made, standout were their siu leung bau, or soup dumplings, steamed purses filled with piquant broth and a hunk of garlicky pork mince. There's nothing finer than taking one of these bad boys onto your spoon, biting the tip off and sucking the fresh hot salty liquor out. At £5.50 for eight pieces, they're also very, very good value and an acceptable lunch in their own right. The char sui bau are also excellent versions of the pillowy soft steamed BBQ buns filled with anunctuous porky sauce. We worked our way through a number of other steamed options and a portion of fresh turnip puffs. If I had one, tiny, criticism it would be that the noodle wrapper on the cheung fun was too thick and chewy but that's the only thing I could score them down for.
The menu goes wider than dim sum, and once you've got past the front door it's cleaner and friendlier than a number of other places along the strip. You wouldn't have a problem bringing clients or parents here and for a weekend lunch service without the frenetic trolley action of New World I'd be happy to recommend Leongs. I'll definitely be back, just as soon as I can get my friends to arrive on time.
This restaurant is the only place (that I know of) in London that offers Taiwanese cuisine. Although the food here can not compare at all to food in Taiwan, still I went a few times to show friends and also get a distant taste of my old home.
The beef noodle soup was relatively bland, although the meat itself was OK. The oyster pancake tasted pretty good. The soup dumplings sometimes were delicious, but a few times the skin felt thick and was under-steamed. One of the best items here is the pork belly, which I enjoyed and my friends loved. I have tried a few other dishes as well, although none especially jumped out at me.
They really need to invest in a new door. The heavy wooden door has to remain closed since it opens straight to the hostess desk and kitchen directly behind it. You can't tell if the restaurant is open -- the little sign to the right window is too small.
Sample a few items over two visits.
Spicy beef noodle soup -- both average, but they will filling.
Soup pork dumplings
Fried taro were both tasty and pipping hot -- would recommend
Soy drink (both hot and cold) are unsweetened and tasty
Can you say one hit wonder? It might not be fair to call Leong's Legends that, but let me tell you a story. I've been coming here pretty regularly since I started working in Soho over a year ago and first tried them for soup dumplings (AKA xiao long bao). "Soup dumplings?", I hear you ask. Yes. I'll level with you and thought it was going to be dumplings in soup. Try the other way around! Supposedly this place makes good ones - I'm not going to disagree - pork and lemongrass loveliness sitting in a fragrant broth wrapped in a delicate layer of pastry and steamed to perfection. These things are a joy to eat - both in taste and in the actual act. You may stain your shirt and/or burn your mouth the first time - don't worry, you'll find a technique that works for you!
Well, frankly the only thing I ever order from here now is the XLB and a side - usually a dim sum dish like BBQ pork buns/puffs, fried turnip or sticky rice. Their tea is pretty good, but if you fancy something a bit different try the soy milk which is nicely sweetened and chilled.
From what I remember from occasionally experimenting with their other dishes, their other food remains pretty decent, but really the star of the show here is those soup dumplings. Go go go.
The reason we ended up here is because I had never had siu loung bao before and my girlfriend insisted that I must try them asap. I complied. We were doing a trip to London and had a slot for (more) food in our day so off we went.
Odd entry arrangement. You knock, they unlock and let you in. I can see the practicality (no horde of people crowding the door inside), mystery (oh why oh why is this door not open.. ooo secretive), lack of mystery (sign on the door telling you to knock), and reason why it isn't a good idea (if you don't knock loud enough the door shall not open).
Upon entering we were shepherded in a strange, less than welcoming manner over to the stairs to the basement level while we waited for a table suitable for 2 people. Notably there were other places to sit available but were more suitable for larger groups. Were I not in a jolly mood I wouldn't have really appreciated those tables sitting stingily empty while we loitered stupidly on the stairs, however I understand the business practicality of it as it was slowly getting busier.
5-10min later we were off to a seat at a 4 person table and ordering what we had decided on 5-10min earlier.
We ordered a bubble milk tea, a Chinese tea, the Legend's and the Crab Meat Siu Loung Bao. The drinks came quickly and the siu loung bao shortly not too long after.
The food was quite good to me, flavourful and filling. Definitely up to my first try standards. I would suggest both the Legend's and Crab Meat.
The bubble milk tea was fairly standard. The boba had a good consistency, not too soft/mushy, not too hard/chewy.
The price isn't awful for the UK (anywhere else in the world I'd be less sentimental).
I give them a 4 for the food and drink, and 2 for the service. 3 stars overall.
My expectations were so high... Too high apparently!!
I went with my boyfriend, and loving Asian food and having lived in Asia, I was very excited.
We ordered stir fried Greens beens with pork and stir fried aubergine with 2 dim sums one pork and other one crab.
The green beens were amazing, but where was the pork? The Aubergine were also very good but the dim sum... Argh, it was just nauseating. They were basically just full of water. I had 2 and my boyfriend as well but had to leave the rest because we couldn't take all that water... Just thinking about it makes me sick!
Since the portions are TINY and we were still very much hungry we ordered sauted beef with vegetables. The vegetables were just two sugar snaps, and bak choi but whatever... The beef was just fat... and I mean, really just fat. There was more fat on that beef than on my belly and that's a lot to say haha! No more seriously about 2/ 3rds of the meat was just fat... Not good.
We left feeling cheated because we paid 40 pounds when the portions were just small and it just was not good... At all... and we also left feeling hungry...
I would seriously advice you not to go, I can find a better Asian food restaurant with bigger portions for a lot less expensive!
Leong's Legends has a bizarre charm to it. From the locked door that you have to knock on to enter, to the surly service from the wait staff you are entering a world that only a restaurant with it's roots firmly in China could give you.
Service isn't the order of the day. Staff seem to do their hardest to avoid eye contact and when they collect your order sheet it's done in a fairly brusque manner. The same can be said for nearly every restaurant worth visiting in Chinatown though. You don't come here for the service, you come for the xiao long bao.
As other yelpers have said, the Xiao Long Bao are a bit of a one hit wonder here. That's not to say that the rest of the dishes are bad, just that what you'll leave remembering is that one basket of Xiao Long Bao. The dumpling skin is the perfect thickness that you don't have to worry about splitting it when you pick it up but you can still easily puncture it on your spoon to allow the soup to mix with the vinegar; and the flavour of the soup, immense. I think you would struggle to find better example of these dumplings in all but the best restaurants in China. They are frankly superlative.
The rest of the menu isn't bad. The warm soya drink with almost raw egg in it perhaps isn't meant for a Western palate but everything else is exactly as you would expect.
All in all great value for some of the best Xiao Long Bao you'll find in this country.
We discovered this place while stumbling around after War Horse looking for something to eat et voila, Leong's Legends appeared out of the mists of Chinatown. Wince none of us had tried (or even known about) Taiwanese food, we gave it a gander.
I liked the look of the low tables and chairs and the curiosity of having to knock to enter (kind of like having a secret password to get in, except that anyone with a knuckle can get in).
We ordered some of the more basic dishes -- seafood fried rice, vermicelli noodles, boy choy with wild mushrooms -- and all three of us enjoyed the flavors. I hate bastardized Chinese food and mostly avoid Chinese restaurants unless a Chinese person personally escorts me or I'm at the mercy of someone who has ordered take-out. Leong's food is definitely less greasy than Chinese food and the flavors are more subtle and refined. In most Chinese restaurants, all the dishes taste the same to me, probably because they use a lot of the same base across dishes. But here, the rice dish tasted completely different than the noodle dish -- different seasonings, different flavor, and of course different textures.
We also ordered the crispy duck, which was indeed crispy but also dry. The accompanying sauce was cloyingly sweet. Skip the duck.
The service is downright rude, but I've come to expect that from Asian restaurants. The staff doesn't speak very good English and probably work for ridiculously low wages and never see any of the automatic service charge tacked onto the bill so I try not to blame them. They were in a hurry to see us go as it was late so they asked us to pay while we were still eating, and they hovered at the very end, waiting for us to leave.
I could forgive all that but one thing to watch out for: the bill had a grand total without any itemization or mention of the service charge, so I couldn't check the math, which I am fastidious about. Someone else ended up paying but those kinds of tricks leave a sour taste in my mouth, and I've knocked it down a star for that.
This is a new kind of asian/oriental food I tried last night.
The place is dark, and the door, with the "open" sign is locked because of their poor hinge operation, and the strong winter gusts will leave the door open every now and then. That is why they locked the door and did not mind people puzzled about how to enter this venue.
The sitting is quite cheap, all dark, and you may not notice it, but filty and cheap-decorated, plastic spears as war-theme? what a joke.
And, the wicker basket lampshades above the tables are hanging at the awkward level and the light gets in your eyes while you are seated and you feel exposed too much. The walls are dark gray painted but the grease splash marks are the glowing signs of the filth they overlooked and scratches on the poorly hand-made tables are general wears of the place. Then, again, because it is a dark place, you may not notice it...
This was my first Taiwanese food experience for me, hence I asked one waitress to pick all the authentic Taiwanese dishes that I cannot find from other Chinese places nearby. The price varies but all around 7 pounds. The portions are quite as small as a female hand (not even heaped, or, handful) And you will have to order 3 dishes per person to feel right, not even full. We spend 60 pounds for 6 plates and 2 soft drinks. Service Charge included.
My impression was the food tastes less sugary, starchy than typical Chinese, but bland and lacks some salts and veggies in each plate in 4 dishes out of 6 we ordered, but then the other were quite salty.
But, the real pain staying in there was that, except for the first waitress, wearing black glasses, speaking good English, the other girls don't show any waiting skills, and often forgetful of orders and often rude.
None of them came around to check with us at all and all 6 of them came around one after another 5-10min. And, by the time the noodles arrived, there was no other food to eat with. That is when I got upset.
And, When we asked for the check, another girl hardly reached the table and tossed the bill and ran away. By then, I was annoyed and tried to speak to the owner guy, but he was not any better than the ones I mentioned earlier. Yelling(typical Chinese?) at other workers while 3 tables were waited on, if the owner doesn't mind the customers'' presence and screams disturbing our stay, what's the point of reporting any issue to his face?
In all, It is combnation of slightly overpriced, but, interesting tastes in every dish we tried, to top it up, upsetting coarse serving skills...
Would I go there again? Perhaps not, I would prefer some Korean and some other better Chinese or Japanese places to this because in other places in W. End. When you spend around 30 pounds per person, you deserve better experience than that, I think.
I wish the owner allows the customers to pay their own service fees/tips. Then, you will see the big change in their hall services.
Being in Chinatown in London, you're not going to find much besides Chinese food!
Other cities at least has other food besides Chinese food in their Chinatown.
Hello - I live in NY and I can get good Chinese food any time I want so I was pretty upset to learn in London's Chinatown it is Chinese food everywhere.
The only place that I found that wasn't Chinese was ONE Korean, ONE Vietnamese and ONE Taiwanese.
I was in between Taiwanese and Vietnamese, since you can't find an AUTHENTIC and not Vietnamese Born Chinese in New York. But these two restaurants were EMPTY! This is totally not a good sign, so I walked around some more and saw the Korean place. Even though I am always down for some Korean, but New York is not a place where I can't find decent Korean restaurants.
So I decided to go back to the Taiwanese and Vietnamese restaurant - this time when I went back, a couple was sitting in the Vietnamese restaurant and now the Taiwanese restaurant was filled with customers. Since the Taiwanese restaurant was full, I decided to skip the Vietnamese and take my chances with the Taiwanese.
I got the Spicy Beef Noodle - I was skeptic at first, but this place did a really good job on this dish. Not the best I ever tried like Canada or Texas but it was well worth eating.
I definitely want to come back and try more things when I have a bigger appetite.
Really yummy food! Loved all my vegetarian dishes with the right amount of spice. Service wasn't amazing but let's be honest, where is it in London?
I hesitated between 3 and 4 stars here. The food is definitely 4-star quality, but the service leaves a bit to be desired.
We popped in here around 12:30-1 pm or so on a weekday for a dim sum lunch for four. It was easy to get a table when we arrived, but much more crowded by the time we left. A lot of the more touristy/grand dim sum shops had queues out the door, but this place is pretty humble-looking from the street, and so didn't seem to attract the same throngs.
We ordered an assortment of dim sum (dumplings, buns, chee cheong fun, etc.), all of which was hot and nicely balanced in flavor. Our favorites were the dishes with the char siu/roast pork. Those were all just the right combination of salty and sweet, and the pork was very, very tender. The prawn dishes were also good, but that pork was something special.
The service, however, was desultory at best - though that might just be their traditional approach! The food came out quickly, but trying to get tea or water or the bill was pretty hard. They are also really stingy with the soy sauce. Maybe I am just a big cretin, but I like a little soy sauce with my char siu bao. Our table had 2 full orders of them, and when we asked for the sauce, they gave us about a thimble's full.
Overall, I would recommend these guys, but it probably won't be my first choice dumpling house in the area.
Finally found a Taiwanese restaurant and it didn't disappoint ;)
I lived in TW for a year so on my return to London I have missed and the amazing food.
The perfect dish is the famous Beef Noodles
it's quite spicy but if you can handle it it's great
Oh Leong's legend, how i expected so much from you especially with all that hype in the food blogs.
I arranged to eat with a friend here on a weekday and it was relatively half full but perhaps that is because it's quite a dinky place. The exterior is deceptively big, with it's dark cavenous appearance, you'd expect it to be quite deep. But not so. And i found it relatively cramped. I know chinatown is supposed to be cramped but it was a little toooo cramped and I weigh around 46kg and am 5ft tall.
anyways, onwards to the food, we ordered some XLB with crabmeat, seafood noodles, pork in a bun, chicken and ginger soup and some veggies. The XLB was definitely the highlight, the seafood noodles weren't so great, quite oily and the pork in a bun was quite overpriced for what it is- a tiny piece of meat wrapped with shredded cabbage in a bite size portion-not big enough for two. The chicken and ginger salt didn't have enough heat and was too salty. I'm quite sad because this was my first foray into taiwanese cuisine and I didn't find it that great and I know it's supposed to be delicious!
On top of that, my umbrella got nicked because i left it in their tub of wet umbrellas at the door. The thief nicked my good one and left me with a broken one.
Very disappointed. I'm heading off to HK to try better taiwanese cuisine. Dintaifung, you better not disappoint.
This place got some old school neat interior design. Its like one of those eatery in a local Chinese market. This place is for folks who like spicy and non traditional Chinese food. Technically, they are consider as Taiwanese cuisine.
I had a lot of things there and here is my recommendation.
- Noodle with pork chop : the noodle soup is pretty good, not the best pork chop tho. Get it if you want something soupy.
- Wonton in spicy sauce : I would not recommend it, I can make them better.
- Hot and fiery beef slices and beef tripe : its a good appetizer dish, can be spicier.
- Pork slices in minced garlic and chili sauce : its not that great, not garlicy enough.
- Deep fried chicken with salt and pepper : really well done, goes well with beer!
- Crispy shredded turnip : its a good nibbler, try it. Its not big at all size wise.
- Crab meat siu loung bao : if you never have it, try it. Its not surprising. I had way better ones.
- Noodle with chicken and sesame oil soup : its really good and hit the spot. It is basically a big bowl of tasty tasty chicken noodle soup. Definitely get it if you are feeling sick and hopefully it can alleviate your ailment.
- Taiwan most popular omelette : its good and stuffing. It essentially is eggs and oysters. You cant get it many places in London, so definitely a must try.
- Braised Pork Belly Rice : definitely a very tasty dish. I can eat this all day, and raise my cholesterol up the roof.
Check out the pictures I posted. And if you cream your pants after seeing them, you should go, like now.
Perhaps you will run into me there.
It is Taiwanese food here in London at its best for me.
I loved everything I ordered last night..
Siu Loung Bao :
it was a bit too sweet for my taste, but overall it was done right, not over cooked.
Braised Pork Belly Rice:
I think that was the best dish I have tried there. the pork was so delicious and melt in your mouth.. (But I wish they would put more minced pork sauce, that is the traditional way Taiwanese serve this dish )
Spicy Beef Noodle:
it has a clear beef broth, but very spicy, again, the beef was tender, but I think they over cooked the noodle, it was too soft.
Hot and Sour Soup (with Chicken)
Soup was alright. it was really spicy and sour, great flavor.
Went for lunch with a friend, and indeed had to knock on the big heavy wooden door even though we could peek right through the large window. What's the point of the door?
If you speak the language, this place doesn't feel too un-friendly. You check off the things you want on a piece of paper like you do at many dim-sum places, but it got tricky because not everything on the "real" menu was on the paper. I end ed up asking the waitress to write in the things we wanted, and she explained it was because they had a day time menu vs. evening menu...but still unclear why we got to see both menus! Anyway, we could order from both menus, so I was happy.
There were lots of dishes I wanted to try, and of the ones we did try, I would say half of them worked out well. The egg omelette with oyster was quite similar to what it would be like in Taiwan, and the xiaolongbao (soup dumplings) were indeed filled with soup and hit the spot. The Taiwanese popcorn chicken like dish was disappointing and expensive. My friend wanted to try the egg meatball, and I thought it was flavourful but nothing to write home about.
We also got drinks that were not that great. My milk bubble tea was pretty powdery and gross, and the tapioca was undercooked. My friend's hot soy milk with an egg (something I had never heard of before) was not up to her expectations either.
I'd return just to try a few more dishes before I can make up my mind about the place. It was expensive, though, so I'm not too impressed so far!
I went to Leong's last night with two Chinese colleagues. The restaurant is a semi-Taiwanese themed restaurant that is in China Town in London.
The menu and decor of the restaurant are appealing as the place is reputed to be themed around 'Water Margin', which I understand to relate to a Robin Hood style legend in ancient China :)
Onto the food
We ordered soup (Chicken and Herb -speciality), Pork Belly, Glass Noodles, some steamed dumplings, spicy vegetables and so forth. I've not named all the dishes formally, some were marked 'must tries'.
The food when it arrived was poor. The menu vastly exagerates both the size of portions and the quality. To give you an example Pork Belly is not meant to be ALL fat! But yes, we had 90% fat and 10% meat. In addition when you run out of a starter the normal thing to do is not cook one portion of it when three are ordered.
Normally you goto the kitchen, find out there aren't enough portions and tell the customers so they can re-order rather than having two customers having no dish!
Besides from the Pork belly, the other dishes tasted decent, especially the dumplings and the vegetables. If the service hadn't been so poor this would have been 3*
Onto service. This was the worst service I've had in Chinatown I can remember. I won't go into the details more than saying that some of the waitresses were very rude, including throwing menus, making rude comments and finally shouting at us when we complained to the manager.
The manager gave us a 10% discount, and removed the 'optional' gratutity from the bill, which was a needed gesture
Find somewhere else, there's plenty to offer in Chinatown including places where the customer is treated at a reasonable level.
I've only been here for lunchtime Dim Sum, which was variable - very good soup dumblings, but not so good fried dough sticks. Everything else was quite nice and not too expensive, and tea was topped up regularly.
The staff sorted me out a chair at the end of the table and a table setting when I turned up late and seemed efficient but nothing special.
Not a bad place but nothing particularly special either. I did rather like the soup dumplings though.
Leong's Legend - Pics @ The London Foodie
I can't think of a restaurant that attracts such a range of different opinions as Leong's Legend. I had meant to visit it for some time but had been put off by some damning reviews by fellow bloggers. My curiosity got the better of me, and so I headed to Chinatown's Macclesfield Street with an inquisitive but open mind.
At around 6:30pm, our group of 6 arrived at a very full and buzzing restaurant. We were soon greeted by the manager Jade who promised us a table if we returned in 30mins. He explained that bookings were not taken in the evenings, and that they operated on a first-come-first-served basis when seating their customers. We returned at the time agreed (by this time there was an enormous queue) and were soon shown to our table.
Our first impressions were good the manager and staff were extremely polite and helpful (unlike in most reviews), the decor was elegant and the food looked delicious. Leong's Legend's interior is reminiscent of Hakkasan's dark wood panelling and subtle lighting, but in a much more understated manner - it feels more like an old teahouse than a posh restaurant.
Some of the good write-ups, like that from World Foodie Guide, praised highly Leong's Siu Loung Bao, its Braised Pork Belly and the Mini Kebab with Pork. We ordered these and other dishes and found, with only a few exceptions, that they were very good.
The Legend's Siu Loung Bao (8pcs) @ £5 was indeed excellent. The skin was a tad too thick for my tate but the pork filling and delicious broth inside them more than made up for this. They were one of the best Xiao Long Bao (Shanghai Dumplings) I have had for a long time.
Leong's Crab Meat Siu Loung Bao (8pcs) @ £6 also did not disappoint, they were just as good as their pork equivalent. I would strongly recommend ordering either of these XLB dumplings.
The star of the evening however was Leong's Braised Pork Belly @ £6. The sauce was sweet and intensely flavoured while the meat was tender, utterly soft and delicious.
Since we had two children with us, we also shared a Half Crispy Aromatic Duck @ £14. This was good with plenty of meat and pancakes for all of us.
The Aromatic Chilli Lamb @ £6.80 was an interesting dish. I would not normally have ordered lamb at a Chinese restaurant before being introduced to Sichuanese cuisine a few years earlier. This dish was a delicious example of Sichuanese food, and one I would like to try again.
Another star dish of the evening was the Aubergine with Mashed Garlic and Tao Pan Sauce @ £5. These were by far the best stir fried aubergines I have ever had. Similar to Gourmet San's Aubergine with Fish Fragrant Sauce, they were packed with flavour and the sauce was not too liquid. A real winner.
The other two accompanying dishes that we had were Fried Special Noodle with Shredded Pork, Chives, Carrots and Onions £4.80 and the Bamboo Rice £3.80. These were passable, and portion sizes were on the small side.
The Taiwan Mini Kebab with Pork @ £2.60 was flavoursome the pork belly was slightly on the fatty side but the flavours were good, and together with the steamed dough, couscous and herbs made up a delicious dish.
Having had oyster omelette in Singapore many times previously, I was a little disappointed with Leong's version Fried Oysters Wrapped with Egg @ £6.60. It contained tong choy (morning glory) which was an interesting addition, but the amount of oysters was not overly generous and it was a little dry. It was a mediocre version in comparison to its Singaporean equivalent.
Leong's wine list was well prices with their white or red house wine starting at £12.50. We had two bottles of the Cuvee Le Bosq Blanc de Blancs at £12.50 it was very easy drinking and partnered the food well. The total bill was £111 or £18.50 per person including 2 bottles of wine, tea for 6 people, soft drinks and service.
Verdict Very good Taiwanese/Sichuanese dishes at reasonable prices in Chinatown. I would happily return to Leong's Legend, particularly for their superb Xiao Long Bao (Shanghai Dumplings), and Braised Pork Belly. Good service.
soup buns here at not that soupy but they were delicious. a bit on the sweet side.
I caught up with a friend for lunch here last Sunday, with a combination of dim sum and their famed xiao long bao. For those unaccustomed to the latter dish, imagine a soft steamed dumpling pinched together barely enclosing a meat filling buoyed in a mouthful of soup. Eating it straight from the steaming basket invites a burning mouth if you're not careful. The customary way of eating it, is to place a dumpling on the soup spoon, pinching a tiny hole in the dumpling before seasoning with either the dipping sauce they give you or some chilli. This is one of the rare places to serve these dumplings, as you can imagine the hard labour making them, so £5 for eight seemed reasonable enough. The pastry wasn't as doughy as I had read other reviewers write about, though the soup inside was definitely just as tasty.
The rest of the dim sum dishes we had were fairly sub-standard, considering the other competition all around them in Chinatown. Although each dish is cheap, with most priced at £1.80 or £2.00, the quality really reflects the price. The cheung fun (rice noodle rolls) barely held any filling, and the char xiu bao (steam BBQ pork buns) disappointingly unbalanced with mostly bread, and a bland filling. Considering that this is a Taiwanese place, I would stick to some of the dishes they specialise in, and skip what dim sum dishes you may be tempted by.
I found the atmosphere intriguing as well, where diners sit at rectangular dark wooden slate tables unlike the round white table clothed ones you'd find in restaurants nearby. Almost kitschy decorations in the form of armaments stand next to the staircase, towering over all the diners though obviously not very real.
Considering that we only spent £20 between the two of us, and we walked out of here considerably satisfied, I would come back when you want something a little bit different from the typical offerings of Chinatown.
I don't really know much about Taiwanese food and would like to know more simply because despite a few issues I did enjoy my meal here. Cheap and interesting, it was worth a visit but I'm sure there will be better places to go to. Service wasn't great and there was a power cut during our meal. The owner said he would give everyone a slight reduction in our bills, but this didn't happen. I wasn't going to complain, but still you should deliver on your promises. To sum up thoughfor a cheap meal in China Town, this is one of the better meals I've had.
Word of caution though, the food is pretty spicey if you don't normally like it as such.
The specialty of this restaurant are these dumplings called Xiao Long Bao. They are kind of like ordinary dumplings except that encased in the dumpling is a delicious soup which oozes out when you pierce the dumpling. To eat these dumplings you carefully place it on your soup spoon, then pierce the delicate things with your chopstick end allowing the soup to spill out of the dumpling but safely into your spoon and then carefully taking the whole thing into your mouth.
They really are delicious and are best eating straight out of the steamer as soon as its served. Leave it any longer and they get cold quickly - which also increases the chances of the dumplings sticking together and as a result a premature piercing which causes the soup to ooze out of the dumpling before reaching your mouth!
We also tried a few other dim sum dishes and though they were okay I wouldn't say this is where the strength of Leong's Legends. We also tried one of the noodle dishes (which turned out to be a soup like concoction) - supposedly very spicy it was actually surprisingly flavourful too.
Leong's Legends is a new entrant to the Chinatown scene (under six months at least) and I think it should be here to stay for a bit. The restaurant itself has a very cosy decoration - quite different and cool actually to most of the other Chinese restaurants in the mall with lots of dark bamboo, and wood scattered about the place.
Service was probably not as great as it could have been. Though not necessarily rude - they could have been a bit more responsive in clearing dishes we'd finished with and, when placing new arriving dishes, could have found a way to settle them on our table rather than dumping it on the corner at our elbows and letting us sort out the placement.
I went here last week to try xiao long bao! the dish was overly sweet, nothing like ones i tried before!
My friends ordered sweet and sour pork, that was decent and this steamed pork and egg dish!
service is slow and bad!
my friend's and me had bad stomache cramps straight after we left! As i had some of their portions my cramps came a few hours later!
The next morning I was burping acid and had to call the NHS to sort my acid reflux out!
NEVER EATING HERE again!
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Across the road from Leong's Legends is De Hems, a great Dutch pub on Macclesfield Street which was perfect because it had good music, an upstairs room with free places to sit (in Soho - hurrah) and Lindeboom, nice Dutch beer on tap.
Two pints later and we headed across the road for some Taiwanese food and wine. This was my second visit to Leong's Legends, the first involving duck's tongue (gristly bleurghness) and thousand year old egg (surprisingly yum and I don't think its actually a thousand years old..). Last time I was here I promised Pip I wouldn't blog about it to keep it a secret. That was until I realised it was much loved and written about by London's food bloggers
Service is good and efficient and very quick even though they were chocka. We got all our food at once and seemed to be in and out fairly quickly so perhaps not ideal for a lingering romantic meal but I guess you could just take your time eating. We got a bottle of Argentinian red and ordered the food crab dumplings (xiao long bao) and bean curd with thousand year old egg to start; and pork belly and pork with green beans for mains.
Thousand year old egg was yummer than it sounds although bean curd is an aquired taste I think! Crab dumplings Time Out raved about them, we thought they were good but not crabby enough. Pork belly was super tender and fatty, deliciousPork with green beans was lovely, one of my favourites delicate, spicy, meaty.
After a bottle of wine, all this grub and very full bellies, we paid £23 each and were on our way sofa-ward again. Great value and delicious food, perfect for those who know and want authentic Asian food, or who like me are happy to give most things (apart from jellyfish) a go. Try to order stuff you've never had before what a shame to order crispy duck pancakes when there's way more on offer.
4 Star review from ages ago:
You will usually find this restaurant packed with diners, majority of them Chinese (testament to the authenticity of the food), altho you'll see a growing number of discerning non-Chinese patrons these days.
If you're expecting the usual Sweet and Sour Pork or Beef in Black Bean Sauce type of dishes, don't bother coming to Leong's Legend - the restaurant prides itself in offering chiefly popular Taiwanese home cooking, and street eats.
They do an excellent xiao long bao (steamed meat dumplings with a bit of soup in the wrap) - the texture of the dough skins are excellent, and seldom break, unless you're really clumsy with your chopsticks. I tend to find the crab meat version tastier than the traditional ones. It's excellent value at £6 for 8 morsels.
The Taiwanese Beef Noodles are excellent, as good as any I've tried in Taiwan, and portions are big, so you might want to order to share so as to have a good mix of dishes on your table.
One of the speciality is a stir fried beef dish with lots of garlic (priced around £9.80) - this was tasty, but portions were very small, although the fried garlic was very fragrant. I strongly recommend adding the fried garlic to your white rice.. adds a lot of flavour!
The fried oyster egg is a traditional Taiwanese street food, and I was surprised to find Leong's Legend did a pretty decent job of it. I'd definitely order it again on my next visit.
Try the stew pork belly if you have a chance the meat is tender (almost melts in your mouth), and the layer of fat across is flavoursome, if you're not counting calories (or cholesterol)! I confess I removed the fat and skin before sinking my teeth in, but the gravy (excellent with rice!) with meat and a mouthful of white rice almost brought tears of nostalgia to my eyes. This is one of the best dishes on the menu.
The Pipa Tofu (tofu with stuffed meat and gravy) was a little disappointing, although tasty. I have had better, but it still makes a good dish with rice, if you like tofu dishes.
I would avoid the Lion's Head Minced Meat Ballas it was disappointingly dry and a little hard. There wasn't enough salted egg on the big lump of meat to make it tasty, and all you get is a mouthful of rather bland minced pork.
There are so many other dishes on the menu I've yet to try, and I'm keen to head back again some time. This is definitely one of my favourite restaurants in Chinatown it's different because it does not serve you the boring formulaic dishes so easily found in more than half the restaurants in the area.
If you're adventurous and lack the experience of venturing into a non-Cantonese Chinese restaurant try Leong's Legend. You might be pleasantly surprised.
1 star review from 4 Jul 2009:
I feel duty bound to add on to my previous review. My most recent venture to Leong's Legend ended in near disaster. The food quality has dropped so much, I would be horrified to recommend this to any of my friends.
The fried oyster egg dish was so starchy you could probably use the corn starch to plaster your leaky roofs. There was hardly any oysters in the dish, and it was truly the worst fried oyster egg I've ever had in my life.
The stew pork belly with rice dish was also a tad disappointing - there was too many layers of fat on the 4 small portions, such that you would be lucky if you could even get more than a mouthful of meat from each bite (more like a nibble here and there if you intend to skip the fats). Although still tasty, the dish was rather dry, and the meat was tough and chewy. Definitely not their signature dish anymore (neither is the oyster egg!).
I ordered a new dish this time - one of the chef's recommendation, preserved vege and minced pork vermicelli soup.. this turned out rather tasty, if you like light, soupy dishes.
The crab meat xiao long bao (shanghai dumplings) were still good and flavoursome.
All in all, I'd be surprised if it was the same chef who cooked my delicious meals the last few trips.
I am still stewing in disappointment regarding my last visit, and will not be going back any time soon. I'd give it at least half a year before I try Leong's Legend again.
Full post @ thecattylife.com
Leong's Legends (and its aptly named offspring Leong's Legends Continues) is located on Macclesfield Street, adjacent to the hustling main drag of Gerrard Street (Leong's Legends Continues is around the corner on Lisle Street). From the outside, it appears like a 16th century Chinese building, with solid dark wood walls, doors, panelling, everything. Through the heavy doors, the interior is much the time and you're instantly transported back to the old days of Taiwan.
So on New Years Day it was maybe 1 degree celsius, and that's me being generous. It was actually just freezing. Beating the lunch rush by a whisker, we sat and ordered copious amounts of all things small and round and steaming hot, plus some green things and a serve of sticky rice.
The dumplings (some steamed some boiled) were collectively delicious ~ they are actually adorably tiny, which isn't necessarily a bad thing when it comes to dim sum, and more importantly, these tiny packages pack a flavour punch which satisfied my dumpling whims and then some. We had the usual har gau (prawn dumplings) and also tried some garlic & chive and spicy dumplings, which were surprisingly spicy and hot tea, my friends, does not calm a tongue on fire. Lesson learned.
We also ordered a couple of serves of greens ~ broccoli cooked with garlic and dried anchovies and pea shoots, also cooked in garlic. 'Tis not often I am impressed with vegetables, I mean veg is veg, is it not? But Leong's Legends somehow cooks their vegetables in such a way that causes me to pause, taste, think and agree with myself that wow, goddamn that tastes good! I think it's in the sauce. And their utter generosity with garlic, because you can never really get enough garlic.
But the dumplings and vegetables were hardly the stars of the show. A Leong's Legends specialty, and I think why people come from far and wide, is their xiao long bao ~ tiny steamed buns filled with meat and steaming soup. The Leong's Legends xiao long bao has a particularly thick skin, and at first I was a little unimpressed with this but really, a little thick skin ain't so bad when you consider that the alternative is breaking the skin and losing the valuable soup.
I have no finesse. I'll take thick skin any day.
The xiao long baos are tasty. Really really tasty. I'm guessing the secret's in the soup ~ which is essentially melted solid meat gelatin which lines the insides of the buns. Ah, someone's been reading up on wiki. Anyway, really flavoursome, really glad the skin is thick, really happy I didn't puncture any buns with my chopsticks.
We also had the standard yum cha orders of fried turnip paste and char siu cheung which were good and the black sheep for the day was sticky rice with BBQ pork. I expected a BBQ pork version of lo mai gai, but what I got was a tower of sticky rice, topped with shredded BBQ pork and covered in a very odd, very sweet sauce. Not a fan, and still weirded out right now thinking about it.
All in all Leong's Legends satisfied as it promised and the fact that it appeased my New Years Day hunger and gave my year a lovely foodie kick start won it infinitely more brownie points. I'll be back.
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