Friday, October 17, 2008

Leong's Legend - Taiwanese food in London Chinatown: A Review


Leong’s Legends, 4 Macclesfield St, Chinatown, W1D 6AX Tel: 020 7287 0288

Thanks to all your comments for my previous posts. Like I mentioned earlier, I appreciate them and and try my best to respond to every one of them. Now, let's head back to my favorite topic.

London-Taiwanese-foodI chanced upon Leong's Legend (translated as Liang Shan Hao Han), a Taiwanese eatery that recently opened in London's Chinatown, the other day with a group of friends. Actually, we were heading towards Korean Kitchen (which will be featured in a later post) but decided to try Leong's instead.

What's fascinating about Leong's Legend is that it's the first Taiwanese eatery in London's Chinatown. Whenever Londoners think of Chinese food, it's invariable Cantonese cuisine. Not surprisingly, there was a queue of people outside Leong's Legend when we arrived while many other Cantonese, Japanese and Korean restaurants that are found all over Chinatown weren't even full.

Sporting an interesting menu that offers Steamed Bamboo Rice, Braised Pork Rice, Spicy Fried Chicken and the oh so familiar Aw Jian (oyster wrapped in egg) - all of which are traditional Taiwanese street fare. We didn't order the oyster as some in our group is allergic to it, and opted for xiao long bao (meat dumplings with soup) instead.

London-Taiwanese-foodHonestly, the food wasn't exactly what I would die for though I must say that the ambiance, which seeks to mimic that of a Chinese inn, had added quite a bit of flavor into the entire dining experience. The portions are on the small side so be prepared to order a second serving. The bill came up to just over £30 for the four of us, excluding drinks.

The service staff, most of whom are Chinese (as in from China), were pleasant and prompt. One member of the staff, whom I must single out, was really rude and nearly spoil our entire evening. Incidentally, he was the only guy and the only Cantonese among the staff. Well, perhaps he would have treated us a bit better if we speak Cantonese. Oh well.

Anyway, do give it a try if you're in the neighborhood. Oh, did I mention that there's a 10% service charge as well?

Read also...
Hakkasan vs Yauatcha - review on London's dim sum kings

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Dutchie said...

CK, I thought Taiwanese is typically the sweet potato porridge with alot of home-cooked side dishes ? At least that's what I learned from older relatives when we went for supper after a late nite out.

The braised pork is yummy in a sweet bun. Some enterprising youngsters hv set up stalls in the halls of shopping malls n sell them at a hefty price. My mom thought it ridiculous to pay for a snack that is oh-so-ordinary !

capybara said...

Glad you enjoyed your meal out in this Taiwanese restaurant. I must confess to liking to try different foods from around the world when I travel. I find the pace of London to hectic for me so am unlikely to ever eat there. Nice review though.

C K said...

Hey, that sounds like those 'Teochew Mui' (Teochew porridge). Strange, I didn't see the dish over there. If the going price for a bowl of white rice is around £2, I wonder how much a bowl of porridge will go for.

My mum love those braised pork in buns. Was telling her that it's really unhealthy. Yep, they used to have it back home as well but I don't see them over here in London.

You mean they're sold over at your side? How much are they going for?

I must admit that it gets a bit hectic in London. But then again, not much more than Singapore. So I think I'm just used to it, which is not a good thing btw.

So, what's the best/interesting cuisine that you've tasted thus far?

Oh, were you the one who gave me a rating via SezWho? Thanks!

capybara said...

You may laugh at this but it is true. One of the best dishes I ever had was a Singaporean Curry with lots of interesting side dishes. And where did I eat this lovely meal? In the little village of Horton on the Pelion peninsular in Greece. The owner of our favourite Greek Taverna was married to a Singaporean and as we became friends she offered to cook this for us as a special treat. And I did rate you on SEz who and gave you a stumble too!

Joeru said...

I was waiting for you to review this place! LOL The deco was great, food... okie lah, but the the braised pork in bun, they have it, at £3.50 EACH! Pretty ex on the menu side. I might go back there again ONLY just to let my friends here to try it out.
P.S. the so-call rude guy, I think I might know who you are talking abt, think he's 1 of the parnter of that resturant and he likes pretty YOUNG gals... too bad i'm not one. :D

Dutchie said...

CK, the braised pork in buns I mentioned r sold in Sg malls lah ! They r packed in tiny red boxes, going for S$ 1,50 (2 bites' worth) each. I ate 3 pieces in 1 go - so yummy it was !

I just read in TODAY that Chinatown Complex in Smith Street has economical delights for a small price. My hubby n I were drooling over the Beef Hor Fun n Braised Duck (big plate @ S$ 13). Another item to add to our list of Makan-mania :-)

We r having Shepard's Pie tonite to starve off our cravings !

C K said...

Haha, fancy finding Singaporean curry in Greece. Interestingly, we don't actually have a dish that is specifically named 'Singaporean Curry'. I mean, the curries found in Singapore belong to a variety of cultures (Thai, North Indian, South Indian, Bangladeshi just to name a few).

Perhaps the one that you had in Greece was so named because its cooked by a Singaporean. :)

Anyway, I've added you as an SU friend. Thanks for the stumble. Cheers!

Ok, that probably explains why we weren't exactly his favorite customers. A pal of mine, after reading this post, told me that the food isn't that bad considering the price. Oh well, perhaps I'm a sucker for good services.

Anyway, have you got any good restaurants/eateries to recommend? Would be great if you could do a guest post on this blog. Just drop me an email at Cheers!

oic. haha. Yep, I remember wolfing them down when I was back home as well. Hmm...

Looks like you guys are all set to pay S'pore a visit. So when's that going to be?

Dutchie said...

Nov/Dec is certainly less hot to be in Sg. Also, the festive season is celebrated in a big way, whereas here it's a family indoor affair which I find too boring.

Due to hubby's work schedules, our trip might hv to be postphoned until Lunar New Year. Any tips on how much to put into hong-bao these days to avoid offending the receivers ?

C K said...

From the looks of it, it seems that it has been quite some time since you last distributed ang bao.

That said, I don't think there's a standard amount... it depends on how much you can afford really.

As a kid, I used to receive ang baos that contains between $2 - $20. Not so sure about the 'market rate' now.

Any particular reason why you're returning during Chinese New Year? Would all the shops and services be shut down during that period?

Dutchie said...

CK, 2 of my 3 bro's lives abroad, plus a handful of friends married overseas. We tend to make our tracks back at CNY. Still, it is difficult to meet up all at the same time - school, work or finance but we can always hope !

Last year I heard thru my sis of grumblings from certain quarters abt stingy hong bao's which resulted in alot of ill-feelings. On the other hand, no one could give me a "safe" indication.

3yrs back I gave the teenagers S$100 each n my older nephew n nieces S$ 200 each. I got the feedback that those sums werent well received ! I supposed they expected alot more from their "ang moh" Ah Yi ? In my days, S$20 would make me jumped with joy ! The adage that it's the thought that counts is long gone it seems :-(

Same situation with b-day gifts here n in Sg. Personally, a card would delight me just as much :-)

My hubby is suggesting that we skip Xmas or CNY to avoid all that palaver, but I feel obligated to visit my mom on such an auspicious occasion. I'm in quite a quandary as u can imagine !

C K said...

lol, I guess your nieces and nephews are expecting a gold pendant each. Looks like it's going to cost you a small fortune this CNY.

Just curious, what's your husband take on this? I've got a friend who married an American and he was disgusted at how much angbao they have to fork out year after year.

As a kid, I'll just use those cash as 'capital' for card games with my cousins. :p

Dutchie said...

Aha, so u harvested a fortune from card games, did u ? I hv a few die-hard gamers in the family n I always feel pity for those who lose a fistful of dollars ! I am always the spectator.

My dutch family has rules abt gifts. 100 euro for Wedding (75 euro from the boss) 25 euro for b-days. This western straight-forwardness would offend most Asians but there is wisedom in them, bourned from experiences of what works best. My late MIL used to say that this rule will avoid poking someone's eyes out (with jealousy of bigger gifts by one n smaller by a less well-heeled).

My hubby feels that angbao should be given to kids under 12yrs old as a symbolic gift. Older kids hv means of obtaining extra cash, n like trick-or-treat here, those above 13yrs r way too old to be standing in line for handouts.

The trouble with kids these days r the generous helpings to pocket money, so much so that they r unable to appreciate its value. My hubby feels that a stash of angbaos could better be saved to offset their costs in school, for eg. instead of splashing it away mindlessly. How many kids would tolerate interference from an aunt these days ? My lips r sealed for good :-/

The expense involved during CNY is no doubt staggering in the eyes of a westerner. My hubby respects the deep-rooted tradition of giving n receiving. We always agreed on the amounts b4 disbursing them. Better to hv him in my corner than to hv an additional stress of playing peacekeeper between 2 fronts - haha ! I hv 13 nephews/nieces btw.

How do u tackle this issue ? Perhaps u could start an article on the intricacies of one's traditions n see how others react to it ? I heard from my friend in USA that it's the same with expectations of expensive gifts for Xmas. She has had enough of the stress n headaches. Her hubby found ways to procrastinate n she ended up doing all the donkey work :-/ I would opt for a dinner together n enjoy the ocaasion instead. Let's hear from the rest !

C K said...

I would love to say that but no. I'm one of those who 'splash it away mindlessly'. Tsk tsk. But you're are right in that aspect. As a kid, I didn't actually appreciate the angbao money that was given to me. Should have stash it away, with the power of compounding interest, it would probably pay for my retirement!

In a way, your husband's family holds quite an enlightening view. I cannot understand why is it that some members, especially those of extended family, find it embarressing to disclose the amount of money they distribute every year. It probably boils down to the Chinese' 'face' issue. As a result, some adults, especially those newlyweds and can ill-afford, do not exactly look forward to Chinese New Year.

Lucky for you that your husband is rather understanding in this aspect. It's one of those things that has to be trashed out especially if you're with a person from another culture. Even then, I have heard of couples (both Chinese) arguing about this issue. Furthermore, I cannot even start to imagine having 13 nephews/nieces. I am currently staring at just four but got a feeling that the number is about to balloon very soon. lol

Like you, both wife and I would normally agree on a sum, which will be standard regardless of how old the receipient is. Well, that has worked thus far. So we don't see the need to fix that strategy as yet. Actually, I really look forward to the reunion dinner every year but guess that we'll miss it this time round. Oh well.

Would take up your offer and write about it sometime towards Christmas. Look out for it. :)