With its wall to wall line up of Asian restaurants, windows filled with luminous red hanging ducks and menus written in languages that I could only guess at, Chinatown is one of London’s few places that I dread to venture into when it comes to dining. I’m sure there are some great restaurants nestled in and amongst the many mediocre ones, but with so many to choose from, I’ve never really dared to explore. However, on a number of recommendations, I’m glad to say that my visit to Leong’s Legends was really quite special.
First impressions are positive. With only an unassuming black door giving away its location, the restaurant is inconspicuously tucked away amongst its brightly lit neighbouring restaurants. However, upon entering, it’s encouraging to see the restaurant full of Oriental customers. Seating is informal on wooden benches, whilst the dark restaurant itself is subtly decorated with Oriental trimmings to give an authentic feel.
The food, however, is when things really get interesting. The large menu is predominantly Taiwanese and to a novice can initially appear a little intimidating. However, look a little deeper and it’s impossible to not find a host of dishes that you’ll want to try. Dim sum is incredibly fresh and the eight generous pieces could almost make for a decent lunch on their own. For something heartier, Braised pigs trotter in soya sauce is an absolute must, whilst those after a bit of spice will be impressed by the Kung Pao King prawns with dried chilli. The adventurous can even get stuck into really authentic dishes such Szechuan duck tongues, Spicy pig’s offal and Fiery beef tripe.
Best of all comes the price. With many dishes between £5-£10 and all generous of portion, a meal for two should cost more than £40. It’s also well worth checking out their lunch deals, with solid meal achievable for under £10.
Cuisine type: Chinese (Taiwanese)
Meal for two (excluding drinks): £35
Leongs Legend 1
3 Macclesfield Street
London W1D 6AX
Tel: 0207 287 0288
Leong’s Legend Bayswater
Bayswater W2 3RL
Tel: 0207 221 2280
Leong’s Legend 2
26 Lisle Street
Chinatown London WC2
Tel: 0207 734 3380