Friday, 5 November 2010

Leong's Legends

Leong's Legends is one of the better places to eat on a small budget in London's Chinatown.

Decor is simple but smart - dark wood, low lighting; it's like a busy teahouse. The Taiwanese fare - while it might not always blow you away - is a cheerful skip ahead of most of its near neighbours. And it's a nice change in style from the tide of Cantonese restaurants in the area.

Service is fairly swift and impersonal, but not rude in my experience (although there have been reports of frostiness in the past) - which to my mind is perfect for a good value, tasty meal in Chinatown. I'm not expecting anyone to fold my napkin when I go to the loos.

TPG can not go anywhere without trying the duck. The crispy, aromatic duck has good flavour, if a fraction dry on our recent visit. A plentiful serve of pancakes, spring onion, cucumber and a sweet hoisin sauce accompany it.

The ma po tofu adds some spice to our table - it definitely has a kick. The ginger chicken is sweet and tender, with crunchy slithers of ginger and onion to liven up the textures. The sweet, tender braised pork belly is also one to try.

Leong's Legends is any easy contender for a regular budget haunt in Chinatown. It has a good reputation for dim sum too, and particularly the xiao long bao (steamed soupy, meaty dumplings). Just watch out for the queue if you arrive during prime time. Expect to pay just over £20 for 2 people.

Other favourites are the slightly more upmarket Empress of Sichuan and - for bargain basement - Young Chen.

Leong's Legend, 4 Macclesfield Street, Chinatown, London W1D 6AX (Tel: 020 7287 0288)

Leong’s Legends on Urbanspoon

There is also a newer Leong's Legends branch in Bayswater.


  1. I do like a bit of Leong's Legends, although only really eaten dim sum there. The xiao long bao are great.

    Have you had the Taiwanese fried bread dish at LL? It's worth a try even even if just for novelty value.

    I must try out their new Dumplings Legend place - have you been?

  2. Hi Joshua - I haven't had the fried bread - will definitely have it next time. I haven't been to the Dumplings Legend place - would love to try that too. I see it's on Gerrard St so not far at all.

  3. I love the 'casket' over at Leong's Legend. According to a Taiwanese friend, it's just like the way they do it back home. :)

  4. Thanks London Chow, loving these tips for other dishes to try.

  5. Leong's Legends have got the bestest Siew Loong Baos for sure! I love their sticky rice in bamboo sticks too. I have noted Empress of Sichuan from your review:-)

  6. Hi Hungry Female - Empress or Sichuan is great and has a decent wine list too. Sticky rice in bamboo is now on my list - ta.

  7. make that Empress OF Sichuan...

  8. I love their XLB - so good. There is a branch in Bayswater as well which is very convenient for me and I also think the group has just opened another new restaurant in Soho called dumpling something? (Please help if anyone knows!)

  9. Hi GC - The new place is Dumplings Legend. Funny -we're going there today for a lazy Sunday lunch! It's on Gerrard St. Joshua has also mentioned it in the comments above.

  10. My friend lived in China and thinks Leong's Legends is just PERFECT. Love Empress of Sichuan too.

    At Leong's I love the pork belly and the thousand year old egg. Ducks tongue was bleurgh tho (grissly and ridiculously spicy) and not a big fan of the dumplings, just taste a little meh.

    A fantastic place to go with a group of friends for a cheapie and fun Soho dinner!

  11. Sasha - So interesting to hear what someone with so much local knowledge makes of it! Empress is fantastic - we tend to opt for that one when we feel like some good wine too. Ducks tongue does sound bleurgh.


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