Thursday, December 2, 2010
Dumplings' Legend, Chinatown
Chinatown is a bit rubbish for Dim Sum. For an area which is meant to represent the wares of the Chinese population in London, it really doesn’t do the best job with great, affordable Dim Sum more commonly located on the peripheries of the City. There were a few good places once upon a time (my family were regulars at New World although it has now descended into all levels of crapness) but the seeming focus on fleecing tourists has really deterioted the overall standard of food in the area. There are a few decent places which still pack in the Chinatown faithful, but when it comes to Dim Sum, I have always struggled to find a good place.
Dumplings Legend is a relatively new place with a glass window where you can witness the dumpling chefs making and steaming them, very much appearing to focus on the siu long bau. It was all a little “Ping Pong”-esque, but I really hoped that it would be a little more authentic and less expensive. The menu is pretty standard although I actually found some of their descriptions a little odd. Pork burger anyone? When it came to ordering, I tried my best using the Cantonese names of dishes I had been eating for many years but only succeeded about 50% of the time.
The food itself was hit and miss but decent enough. The prawn cheung fun and char siu so were good and the pork “burgers” were surprisingly enjoyable, presenting themselves as bigger and flatter versions of the traditional peking dumpling. The siu mai were a tad on the salty side and the xiao long bao were overcooked although the general flavour was decent, with a decent amount of soup thrown into the mix (as long as it doesn't rip and leak out).
Chinatown really needs an excellent Dim Sum restaurant and if one ever decided to move in, I'm pretty sure it would be packed out every day. Unfortunately Dumpling Legend is not the solution to this age old dilemma, but get's decent marks for effort. I shall return, and this time I will win the staring competition with the Dim Sum man.
Dumplings' Legend - 15-16 Gerrard Street, Chinatown, London, W1D 6JE