Legend Seafood Restaurant
Since I was in Chinatown buying some mooncakes today, I decided that to have some dim sum for lunch. There are quite a few restaurants that serve dim sum in the area, such as Mei Sum and Tai Pan, but today I decided to have dim sum at Legend Seafood Restaurant.
Ask any local where to find good dim sum, and many times the response will be Legend. So even when I arrived at 1:00 pm, this place wass packed. I guess it shows how popular this place is, right?
Every few minutes the ladies pushing carts come around to each table hawking their wares. This one is serving rice soup with preserved egg and salted pork as well as ox intestines with turnip.
This one here is offering pan fried turnip cake as well as pan fried dumplings with chives and shrimp.
My first selection of the day, was #22, B.B.Q. pork manapua (char siu bao, US$2.85)
Soft and fluffy, the bun was a bit moist when it arrived. Tearing it open, we have this.
The soft, dense bun was a bit too "wet". Don't know why this was the case, but for some reason, the bun seemed "soggy". When I tore it in half with my fingers, I had pieces of the bun stuck there, and when I bit into it, it seemed as though it had absorbed quite a bit of water. The pieces of B.B.Q. pork were a bit fatty and not flavored with not enough char siu sauce.
Next was #27, mochi rice in lotus leaf (US$2.85)
This is probably one of my favorite dim sum items. After unwrapping the lotus leaf a bit, you can see what's inside.
Concealed by the tender, sticky grains of glutinous rice are bits of pork and black mushroom as well as half a chestnut (!). Perfectly cooked, the flavor of the glutinous rice was enhanced by the fragrance of the lotus leaf. The pork and mushroom filling gave this a savory flavor. One of the best dishes served here.
Then came #19, the bean curd roll (US$2.85).
Bean curd "skins" are wrapped around a filling of minced pork, bamboo shoots, and black fungus (among other things), then steamed until soft and tender. These were quite meaty with lots of crunchy pieces of bamboo shoot throughout. I enjoyed these, but I thought the seasoning of the accompanying "gravy" could have been a bit more flavorful.
Here is #38, the pan fried turnip cake (US$2.85).
Grated turnip is combined with dried shrimp and bits of pork, then seasoned before being steamed until firm. Before serving, the turnip "cake" is cut into squares then pan fried. When this turnip cake was served, the outside was crisp, while the inside was still soft and tender. There was lots of dried shrimp here, but there was an unusual flavor as well -- something that I didn't really care for. I ate these smeared with a lot of chilli.
Since there was no more deep fried shrimp, which is actually one of my favorites here, I instead ordered the #33, barbecue pork pastry (US$2.85).
Pastry dough is wrapped around minced char siu (barbecue pork), then brushed with egg and sprinkled with sesame seeds before being baked. The glossy pastry was a little sweet and just a little salty too. Taking a bite of the overstuffed, flaky pastry caused crumbs to fly every which way and the savory bits of char siu offset the overall sweetness quite well.
The next to last dish was this one, #43, steamed look funn with beef (US$3.75).
Soft and slippery look funn is wrapped around a filling of minced beef before being steamed. This is served with a bit of shoyu (soy sauce) poured over the top of the steaming hot noodles. When this arrived, the beef filling was literally oozing out from the ends of the look funn noodles.
For the final dessert "course", I selected #4, the small egg custard tart (US$2.15).
The flaky crust enveloped the jelly-like custard which was smooth and creamy. I actually found this to be quite good -- better than average actually. Why? Don't know really, but it might have been the "slipperiness" of the custard. It seemed to be more eggy than milky.
The dim sum here at Legend is often described as some of the best on the Island, but judging by my visits here, I have to disagree. After eating the dim sum here on many occasions, I find the quality of the offerings quite inconsistent, and vary from one visit to the next. Although there are several dishes that stand out, the mochi rice in lotus leaf is one, there are many more that do not. The service here is spotty at best and although the prices here are reasonable, I would rather pay a little more for a better overall experience.
Legend Seafood Restaurant
Chinatown Cultural Plaza
100 North Beretania Street Suite 108