Welcome to the Year of the Rabbit.
I have been to Chinatown in Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Washington DC and possibly some others, but on Friday I took my first trip to Chinatown in London.
Jack had been talking about Chinatown for ages so when we realised it was Chinese New Year we thought it would be the perfect opportunity for a visit.
I had done a bit of online research to establish whether there were any recommended restaurants and any that we should steer clear of.
The first indication that we were in the right place was the Chinese characters on the street and signs.
The streets were all adorned with lanterns. They looked so pretty.
Chinatown was really buzzy, with queues in most restaurants coming out of the door. We found Leong’s Legends (from my list, and rated second on urbanspoon.com) on Macclesfield Street. It was pretty busy and we ended up queuing down the stairs for about 10 minutes. It was only once we were handed the menu that we realised that it was a Taiwanese restaurant!
We decided to stick it out and try a new type of cuisine, everywhere was packed with people and we didn’t want to queue again.
I was very pleased with myself as I ordered very well. I often have massive food envy but not tonight!
I had Slow Roast Pork Rice, one of the chef’s recommendations on the menu. It was delicious, just the right amount of sweet and salty. It was a bit of a challenge to remove some of the fat with chopsticks but I managed.
Jack and I shared a quarter crispy aromatic duck, it was tasty but a little dry. Great plum sauce though.
Jack’s ordering was not quite as successful as mine; he had wanted dim sum, and chose the speciality Leong dim sum- minced pork. The flavours were good but unfortunately the dim sum was really soggy with a watery substance spurting out when you took a bite-not pleasant.
For Jack’s main meal he went for Kung Pow Prawns and vegetable noodles. The prawns were a little tasteless and the spicy sauce a little too spicy and sweet for me.
The restuarant itself was lovely if not a little crowded. We were unfortunate enough to be sitting right where everyone was queuing. The service wasn’t great; our drinks arrived after all of our food, we were not given any dipping sauces and it wasn’t exactly ‘service with a smile’. However, the overall experience was a good one.
These ladies were making asian desserts on the street- we didnt establish exactly what they were though.
I really enjoyed my first taste of London’s Chinatown, we shall definitely be back soon to try out another restaurant- possibly Chinese next time, and to try some new dishes.