Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Review - Leong's Legends (take two)

Most of the time, my blogging is poorly informed because I don't get nearly enough dishes to be able to recommend what they do well or badly. My second visit to Leong's gave me the opportunity to do better. Four people and two domineering orderers meant plenty of dishes there were lots of dishes ordered that I wanted to try. I shouldn't have really eaten out on this evening as it was to be the end of holiday week (the week where I spent too much money to think about now and justified it by saying I was sort of on holiday) but hey, you make money to live, right? It was worth it just to try so many more dishes than I did the first time. I got to try some dishes I missed out on previously (stewed pork belly with rice, kung pao prawns, aubergine with mashed garlic) and some I wouldn't have thought to order (sha cha beef noodles, shredded chilli beef, duck pancakes). We had to go for the lovely soup dumplings of course (and I'm so pleased we did) and also plumped for a hot and sour soup. I also learnt how to use Instagram properly!
The soup was steaming and made my mouth burst with flavour (metaphorically). Biting into the dumplings made my mouth burst with flavour literally. God, that soup was so warming and mellow. Kung pao prawns tasted as you'd expect but a special mention must be given to the almost furry just cooked texture of the seafood, nicely offset by crispy batter, crunchy peanuts and eyewateringly hot chillies. Aubergines were melty but chewy and all slightly humming with that sweet garlickiness. The sha cha beef had a pungent but typically Chinese-restaurant-y flavour but I say that as an entirely positive attribute. I was not a fan of the chilli beef but I think that's just because I don't like it. It wasn't as heady as other chilli beef that I've had but I still found the texture the wrong kind of crunch, I find it unsettling. Duck pancakes had the nice touch of being sliced up at the table. Plummy, plucky hoi sin accompanied with chewy but fatty duck and ice cold cucumber. It won't stop any hearts but it tasted pretty lovely. The star of the show was the pork. It was so umami rich and had a merry wine running through it and crispy skin. I would've been totally pleased with just that. More than pleased. Over the moon. More cliches. But you know, I'm writing this long after I had the meal and conjuring the tastes up in my mouth but it's harder to think of adjectives to go with them. Thoroughly enjoyable, £22 with beer and surface.

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