My son and I find the crab roe soup dumplings delicious and exquisitely flavoured and keep returning for them
Time Out rating:
Time Out says
Posted: Wed Jan 9 2013
One of the newish kids on the Chinatown block (it opened in 2010), this restaurant’s moniker doesn’t, sadly, refer to a mythical tale of steamed parcels. Rather, it denotes that it’s owned by the Leong’s Legends people (who like to tack the word ‘Legend’ on to all their gaffs), and that here, they specialise in making dumplings – specifically, xiao long bau, or ‘soup dumplings’. Prepared from scratch by a white-masked, four-strong line-up of chefs industriously working behind a glass pane, xiao long bau don’t get any fresher than this, their delicate skins bursting in the mouth to release both filling and ‘soup’.
Of the three we sampled on our visit, both the standard vegetarian and pork versions impressed, with tightly packed fillings and fragrant broths (the first a garlicky number; the second a heady ginger infusion). But a third variety, billed simply as ‘spicy pork’, was in fact made to a fiery Sichuan recipe, complete with the distinctive flavours of mouth-numbing Sichuan peppercorns and soapy lotus root. An unhappy bedfellow for the gentle Cantonese tones elsewhere on the menu, this dish should be ordered last, or not at all.
Other dishes restored the peace, from thick golden squares of moreish fried turnip cake, the sweet root balanced by tiny pieces of salty shrimp, or quivering cheung fun (stuffed rice noodles) filled with plump, bouncy prawns and sitting in a puddle of darkly smoky, sesame-laced soy.
The minimalist decor rightly keeps the focus on the food, but poor staff communication on our visit – where anything but the simplest request became lost in translation – was an unwelcome distraction.
Dumplings' Legend 15-16 Gerrard Street
- Venue phone:
020 7494 1200
- Venue website:
- Opening hours:
Open noon-midnight Mon-Thur; noon-3am Fri, Sat; noon-11pm Sun.
Tube: Leicester Square or Piccadilly Circus tube
Main courses £4.50-£7.50. Dim sum £2.20-£8.
- 15-16 Gerrard Street
- 020 7494 1200
- 15-16 Gerrard Street
- Dumplings' Legend
Average User Rating
2 / 5
- 5 star:1
- 4 star:0
- 3 star:0
- 2 star:1
- 1 star:3
The food here was mainly very good but the service was absolutely awful! Took 15 minutes before anyone asked us if we wanted a drink. The waiters were very attentive to the Chinese customers though and left all other customers waiting. Would definitely not go back.
Decided to give it a go because of the TimeOut print out on the door. Worst food experience in London ever! Worst dumplings I've ever tasted. No stars! TimeOut: give me back my money!
Please only go there if you want your food to arrive very late, incomplete and with no apologies from the waiters and waitresses. Needless to say we didn't leave a tip. I will not recommend this place to anybody. Giving 1 star is too generous
This place rocks. If you are into dim sum I don't think there is a better place in London. Everything from the rice noodle sheets to the tiny delicate steamed dumplings filled with jellied chicken stock are made by hand and you can absolutely taste it. We gorged ourselves on 5 different varieties of dim sum and drank through two pots of jasmine tea for 30£ - a steal for this kind of quality. Lots of whiny reviews about the service but we had no issues. By Chinese standards it was positively attentive and trouble free. Amazing dim sum made by those ladies with the rolling pins. Don't hesitate!
The food was OK. But the poor staff communication is an understatement. Having mixed up our order with the table on the other side of the room, the staff failed to understand why we were complaining. Our food did eventually come and the Dim Sum was great, but some of our non-dim sum dishes were warm, barely hot. They were clearly understaffed and the people who were they were not exactly the brightest either. I do not recommend this restaurant - Dumplings Legend is legendarily poor. If you want better food and don't mind poor service, at least go to somewhere like Wong Kei up the road - infamously bad service but amazing and far more reasonably priced food.
*The quality of Dumpling Legend's food does not make up for its shockingly poor service* Set in the heart of London's Chinatown, Dumpling Legend positions itself as the prime place for Dim Sum. Yet our experience there was far from this expectation. Overall the food was average, although the "Small Dragon Buns" (literal translation) was very well made. However much is to be said about their poor service. Upon sitting down, it took around 10 minutes to be served, despite being ready with our ordering sheets. After that, our food - Dim Sum - took a further 15 minutes to come. It turned out that they had missed out one of the dishes (congree - which should take 10 minutes maximum) we ordered and after flagging that they had missed it - it took a further 20 minutes for it to come. In this instance, expect no customer service or apology either - despite our order of congee clearly marked on the order sheet, the response we got was "well you didn't order it." After all this, they even had the cheek to charge us service charge of 12.5% - around £10 on top of our bill. It goes without saying we disputed this.