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Dumplings' Legend

Restaurants, Chinese Chinatown
2 out of 5 stars
(28user reviews)
Dumplings
Andy Parsons

Time Out says

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.

Posted:

Details

Address: 15-16 Gerrard Street
London
W1D 6JE
Transport: Tube: Leicester Square or Piccadilly Circus tube
Contact:
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Users say (28)

2 out of 5 stars

Average User Rating

2.1 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:3
  • 4 star:2
  • 3 star:5
  • 2 star:3
  • 1 star:14
LiveReviews|27
2 people listening
2 of 2 found helpful

This is my go-to dimsum place in Chinatown, they do great xiao long bao and they offer my favourite dimsum: turnip puff pastry. The quality does vary from time to time but they do the classics well!

2 of 2 found helpful

Their Xiao Long Bao is rocking. I used to go to their old location. You can always count on them to serve authentic Taiwanese food. 

1 of 1 found helpful

We went down for our Christmas lunch, and the dishes that kept coming were so tasty with a great chilli kick, I only stay for the set menu, but most of my colleague stay on for most of the afternoon, and came back like a bunch of giggling kids!

1 of 1 found helpful
Tastemaker

This Chinatown venue delivers on dumplings from the moment you walk through the door. Right there on the left, you can see the little oriental bites being made by experienced hands. The place is lighter and better dressed than most Chinatown restaurants, and the choices of dumplings are endless. I strongly recomed the prawn steamed one, as well as the barbecued pork bun for a little more substance on your meal. Wash it all down with aTiger, an award winning thai beer, for a complete stroll on the other side of the world. Just be careful since all the dumpling choosing might make the bill a bit high.

 

1 of 1 found helpful
Staff Writertastemaker

Went for lunch and dinner in the same week (more co-insidence than anything). The lunch menu had a huge range of dumplings and dim sum and it was easy to pick and choose (and eat cheap) the dinner menu was a much more standard Chinatown experience and it was frustrating to miss out on the best of the dim sum.

The crispy pork belly is still good in the evening and I would go back over other local restaurants but as below- check your bill!

1 of 1 found helpful

My son and I find the crab roe soup dumplings delicious and exquisitely flavoured and keep returning for them

1 of 1 found helpful

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!

1 of 2 found helpful
tastemaker

Quick service so a great choice for pre theatre or quick eat.


We loved 70% of the food, pork buns and soup dumplings are a must. The rest we found inedible, the spareribs I would avoid.



1 of 2 found helpful

My partner and I were really looking forward to an amazing dim sum lunch. Unfortunately the restaurant opposite was too busy and we didn't want to wait an hour, so we saw Dumpling's Legend. The name dragged us in!


Well where do I start? It was horrendous.

We ordered two cokes, to then be given two pints of beer. When I told them nicely they brought us the wrong drinks, we were laughed at!

Ordering our food, we ordered two dishes of dumplings and two noodle soups. The lady who looked like she had just been slapped across the face with a wet fish replied "oh is that all your having?". For us, this was more than enough.

The food came out at completing different times, which meant my partner was eating whilst I was waiting for my food. Once my food arrived, it wasn't even a noodle soup, so I had to wait even longer for my honey pork noodle soup to turn up. 


what a shock I had. It was as if I had 5 pieces of yak hide placed on top of some shoes laces, drenched in some old bin juice. 


When I asked them to change my dish, they said it was not possible, but to add soy sauce to make it taste better!


My partner had chicken noodle soup. i'd rather not describe what this looked and taste like. Lets just say, im glad my malemute didn't eat this. I doubt shed still be here today!


We asked for the bill. And with no shock, there was a service charge. with no hesitation, I refused to pay the service charge. 


I wouldn't recommend this to anyone unless they enjoy being around arrogant aswell as miserable, unexperiance, uncomfortable and awful atmosphere. YOU WILL BE BETTER FED FROM THE BINS OUTSIDE! 

1 of 2 found helpful
Tastemaker

I was disappointed to see so many negative reviews on this place because I have been here quite a few times and always enjoy it! I come for the soup dumplings but have tried several other dishes such as their Singapore noodles and Malaysian chicken curry. The food is always delicious and I have never had to wait for a table. The service isn't spectacular and can be a bit slow at times, but so far I've had nothing but a pleasant experience each time. If you enjoy soup dumplings then definitely give it a try!

moderatorStaff Writer

The dumplings were actually pretty awesome but the bill did end up being confusingly high. Because we were a large group it was too much hassle to address directly –  however, reading the other comments here, I can't help but think that we, like many others, were probably scammed a bit. BOO TO YOU DUMPLINGS LEGEND.


The food is just so so but The service was really awful. I will never go there again. One of my company have an allergic in carrot and mushroom. Basically it is my fault that didn't ask about allergic. However, after we found that there was carrot and mushroom in the dishes, we just said to the staff woman, who looked like a manager, that one of our company has an allergic and we didn't know it cause there was no mention in the menu and even they didn't ask to us. We just wanted some apologize honestly, cause we already almost finished the dishes. But the women staff said 'that's your fault' and said 'EXCUSE ME' with SNEERING. Honestly is it a service? I felt really annoying and wanted to leave that place. I will never ever go again there again. Her attitude was really rude. She has to be shame of it. 

"title"


Ate dim sum today, service was good and food didn't disappoint, however... Check your bill. They tried to take service charge from me twice, it was aded to the bill without reference and when paying by card automatically. When I complained, the staff member shrugged and just took what was due. The staff member was the manager!

"title"


Really bad experience. The food wasn't bad, but the service was terrible; more than an hour to be served and they did not even apologise. Not recommended!


We head into china town regularly for dim sum. Our regular places were busy so tried this place.

Nobody know what's going on, food was terrible. On the way out we had a look at the "preparation" of the dumplings and noticed them placing frozen dim sum into the steamer.

Bill came to £50 for 2 including "service charge"

Ridiculous

0 of 1 found helpful

Manager is insane. Screamed and swore at us when we asked to revive service charge. Verge dumplings taste like ass. Don't do it.

0 of 1 found helpful

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.

0 of 1 found helpful

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!

0 of 1 found helpful

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

0 of 1 found helpful

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.

0 of 1 found helpful

*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.

0 of 2 found helpful

DO NOT BUY THE TIMEOUT VOUCHERS FOR THE RESTAURANT. I bought 7 vouchers via this website for a 'Bottomless' dumplings deal, and was utterly shocked at how misleading the advertising was. First of all, the restaurant was very strict with the 'rules' of the buffet at the restaurant, for example they stipulated only 3 dumplings (xiao long bao) PER person for the buffet which is just ridiculous. Second of all, service was very slow, and they insisted that we could only order another round of dishes if we are done with our first round ( which is fine because of wastage) BUT they served us a MOUNTAIN of fried rice, enough for 10-15 people for the first round, so it was obviously impossible to finish. I am just extremely disappointed with this experience, I normally like the soup dumplings at this restaurant but this 'deal' forced my friends and I into eating mediocre chinese food instead of the advertised dumplings. Would probably not buy vouchers via timeout again.


0 of 2 found helpful

I have never been so appalled by the service and attitude of staff to feel compelled to write a negative review until tonight. I will not be returning to this restaurant and would not recommend it. Food is mediocre.


We were rushed to order as soon as we sat down and despite asking for more time, we were approached 5 times within 5 minutes requesting our order. Every time anyone paused during their meal, the waitress would attempt to collect the half finished plate and we would have to say that it was not finished. This continued throughout the meal.


The staff then brought the bill without asking and approached us with the card machine. We asked for the removal of the discretionary service charge (which was 15% of the total). She asked us rudely why it was being disputed and we explained that we didn't appreciate feeling so rushed throughout our entire meal. We would have let it slide if there was some effort to apologise for the service. However, she argued with us and said "no" to our repeated requests. We clarified that the charge was discretionary, to which she answered yes, but continued to refuse our request to remove it.


A male manager then asked us why we were requesting for it to be removed. We again explained we were extremely disappointed with the service as we had felt so rushed and given the appalling attitude of the waitress, we would now not pay until it was removed. He muttered something under his breath, took the bill and returned later with the charge removed. He punched the total into the card machine and refused my requests to see the machine to check the amount being charged. He grabbed my card out of my hand, and paid using contactless payment. He then threw my card and receipt back onto the table without another word and began pulling up the paper tablecloth before I had even removed my card.


We were cursed by several staff members as we left the restaurant. Horrendous service and attitude of staff. After reading other reviews describing identical experiences, I'm absolutely disgusted that this was not a 'one-off'/misunderstanding

0 of 2 found helpful

Only a few Dumpling options. Disappointing for a restaurant called Dumplings legend. And the one I tried haven't even been that good. Way to overpriced as well, cause on the Main Street of Chinatown. Don't bother with that restaurant. 

0 of 2 found helpful
tastemaker

What a let down! I had a massive craving for dumplings and a friend of mine recommended this place. From the name I thought I was going to the right place to get my dumpling fix. I order the dumpling selection, which I thought would have been a mixture of dumplings with different fillings, however they were all prawn and the coatings were thick and almost gooey like. 

We order a few other dishes such as the crispy chilli beef and chicken with peanuts and found that everything was very greasy and dry. Maybe we order the wrong dishes, as I did see tasty looking dishes going to the tables around us. 


Unfortunately, the service was pretty awful - they pretty much want you in and out!


Overall I would not come back here for my dumpling fix! 

0 of 2 found helpful

I wish I had read these reviews before deciding to try out this place. The food was mediocre - the Siu Long Bao was a little small and deflated compared to other SLB I have tried, though the chilli prawns were better than expected - and the service was terrible; quite unfriendly and condescending. My friend and I tried the Dumpling Set A; we had assumed (perhaps it was our fault we assumed) that we would get 4 pieces each as it had said 4 pieces for the price of 1 person; however, it was later corrected as 2 pieces per person (small rant: I'm just now wondering what would happen if three people ordered this set - does this mean they have to share the four pieces among those three people?!) Anyways, the gist of this rant was that the waiter was very unfriendly when we wanted to clarify this. I feel that for the amount of service charge added to the bill (12.5%) the customer service could have been much better. They might benefit from greater enthusiasm and friendliness towards their customers - that would have justified the charge.

0 of 2 found helpful

After an under par experience, decided to give it another try. That was a mistake.


No issues with the food, it's the service that sinks the boat. Please never associate poor/rude service as "part of the experience" when dealing with Asian restaurants. It's just bad service. There are plenty of restaurants within walking distance that can serve you the same quality food without the attitude. Will keep this off my list.


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