Legend’s Seafood Restaurant

(Chinese Cultural Plaza)

Honolulu Weekly readers voted this as the best dim sum restaurant, so Larri and I went to go check it out. Plus, some of Don’s (Tracy’s?) friends said this was one of the best Chinese restaurants. Larri and I went there yesterday, and it was packed. A good sign.

First let me talk about what I liked. They definitely do a good job of preparing and cooking the food. For example, we ordered these shrimp taro rolls, and they were incredibly light. Other times I’ve tried taro rolls they have been drenched in oil. This taro was delicate fried, even the taro didn’t seem too heavy.

In the Weekly review, they mentioned the look fun, so we decided to try that. The one time I’ve tried look fun, I didn’t really care for it, so I haven’t tried it since. Well, this turned out to be one of the best dishes there. We got the scallop look fun. The scallops were firm not mushy, and the noodles were really silky and smooth. I’m still not a huge fan of look fun, but this was good, and I appreciated the way they made it.

Here’s a break down of the stuff we got:

Shrimp taro rolll–this was OK. The shrimps were kinda small, but I was impressed by the way they cooked it.

Scallop look fun–one of the best dishes, although I’m still not a huge fan of look fun. The dish has great texture, and the scallops were cooked well.

Spring roll–not very good; there was mostly vegetables in this dish, and they weren’t very tasty. The rolls were a bit oily, too.

Shrimp won ton–good (Just as good as Mei Sum’s, although Mei Sum’s shrimp is a lot bigger). The best shrimp won ton’s I’ve eaten is at Eastern Garden.

Pastry BBQ pork–a little turnover with char siu in the middle. This was OK, but again well-made. The pastry crust was buttery and flakey. I think it tasted too much like a dessert.

Seafood roll–I don’t know if this is the correct name, but this was basically a seafood half moon. It was OK, but then again, I don’t usually care for this style of dim sum.

Custard tarts–flakey crust but the custard wasn’t sweet enough for my tastes.

Reid, 23. August 2004, 17:20

Now on to things I didn’t like. One thing that stood out for me was that it was really hard to get the things we wanted. The restaurant was crowded so we to wait for the items we wanted. The dishes we wanted weren’t always on any of the carts as well, and we didn’t feel comfortable ordering dim sum, partly because it was so hard to get a waitress. (It took a while to get our glasses filled.)

This really highlights what makes Mei Sum–Larri and I’s favorite Chinese restaurant–so good. At Mei Sum, you can put in an order of dim sum, and they bring whatever you want to your table. Plus, their food is very good. All in all, I think Legend’s does a good job of cooking their food, but the taste and price would not make me choose them over Mei Sum.

Jenn
Mei Sum is okay but my favorite is still Legends Seafood Restaurant in the Chinese Cultural Plaza. It’s slightly higher in price but the atmosphere (noisy! lots of Chinese families talking story very loud!) and the quality, flavor and consistency of the food gets me all the time. In my opinion they have the best bi dan jook (preserved egg and pork)!

Reid
Jenn,

Can you order any dim sum at Legend’s? Or do you just have to select what’s on the carts?

Jenn
Reid,

I think Legend’s has pretty much everything, although each dim sum house has their own specialties. What kind of stuff are you looking for?

Legend’s definitely has all the standard fare on the carts – har gau (shrimp dumpling), sui mai, look fun, taro gok, custard tart, nai wong bao (custard bun), char sui bau, jin dui, harm sui gok (deep fried mochi ball with meat in the middle), jook…sorry, I’m totally giving a menu list here. They also have the parboil and fry carts that come out around 10 on weekends.

Maybe you can give me an idea of what dishes you like and I can tell you if I’ve seen any of them there.

Mitchell
I think what Reid is getting at is that at most dim sum places, you never get to order anything–you’re subject to whatever comes out on the carts and if you’re hoping for something in particular, you just have to wait and hope.

Jenn
Mitchell,

Thanks for clarifying. Unfortunately yes then, you are at the mercy of the cart contents. But you can always ask the ladies for certain dishes, to which their response will probably be, “Not ready yet. 10 minute, 10 minute.”

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