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Sunday, July 17, 2005

Asian Legend, Downtown Toronto

There is at least half a dozen Chinese restaurants on Dundas St that can make a reasonable appearance on Ghetto Foodies. The Asian Legend on 418 Dundas, however, might not seem like a likely candidate. Unlike its neighbours, Asian Legend looks very clean, well-managed, and--dare I say--rather chic from the outside. The two story restaurant is fronted by large panes of class, and adorned with pretty, paper lanterns that shine above smooth, dark-wood furniture and plush, white sofas. Given only a cursory inspection, one would be forgiven for mistaking Asian Legend for a cheaper, less pretentious Spring Roll, or Ginger, or some other yuppy hangout. But good décor alone does not a good restaurant make, and when it comes down to it, the food at Asian Legend is mediocre at best.

To be fair, it isn't easy specializing in northern Chinese cuisine and serving good food at the same time. Chinese epicureans are almost always from south of the Yangtze River, and most of us northerners will admit, albeit grudgingly, that southern Chinese cuisine is far tastier. But that isn't to say it's impossible to make good northern chinese fare--I have been to many restaurants in Vancouver that make a killer Siu Long Bao. Asian Legend, sadly, does not even come close to meeting this challenge.

Last night after fellowship I was unable to turn the tide against popular opinion and marched grudgingly to the faux-chic eatery with the rest of the Delta crew. Following Kalam's recommendation, I ordered deep fried porkchops on noodle soup. The resulting gastronomic disaster is too traumatizing to put into words. Every bite of the grease-soaked batter made me want to hurl something fierce. I've had this dish elsewhere before, and it's not supposed to taste like poison! Next time, can we please just go for pho? Please?



At Sunday, July 17, 2005 11:09:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Speaking of Sui Long Bao, I went with Nate, Jon, Eric, Erin, and Steph to Shanghai Wind and we had 12 orders or "longs" of those little buggers. :) Let's see, there were 6 in each "long" so that's 72 between the 6 of us. :) Good times.


At Monday, July 18, 2005 1:15:00 AM, Blogger Jon said...

Yes, I can vouch for Phil, and am proud to say that I ate about 12 sui long bao in one setting. Good times indeed, and no weird stomach churning afterwards.

Btw, I'm also in agreement with Dave's last sentence. Pho Lady, you don't know how much we miss you.

At Monday, July 18, 2005 9:39:00 AM, Blogger tiffany said...

you know, this unpleasant eating experience could have been avoided if you had gotten that soup with that whole fish in it... hehehe, eeeeeeew.

but *i* would have gone to pho with you :)

(btw, tomlin, the pho lady is still around - we went there after service yesterday and the place was packed!)

At Monday, July 18, 2005 10:56:00 AM, Blogger Reformed Jerk said...

Last time I went up to Markham with some friends I had two 籠s of 小籠包 :D DEE-LISH! We gotta go when I'm back in August!

Tiffy, if you hadn't agreed to share something with Megan I would have ordered that soup to share with you just to be mean. I know how much you love fish :-p



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