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Restaurants

Szechuan Legend

Posted by Jason Finestone / Reviewed on November 28, 2011 / review policy

Szechuan LegendSzechuan Legend may not have a storied history, as its name suggests, but my experience there was fit for the books. The introduction was marked by a roundabout search for a sign that was far too visible for the trouble me and my navigator had spotting it. Once in the crowded parking lot we managed to sneak into the equally packed dining room, though not so conspicuously. We were the only non-Asians in the place, which is always a definitively positive sign upon an inaugural visit to a dim sum establishment.

While there were a couple of very friendly staff members, I didn't quite get the feeling we were being treated equally, as no one offered us any water or tea, which we were charged $1.00 for when it was ordered.

While there is an extensive menu of Szechuan dishes we opted for an assortment of dim sum and a hot and sour soup. Admittedly, as the plot unfolded we learned that some of the food was hit or miss, but the $2.20 price tag per dim sum was bang on.

Szechuan LegendThe hot and sour soup, $6.99, was plentiful, but practically pitiful, lacking in depth and with an overly thin consistency.

Szechuan LegendStaples of any dim sum meal, the Shu Maii (steamed pork dumpling with shrimp and fish roe) and Haar Gow (steamed shrimp dumpling) did not disappoint. The Shu Maii was moist and featured an entire shrimp at the base, which can be rare.

Szechuan LegendThe Haar Gow had a delicate casing and was packed full of meaty shrimp.

The BBQ Pork Cheong Fun (rolled rice noodles with BBQ pork and sweet soy sauce - top photo) was a bit starchy and thick but the pork inside was quality.

Szechuan LegendShortfall dishes included an accidentally ordered deep fried taro cake and mediocre BBQ Pork Buns with a dismal filling to dough ratio.

Szechuan LegendSzechuan LegendHonourable mention goes to the Steamed Sticky Rice with Chicken in Lotus Leaf with a fine balance of salty chicken and sweet, soft sticky rice. No mystery sausage made its was into the package, however - one of my most relished discoveries in any order of sticky rice.

Szechuan LegendThe outright highlight took the form of Ham Sui Gok; "footballs", as I like to call them. Deep fried crescent shaped balls of glutinous rice stuffed with minced pork and vegetables that were piping hot, perfectly portioned and begging to be ordered again. Legitimately, the Ham Sui Gok was the best I've ever had outside of Shanghai.

Szechuan LegendNext time I'll make sure to order some specialties off the menu, which donned the tables of the more clearly well versed locals. Conclusion: no carts, but it was hot, fresh, and worthwhile.

Szechuan Legend

Discussion

12 Comments

Jenny / September 16, 2009 at 12:52 pm
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Love this restaurant. The only one I got to for Chinese Food and Dim Sum. THey have the most asian decor where it makes you feel like you are truly in the Orient, it's clean, food is good, and its just an overall comfortable and always fun experience, as no other asian restaurant in Scarorough looks anywhere as close to nice as this place
Nial / December 5, 2009 at 07:35 pm
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We went here for dim sum for the first time today. The place was busy, but we didn't have to wait in line for more than 2 minutes. Everything we ordered was fantastic, and the portions were large. We will definitely be going back.
Stephanie / July 18, 2010 at 03:34 pm
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If you want to experience dim sum with the carts, this is not the place to go for it. You order the dim sum from a menu which the servers will bring for you. Food was pretty good and quick.
Bo / February 23, 2011 at 10:21 am
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The custard buns are really tasty at this place! I'm not sure if they still have it though. Their service really depends on the day. I went with my parents and they pretty much omitted 80% of our order.
belvedere / November 28, 2011 at 11:07 am
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this place is terrific. but u will have a much more rewarding experience if u go w someone fluent in either cantonese or mandarin.
Elaine / November 28, 2011 at 12:00 pm
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I used to eat at this place when it still had plush vinyl booths and formica tables. The sudden change in decor was a personal disappointment: blocky and uncomfortable wooden chairs with small low wooden tables that skim the tops of my knees (I'm only 5"0!)

The decor change also marked a remarkable decline in the service and atmosphere.

I would often visit with a girlfriend (who was Korean). I'm Chinese, but my Cantonese is abysmal (but I can understand a bit.) Often while waiting to be seated, other older Chinese-speaking patrons would demand to be seated sooner; the brow-beated hostess would usually relent. This resulted in me - on more than one occasion - jumping up and arguing angrily that I had been there first, and telling the other patron to "sit on it."

Also, my friend and I always got stuck having the tiny tables that could barely fit a single person, while other single patrons seated after us, got a booth table for four. (I assumed that they were saving seats for others, but these people would never materialize.)

The aggravation and stress wasn't worth it anymore; I visit Rol San for dim sum now. (Consistently great, friendly staff, and closer to home.)
queen st. implant / November 28, 2011 at 12:27 pm
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you got charged $1 for tea, boo hoo,
i get charged $2.50 for a can of coke downtown
Yvonne / November 28, 2011 at 12:40 pm
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It's actually quite common practice to be charged a "tea fee" at dim sum places.
Don / November 28, 2011 at 11:41 pm
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I've been there before. The Szechuan is awesome. Never had the dim sum but have had rice with the szechuan dishes. mmmmmm...
DC / November 29, 2011 at 12:32 am
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Yeah, most dim sum places charge a tea fee (which usually means they're gonna serve tea leaves, not just distilled tea from tea bags). And some restaurants charge $1/adult in a table. So if you only got charged $1 for two people, I think that's pretty good.

There's also another Szechuan Legend somewhere in Richmond Hill (along Hwy 7). You should check that one out.
Jackson / February 2, 2012 at 01:59 pm
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this place is the best. order lamb kebobs with your beer, dim sum is good here, and for the main course, get 3 or 4 dishes from the $4.99 menu with steamed (or fried if thats your thing) rice. if you can handle spice try the dan dan noodles (4.99) and the kung pao chicken from here is a must. like i tell a lot of people, if you didn't like the food here, you did not order the right dishes.
monikat / October 5, 2012 at 09:50 am
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absolutely delicious and well priced. Would definitely recommend this to anyone looking to try a great dim sum place!

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