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Feb 26, 2008 06:28 AM

Best things to order at Asian Legend?

I'm going tonight with a group of 8. (the one on Spadina). I have read they specialize in Northern Chinese. What exactly does this mean?

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  1. If nothing else, this board is highly astute in its assessments and analyses of the menus of Chinese restos, so I'll leave it to others more erudite than I - over to you, Charles Yu and other culinary scholars - to tell you about the ideosyncracies of northern Chinese cuisine. But I've been to Asian Legend many, many times, albeit mainly the branch (one of four or five in Toronto) on Yonge St. north of Sheppard Ave., and have worked my way through much of the voluminous menu, which is exactly the same at all of this small chain's outlets. The dishes are nicely done, though perhaps not outstanding compared to some other northern-style joints, but still quite tasty at the price. The northern-style appetizers are particularly good. I'm fond of No. 10, a pancake stuffed with shrimp and green onion, which is rightly popular with many who drop in to the Yonge St. branch, but other appetizers are also addictively tasty. You'll need four orders of No. 10 to satisfy your group of eight noshers. I also like No. 101, which is a main dish of fried bean curd with bits of pork and other goodies. The hot and sour soup is also pretty good - among the better ones in the city ( though its formula seems to change slightly from week to week) but so are all the other soups I've tried. Indeed, I don't think I've ever had a outright dud of a dish at any Asian Legend, though some dishes seem more successful than others. Service by an alert young staff is invariably good at all the outlets. With a group of eight, you'll be entitled to a large party-type table, which is more pleasant than the tiny tables for two or four. Asian Legend doesn't get much respect on this board, but I enjoy it, partly because the north Toronto branches are a short drive from where I live, but mainly because the food is good, robust, well-priced and well-presented.

    1 Reply
    1. re: juno

      The Asian Legend I`ve gone to is on Dundas just East of Spadina....I love their and sour soup,green onion pancake,deep fried tofu and their dumplings are great...good service ,clean dining room and washroom ...always busy...lineups on the Weekend....Sara Waxman wrote a great review...not sure where...but you could find on her web site....and as juno said...never had a dud of a meal there...Miranda

    2. If you are asking what the difference is between Northern and Sourthern Chinese cuisine, it's not something that can be explained quickly. There is no easy way to tell. Very generally speaking, the cuisine in the North tend to have a stronger taste and use heavier sauces, while in the South the dishes tend to showcase the freshness of the ingredients, but those are hardly rules. Though you don't really need to know if you're set on going there, everything on the menu is Northern.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Teep

        Everything except the Cantonese Chow Mein (#139A), of course ;).

      2. my last trip was probably the most successful one i've had at asian legend but i'm still very leery about them. notably that the dundas/spadina location has actually had pretty good service but it's been awful at the other locales.

        the only dish i would dare to recommend as great would be their beef onion roll/pancake. unlike it's photo, it comes piping hot in a foil wrap and is delicious and guilty as sin feeling.

        1 Reply
        1. re: pinstripeprincess

          Asian Legend - I have been to the Dundas St location a few times and the service can be slow but then again they are usually packed!! The beef rolled pancakes are to die for and I also a fan of their soups. Its a good choice for a large group since they have so many menu items

        2. Asian Legend is one of my favorite restaurants. The food is always so tasty.
          I like to order the General Tao Chicken and Spicey Green Beans..they also have fantastic Wonton soup...actually...everything is delicious!

          2 Replies
          1. re: doubleagent

            I second the green beans - it's so yummy, it even converted my dad who doesn't like green beans!
            They also have great desserts also - mmmm... try the fried banana.

            1. re: doubleagent

              I third the green beans. They are my favourite things on the menu by far

            2. The Taiwanese greens are very good--and a nice change from spinach and watercress. Their eggplant dish is also very tasty--a nice mix of vegetables that blend very well with the eggplant and a very tasty (slightly) spicy sauce.