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Daring to go where no other authentic Chinese restaurant has gone before, “Legend of Taste” recently opened. Not in Flushing. Not in Little Neck. No. They ventured to be different and opened in the quiet Queens suburb of Whitestone. Why? Perhaps to separate themselves from the over-abundance of choices in those other towns. And also to differentiate themselves from all the other dining choices in Whitestone. After our visit there last night, “Legend of Taste” will be a secret no more. Sorry Whitestone! Expect an influx of Szechuan-style Chinese restaurant lovers to descend upon Legend of Taste, which is located at 2002 Utopia Parkway, Whitestone, NY 11357.
I fear that parking, which was so easy to find last night, may soon become a nightmare. Legend of Taste, you have thrown down the gauntlet. Let’s see if others can follow you! Because you, Legend of Taste, have now taken over the #2 spot on our Rankings of Chinese Restaurants on Long Island and New York City!
Let’s see how you did it:
First of all, when you walk in, the restaurant is spic and span clean. It’s a welcoming atmosphere to walk in to. Your waitstaff is PHENOMENAL! So friendly and knowledgeable. I’m only sorry that I didn’t catch your name. Your recommendations were spot on. From beginning to end, our dinner was fabulous!
On each table was a dish of spicy peanuts. I don’t know what they there packing, but they sure packed a wallop! AND, I couldn’t get enough of them. Also there was a dish of pickled veggies which were nice and refreshing, and whetted our appetite for the feast that we were about to enjoy!
For Starters, Our Appetizers:
We love us our spareribs, and you suggested Tea Smoked Spareribs. From it’s smokey aroma, to the way it drops off the bone and melts in your mouth, these, I must say, are some of the best ribs I have ever eaten. I took way too much time making some notes and taking pictures, that by the time I went back for a fourth rib, they were all gone!
Wintertime demands a nice bowl of soup. It was recommended that we try the Chengdu Fish Fillet with Picked Vegetables. Not labeled as soup on the menu, it sure was. Fair warning: This is NOT a dish for one person. Nor two. For the five of us it was almost a meal in and of itself. Overflowing with flounder, bok choy, and some other vegetables, and a broth that was heaven sent, THIS IS a soup that I would order again. And again!
We were ready for more… Legend of Taste, show us what you’ve got!
This is Szechuan cuisine at it’s finest. And for those unfamiliar with Szechuan style, it’s SPICY! And if you’re in familiar, you’re in for a real treat. This is the real deal!
Lamb with Cumin – My goodness, the lamb melts in your mouth. The cumin isn’t overwhelming, but just the right amount.
Szechuan Chengdo Crispy Eggplant – You know me by now, I don’t like Eggplant. BUT, I was encouraged to try these. Oh My G-D! All I can say is WOW! Again, not being an eggplant fan, I don’t have much to compare these against. But, to me, these eggplants tasted like calamari! Some might find that an odd analogy, but hey, it’s my taste buds, and this is what they tasted like to me. While I may not go around now and have eggplant everywhere, I will eat these again!
The spice was getting to us, so we needed some rice to coat our bellies, so we opted for a few “blander” dishes.
Young Chow Fried Rice – I wouldn’t necessarily call this bland. Of all the Young Chow Fried Rice dishes that I have had in the past were definitely bland. This one had a real nice kick. And was delicious. Score!
Chicken with Black Bean Sauce – This was a dish that you would probably find in most Chinese restaurants. To me it actually had a nice sweet taste to it. Though some might call it “pedestrian”, I noticed that the serving dish was bare after a few seconds!
Honestly, we were full and fully sated by this time. However, we just couldn’t ignore any dish called “Ants Climbing the Tree“. Call us gluttons for punishments. Ants? Ok, there were no ants in the dish. But cellophane noodles and pork. Definitely different than anything that we ever had before, it was a dish nice to finish our meal with.
WOW we needed something sweet and ice cream! (that we solved later with a trip to Carvel), but they served us up some of the sweetest oranges I’ve ever had. And I LOVE oranges!!!
Ready for another sweet surprise? When we got the bill, we were pleasantly shocked to find that the cost of this sumptuous feast was so reasonable.
When all was said and done, there was nothing left to do but pay the check and tally up our rating of Legend of Taste:
You’ll enjoy a most excellent Szechuan meal at Legend of Taste. Take your family. Tell your friends. Share this article so that every one can discover this hidden gem in Whitestone, NY.
Humbly submitted for your consumption,
—Mee Magnum (“Chop! Chop!”)