The thought of traveling to the far far far west of our island did not really appeal to me, but who would have guessed that I did that for two consecutive days..... all because of..... A DUCK!
Yes, it was the specialty Roasted London Duck from Legendary Hong Kong in Jurong Point (next to Boon Lay mrt station) which drew my lazy bum over haha. Needless to say, it was one heaven of a DELICIOUS duck! Certainly one of the very best I've ever tried!
But the duck was quite elusive though, and took me some time to hunt it down. I was bedazzled by the neon signages and colorful shop displays which lined the entire shopping and dining street that is themed after the vibrant Mongkok district in Hong Kong.
The idea to is to give diners the most authentic Hong Kong cuisine experience one can find in Singapore. Very committed of the restaurant I would say.
Tip for finding your way over to the restaurant: Legendary Hong Kong is located on level 3 opposite NTUC Fairprice supermarket. Keep a lookout for any of its two narrow entrances flanked by roasted delights on one, and pastry goodies on the other.
Walk right in, and you'd find yourself inside a brightly-lit interior which can accommodate up to 200 people at any time. Tables were spaced rather closely and noise level was high, just like those cha chan tengs in Hong Kong.
It was on a weekday evening when I went for dinner and it was almost full! Can't imagine the weekends when queues are most likely to be expected.
I guess the restaurant's popularity is not without its worthy reasons. First, the menu features a mind-boggling selection of over 300 dishes! Second, price point is being kept on the affordable side. A whole family can come here for a casual meal with something suitable for everyone without breaking the wallet.
Expect perennial favorites such as Barbecued Meats ($7.80-$18.80, $28-$58 for whole chicken/duck), Congee and Traditional HK Noodles ($6.80-$8.80), Pastries and Dim Sum ($1.30-$6.80), HK Imported Nissin Noodle ($5.20-$8.80), various Rice Dishes with Assorted Toppings ($8.80-$13.80). There's even a host of Claypot and Zhi Char-style Items ($9.80-$14.80).
The kitchen is helmed by five accomplished masterchefs, each with their own specialty in Hong Kong cuisine, including one who has over 20 years of tea-brewing experience.
Standing by his insistence on delivering the most authentic tea drinking experience, the aromatic HK Style Tea & Coffee Mix ($2.20 hot, $2.80 cold) is prepared from a special blend of five different varieties of teas that are imported from Hong Kong.
It well complemented items such as Custard Crust Bun with Butter ($2.50) and a variety of toasts that are prepared fresh at the bakery daily. Those fragrant Mini Custard Crust Buns with Salted Egg Yolk Filling ($5 for 3pcs) would most likely make you reach out for more than one piece.
The dry and skimpily filled Steamed BBQ Pork Bun ($4) made me stopped at one piece though, but fortunately the rest of the items I tried from the dim sum menu were more than gratifying.
Steamed Shrimp Dumplings ($5.50) featured crunchy, succulent prawns encased in a delicately thin skin, a well-loved classic executed with much quality.
I'm also a big fan of Legendary Hong Kong's Sauteed Turnip Cake with XO Sauce ($5.50). Each soft and moist morsel was an absolute delight with slight crispy exterior. One bite and you can taste the slight spiciness of the savory XO sauce, followed by an underlying sweetness from Chinese sausages in the cake with a coat of eggy scent serving to enhance it even further. The interplay of flavors was gorgeous!
Another item not to be missed is that Thick Rice Flour with Deep-fried Shrimps Spring Rolls ($5.50), which is like a version of Zhaliang (that is very popular in Hong Kong) elevated to another level.
Instead of simply having youtiao wrapped in thin rice noodle, Legendary Hong Kong substituted the plain fried dough with deep-fried shrimp fritter, giving the roll an additional layer of crustacean tastiness. The contrast of smooth and crunchy textures coupled with light soya sauce dressing made the entire combination an unbeatable one. Highly recommended!
Noodles and Congee
I was utterly enamored by the Congee with Century Egg & Shredded Pork ($6.80) and you who appreciate simple porridge cooked to a perfect consistency will probably be too.
Noodles offerings wise, those who are familiar with MAK's Noodle which has garnered Michelin star status and are undoubtedly considered to be one of the best in Hong Kong, do rejoice that the same chef who made the noodles at Mak's noodle now works in the kitchen of Legendary Hong Kong.
The serving of Wonton Noodle in Soup ($6.80) was good, but not mind blowing in my sense. There was a slight alkaline aftertaste in the noodles which I'm not fond of, but its thin crunchiness made it enjoyable texturally. Wontons were plump with fresh prawns. The Tossed Beef Brisket, Tendon & Tripe Noodle ($7.80) was worth a try too.
Now we came to the highlight of my meal, the roasted meats! Before I got to the duck, my chopsticks naturally went for the Crispy Pork Belly ($12.80) first because that has always been my number one weakness. Its crackling was just about right with a golden hue, meat was juicy, nicely seasoned and had a good ratio of lean and fattiness. In short, the pork belly was superbly executed.
If the pork belly had made me happy, then the duck must have sent me into a state of gastronomy bliss. Named Roasted London Duck ($14.80 per portion + $2 for drumstick/$30 for half/$58 for whole) after the city London where people from around the globe flock to in search of the "best duck in the world", Legendary Hong Kong uses "Grade A" Irish ducks from Silver Hill, a premium farm in Ireland where ducks are fed on wholesome, natural food and exercised daily.
Well I guess the more pampered the ducks are, the better food it would make then (like Wagyu beef). The initial bite made my eyes lit up at its fleshy juiciness and well-infused flavors. Skin was adequately crispy with a thin layer of fat underneath. Tying everything together was a lip-smacking sauce that was generously doused over. So delicious, no wonder the Roasted London Duck is the bestseller on the menu! Definitely a must-try!
The variant Braised London Duck ($14.80 per portion + $2 for drumstick/$30 for half/$58 for whole) was fairly tasty, though I much preferred the roasted version. But if craving strikes for a bowl of warm porridge, this plate of braised duck with its meaty tenderness, savory sauce and accompanying salted vegetables would make a most comforting match.
All in all, the two trips to Legendary Hong Kong were worth it, and definitely warrant more visits! I will certainly be back again!
Legendary Hong Kong
Address: #03-80 Jurong Point 2 Shopping Centre, 63 Jurong West Central 3, Singapore 648331
Contact: +65 6794 1335
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 11am-10pm / Sat, Sun & PH 10am-10pm