Thanks a lot guys! It's going to be a while before I get the reviews updated on my website, so where's a good place for me to post what I thought of the restaurants there in the meantime? Here's one for now:
My first meal in Oakland was a dim sum lunch at Legendary Palace, if you don’t count the bagel and cream cheese I bought from a couple of cute suicide girl types at a café near the Jack London Square. Legendary Palace is located in Oakland ’s vibrant and charming Chinatown and its busy interior and colorful décor mirror the lively environment outside its doors. Upon arrival we were asked to take a number and waited for about five to ten minutes before being seated, not too bad for a party of five. Its worth noting that the place was impeccably clean except for one stray plastic lizard that some toddler must of left on the floor. This rubber reptile actually helped keep us entertained while we waited to be seated, so I cannot complain.
Since we had three dim sum aficionados with us who knew the language I decided to not participate in the selection of food letting them take care of ordering while I focused solely on eating. Unfortunately that means our table ended up with more pastries than I would have cared for but despite my lack of a sweet tooth it was all excellent and I feel they hit a great balance between dishes.
We started with two cheong fun dishes, in one the wide noodles held shrimp and in the other it was beef. Our server proceeded to snip them in half with scissors saving us the trouble and poured warm sauce from a tea pot on them to ensure they where moist and tasty. For meats we got some tripe enhanced by cilantro (the Mexican in me wanted some lime to squeeze on top), steamed rib pieces with spicy peppers, fish meatballs and phoenix talons (chicken feet). The fish meat balls stood out due to its great flavor and springy texture, but the spicy ribs and rich tripe where also welcome. It was my first time eating chicken feet and I was having a hard time deciding what parts to bite off and what parts to pick clean, but learning from imitation made it easy and enjoyable. The shrimp siu maai where good but didn’t stack up to the nearly flawless ones I had eaten a couple of days before at Pearl River in Boston .
For sweets we had some sweet cream buns filled with thick custard that tasted of vanilla, egg and bean paste. We also got some tasty Sesame seed balls, some gooey and sweet egg tarts, and an interesting fruit filled pastry that tasted of guava but according to their description it sounded like an entirely alien fruit.
By far the flashiest dish was the Ying and Yang fried rice, a dish of fluffy fried rice with half of it topped by a creamy white sauce with shrimp while the other half was chicken in a sweet and sour tomato based sauce. While the shrimp side was a little bland its texture complimented the rice wonderfully. The chicken side was a lot more flavorful but clashed a little with its counterpart. Without this large serving we may have walked away with a little appetite intact but thanks to it we where all stuffed and fighting over whose responsibility it was to finish up the assorted sweets on the table.
As usual with dim sum the bill was pretty low, despite being a slightly upscale location. This bill did not include drinks, since we where quite satisfied with the free tea and some water. While I won’t get a chance anytime soon to review the rest of their menu, first impressions go a long way and I was very satisfied with both their service and food.
My english, she's not so good... I meant to say I did it with the malice of forethought.