Tuesday, September 6, 2016
Price: 3.280 BHD (I was given a "new customer" discount)
Payment: Cash only (at the moment)
Dishes: Xinjiang chicken
English Menu: Yes
I was cruising American Alley/Shebab Avenue last night looking for something new when I noticed a newish set of buildings with a couple of restaurants. One had a round looking sign that looked like it might have been a fast food chinese place. As I got closer, I saw that everyone on the staff looked legit chinese, so I decided to take a shot. Turns out, this was Liang's Legend's first open night! What luck on my part!
The seating is upstairs and the staff are very solicitous. I looked at the menu and apparently this place specializes in Xinjiang regional cuisine, not a region I am familiar with. So I decided to go with the "special" Xinjiang chicken. I also ordered fried rice, but apparently that didn't get heard, which was fine.
The dish arrived, and I was a bit disappointed on a number of fronts. It was sort of reminiscent of some Filipino dishes actually, kind of like a bland chicken calderata. First, the dish wasn't very flavorful. It was a brown sauce and was pretty salty. I did see whole star anise in there lots of garlic so I'm not sure why it all just tasted a bit blah. Next, the chicken was white meat...which I dislike. Had I known, I wouldn't have ordered it. Also, there were lots of potatoes, and I don't like to eat potato dishes with rice. Lastly, and definitely the worst issue, was that the chicken was chopped what I call "chinese style" which is to say someone took a butcher knife to the chicken pieces and went all psycho on it, resulting in shards of bony chicken with small bits of meat clinging to the chicken bits. Very hard to eat without fingers, and this was not a fingerfood dish. However they did bring me a spicy oil chili sauce which was quite good with a dark, earthy flavor to it. And they asked me for feedback, which I gave to them (pretty much the above). I suggested they be more descriptive of the dishes, and since they will have lots of American customers they might want to consider not cutting the chicken pieces that way.
Overall, a bit disappointing, but I still think this place has lots of potential. I kind of want to go back just to try more dishes, and I may take my wife back with me to see what else is on the menu. Its not often I get to explore a new cuisine. But realistically, the best I can do with last night's meal is an Ok.