Seeing how the Canucks' Stanley Cup run went all the way to the very end, our softball games were postponed. The result? Almost every game from now until the end of the season will be double-headers. Great. That delays eating even more. And me being hungry during any game is not a good thing. Such was the case in our double-header on the first game back from nearly a 3-week hiatus. It started off okay - I was blocking errant throws and hitting the ball decently. Then, as my stomach began to grumble, that's where the wheels fell off. Once I had Arby's on my mind, I could not catch anything if my life depended on it. Silent Bob suddenly became vocal Bob. I don't blame him. I bobbled every throw he sent my way. I was so desperate for food, I snatched half of Chill's granola bar. Remember that Snicker's commercial with Betty White? That was me.
At the end of both games, everyone else was famished. Boss Woman thought that since it was not that warm, we should do hot pot. Sure, that sounded good to me, especially if it was all-you-can-eat. Rather going to Richmond for our Hot Pot, we decided to try out Spicy Legend on Kingsway. Located in the former location of Fantastic Restaurant, this is not your usual hot pot joint. Rather, it is Szechuan and it means business. As the name suggests, there is a choice of spicy broth with an option of how hot you want it. We originally though we could take medium; but the server warned us that if might blow our socks off. Hence, we went for mild instead. While waiting for everyone to arrive, we took turns heading off to the washroom. The consensus was that these were some of the worst washrooms we've seen in awhile. They were absolutely filthy. Furthermore, the back door was open throughout our meal. A clear health-code violation.
Now, when the split broth arrived, the spicy side looked ominous. With what looked like scotch bonnet peppers floating on top of a chili oil slick that looked thick enough to fry something, we were concerned. No matter, Milhouse, Miss Y and I proceeded to cook things in the spicy broth. Now as we began to eat it, it was sure tasty. It was darn spicy too! You know when it is so spicy, your tongue begins to numb? Well, this was it. I personally like spicy and I didn't mind this; but it was really killing my tastebuds after awhile. And this was mild! Imagine how spicy it was when we dumped the Spicy Beef and Fish into the broth? Yes, doubly-spicy. The beef was your typical marinated and tenderized slices while the fish appeared to be Basa. Both were very moist and very spicy. We liked this very much.
When we marked off the items off the order sheet, the server told us they would bring out portions that would be sufficient for all of us. We were a bit hesitant since most hot pot places bring out very little and we have to keep ordering over and over again. Not here. The plates of meat were huge. As evidenced in the picture, the Beef was stacked high on the plate and was relatively flat. The significance of that is there is very little space in between slices; hence, there is more meat. Some places have curled up frozen slices which look impressive on a plate. In actuality, there is very little meat. The meat here was pretty good, it had a nice colour and when cooked up was tender. Much of the same with the Lamb. A generous amount of slightly fatty slices were equally tender after a quick dunk into the boiling broth.
With many of our various items, they amalgamated it into one large plate consisting of shrimp, pork kidney, duck gizzards, intestine, tripe, fish meatballs and cuttlefish meatballs. Naturally, the shrimp were the previously frozen variety while the offal was pretty standard. However, we were dismayed at the frozen fish meatballs. Most places now have freshly-made meatballs (albeit from frozen ingredients). Hence, they were pretty generic and stiff. In a colander, we had the spinach, fried bean curd, vermicelli, mushrooms, dumplings and frozen tofu. Of note here, the dumplings were actually quite good. The skin was slightly hard (even after a long boil); but the filling was both flavourful and meaty in texture without being gritty. The fried bean curd stick was not very good though. It was very hard and dry. Despite boiling the heck of it, it remained very chewy. The Fried Meatballs sounded good on paper; however, I personally didn't like them much. Don't let the dense appearance fool you. They were actually very loose inside and I found the texture to be very weird, almost mousse like. I didn't feel like I was eating a meatball.
Lastly, the Oysters were pretty much your plastic tub variety. They were fine and of a decent size as well. Well, I would definitely say that Spicy Legend is one of the few places that puts hot into hot pot. For me, I was able to stand it; but I can definitely see some people not liking the spice at all. With that being said, they can order a non-spicy broth. Yet, that defeats the purpose of eating here. In terms of the food, it was okay. I would say there are much better places to do Hot Pot in the GVRD for the same price. The one thing that did bother me was the lack of cleanliness and that is already taking into account that this is an Asian establishment.
- If you like it spicy...
- Meats are plentiful and good
- If you don't like it spicy...
- Selection lags behind other AYCE hot pot joints
- Clean it is not