2 Xiao Long Bao in Chinatown, a garden, the river, a wander

Last night we took a long bus ride towards dinner. The bus was on diversion which I still dont quite understand. Can you get off? How do you know when it’s going on diversion? Where will it resume its path? Londoners I have asked dont really seem to know. And a google search doesn’t provide any further insight.. so its a live with and wonder experience.

Anyway, when we finally were able to get off the bus near Chinatown we found an unexpected little garden, the Phoenix Garden, A sustainable community garden and home to the West Ends only frogs.

According to its websiteThe Phoenix Garden is the last of the Covent Garden Community Gardens – there were originally seven, created by the local community on vacant lots in the 1970’s. There was a Japanese Garden, a Water Garden and a Chess Garden among them. The last of these closed for development in the 1980’s.

Unfortunately it was locked when we passed after dusk, but nice to know if I can remember its there then I can make a daytime visit.

The remaining walk was uneventful, except for the dragon in the firehouse..

so we followed the plan which was to find Soup Dumplings, after much discussion and menu perusal we selected two restaurants to try. Ruyi and Dumpling Legend.

Well, lets begin by saying no need to read on if you want a great xioa long bao, we have not found one. At Ruyi, where we had fairly good chinese broccoli with garlic we had dry dumplings with way to much dough. They had a nice flavor but can not in any way be recommended.

Then onto the much more open and pleasant Dumpling Legend where we enjoyed a meat platter which I might recommend at a table for 4 who was sharing other less meaty dishes. But our soup dumpling was flavorless, or very mildly flavored. The skin was thinner, the soup definitely there, but without that delicious sweet meaty flavor.

Making dumplings at Dumpling Legend

So, no. We did not find ‘our’ sought after xioa long bad.

We did have a lovely walk through Liecester Square

What caught our eye was this bouncing green ball, this guy was inside.

and were well entertained if only briefly,

then on to the river for a wander to Embankment.

Its lovely here with its history and monuments.

And I learned something new… “Legend has it that if the horse has one leg raised, the rider was harmed during the battle. If the horse is standing upright on its hind legs, the rider is said to have died in battle, and if all four hooves are on the ground, the rider survived the battle unharmed.” from the Washingtonian. The fact actually came from Brad, but I am always curious and liking to check these things and see what else I can find. It seems that at least in America you cannot count on this being accurate. Wha about here in Great Britain? I cannot say.

and so pretty at night to look across the river and see the shadows and lights of all the things that are going on.

red lights of the London Eye

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