When Chef Yang opened Legend 72, he decided that this is not just another Legend or another Sichuan restaurant. This place would be his own stage to express his own idea on what real gourmet Sichuan food should be.
There are well-executed traditional food, like Mapo Tofu, Double-Cooked Pork and Spicy Cellophane Noodle. They are sold well because upon first bite on them one feels instantly like being teletransported back to the familiar small alley of Chengdu, where people cook their meals in front of their house on the street, and the whole neighborhood would smell food while hungry kids were running out of school to home. Chef Yang brings back memories for many Chinese expatriates from Sichuan.
There are trendy food popular among almost all young Chinese from around the country. The Braised Fish Fillet with Roasted Chili lost its many-layered meaning when being translated into English. The Chinese name is roughly as Water-boiled Fresh Fish Fillet in the Style of North Side of River. Water-boiled is a deceiving term in Sichuan cuisine. It actually means boiled in hot oil with lots of red spicy chili peppers. Fresh fish means really fresh, like just being caught the same day. The River is Yangtze river. It flows through the second biggest city in Sichuan region (now Chongqing is an independent municipality from Sichuan Province). North side of Yangtze River in Chongqing is the city’s downtown where locates the busiest harbor and business center in Southwest China, and is the origin of many great Sichuan dishes. The six-Chinese-character name stands for so much yet almost completely got lost in translation.
There are dishes inspired by American chef. House Pineapple Fried Rice is inspired by Jean George’s famous Ginger Fried Rice. Chef Yang blends in his own unique ingredients and flavor to create one of the most popular item on the menu.
Chef Yang started his cooking career when he was 17 more than thirty years ago. A firm traditionalist, he strictly follows the most sophisticated and complex way of traditional Sichuan cuisine. At the same time he is very creative to add on top of the great tradition. The simple pleasure derives from this combination sometimes is irresistible.