Push your batter boundaries this Shrove Tuesday by trying some unique Far Eastern pancake dishes in Chinatown.
Lemon and golden syrup are lovely and all that but why not eschew the same-old same-old pancake toppings this Pancake Day for flavours of a more Asian persuasion? Whether you’ve got a sweet tooth or are strictly savoury there are plenty of alternative options in Chinatown to get your batter-y fix. Here’s our pick of where to expand your pancake horizons.
Duck Pancakes at Four Seasons Gerrard Street
Hands up who doesn’t love duck pancakes! If there’s one place to sample these it’s got to be Four Seasons – their duck is consistently voted the best in the world dontcha know. Line your steamed pancake with a generous splodge of hoi sin sauce, layer up some finely chopped cucumber and spring onion, top off with aromatic shredded duck, roll then scoff.
Pan Fried Red Bean Pancake at Orient London
Like a regular crepe, a Chinese red bean version starts life as a classic batter fried in a pan. When one side is cooked a thick layer of sweet red bean paste is added, then it’s folded and flipped to seal and cook the rest. The result is a crispy outer layer with a soft, squidgy centre. Skip main courses and go straight to dessert at Orient London by ordering plenty of their tasty red bean pancakes instead.
Jianbing at Chinese Tapas House
Much like in the West, street food is a big deal in China and jianbing are probably their most popular street food breakfast. A crisp, savoury crepe cooked on a flat surface and filled with coriander, spring onion and mustard pickles. Rumour has it they date way back to 280AD when chancellor Zhuge Liang fed his soldiers by having the dish prepared on hot shields after their woks had been lost. Little Newport Street’s Chinese Tapas House does a mighty-fine jianbing. Zing!
Taiwanese Oyster Omelette at Old Tree Daiwan Bee
A much-loved Taiwanese staple, the oyster omelette is really part of the pancake family thanks to the addition of potato starch to the eggy mixture. The result is a firm and springy casing to wrap around tiny oysters. Slathered in a rich, sweet sauce the oyster omelette makes a great Pancake Day alternative. Do your Shrove Tuesday swap by ordering it at Old Tree Daiwan Bee on Rupert Street.
No Pancake Day would be complete without a spot of DIY flippin’ at home. Swing into one of Chinatown’s pan-Asian supermarkets like SeeWoo or Loon Fung and grab a pack of roti canai. A Malaysian flatbread made from ghee, flour and water, roti are super versatile and can be served along side your favourite curry or crammed with a sweet Nutella and banana filling. Get creative and get stuffing!
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