Articles

Flying Pan

In Food, Hong Kong, Pancakes on January 24, 2011 by triotriotrio

Flying Pan

G/F, 9 Old Bailey Street, SOHO, Central

Hong Kong

Jennifer and I strolled along Old Baily Street in the Soho neighborhood of Hong Kong. Our eyes had been attracted to a large sign. It read, “The Flying Pan – Open 24 HRS Breakfast.” Well I thought – maybe this is an opportunity for Hong Kong to redeem itself in the pancake department? Jennifer peered through the window, “They have ketchup on the table.” she exclaimed. That’s a sign –maybe we are in business?

We walked inside. It was crowded – another good sign but we managed to find a table. It’s a cozy place. The setting is like any typical dinner that you would find in the states. The menu revealed a wide variety of choices. They served everything from the full English breakfast to Eggs Benedict and yes indeed, pancakes.

Our waitress, a young woman named Squirrel, took our order. She brought coffee to the table so we were now ready. I have to admit, I was a little apprehensive, what was the outcome going to be?

The plate arrived at the table and yes indeed they were pancakes. It was a beautiful site. I imagine it was like someone who was travelling through the desert in a caravan and all of sudden they get the first glimpse of an oasis. It looks like safety, but is it for real?

Let me set the scene: three pancakes served in a respectful stack, butter on top. I was pleased, but let’s go to the big three criteria:

Temperature: Once again, the product was warm, not hot. This really baffles me. Let me put it this way, if I were to put a pat of butter in-between the stack the heat would not be sufficient to melt it.

Texture: Houston, we have lift. These pancakes were clearly made on a grill. They were brown on the outside with a slight honeycomb of air bubbles.

Maple Syrup: Maple and blueberry syrup were on the table. It wasn’t the pure smack, but it did have good maple flavor. My only complaint concerning the syrup was the delivery system. The bottle had a very narrow spout and I had to shake and cajole the bottle repeatedly in order to get any product out. But with a little persistence I was able to get a sufficient amount out.

These pancakes fell into the good category. (Please see scoring sheet below) I liked a lot of the work that went into them. But overall they lacked in the temperature department and the taste department. There was no eggy undertone; that told me that that they were clearly from a box.

Let me clarify one point. I will return to the Flying Pan. They did serve a pancake that satisfied my breakfast urge.

Keep on flipping – see you next time around.

– – – – – – – – – – – – –

I like to think of pancakes on a Five Point Panel Scoring System:

  1. Do Not Eat – this is a score only reserved to a product that is so rancid that I would be unable to get two bites down. This score could also be given to a product that was not a pancake. Let’s say I order pancakes and I am served cream of wheat instead. No matter how good the cereal is, it can’t be judged in the pancake department. ★
  2. Some Merit – Here we have a product that may be working in the right direction but doesn’t quite make it. One may want to say, “Please go back in the kitchen and try again.” Please note, the main difference between a score of one and two is that one may want to eat at this place again. ★★
  3. Good – the vast majority of pancakes fall into this category. They are what I would classify as forgettable. If I had an icon for this score it would be a box. In other words, someone simply mixes a together some pre-measured flour out with water and then places it on the grill. ★★★
  4. Very Good – Here we have a product that really goes beyond the norm. Maybe it is a mix, but instead of water, milk and real eggs are used. There may be some type of compote or interesting side. Bananas, blueberries, walnuts or apples may be incorporated into the mixture. There may be an interesting type of flour in the mix. Think of buckwheat, whole-grain or sourdough. ★★★★
  5. Excellent – An excellent pancake has no mistakes. It would be suitable for a last meal if you were on death row. ★★★★★
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