I spotted this Chinese snack kiosk when I was at Woodlands MRT Station and got really excited as it sells my favourite scallion pancake 葱油饼 that I always find it hard to resist. Made of such humble ingredients yet so delish. Since I had eaten some of the best scallion pancakes and meat buns at Shandong Bing Jia at People’s Park Complex (read my review here) which had set a high benchmark for me, I decided to try these little fellows to see if their standard might surpass the former.
Shan Dong Da Bao specialises in super-sized steamed meat buns but I didn’t find them any appealing (surface looked really dry) so I gave them a miss. They also serve up scallion pancakes, pan-fried pancakes with various fillings as well as pan-fried meat biscuits.
This resembled a chives pancake 韭菜盒子 as indicated on their menu. I’m never a fan of chives but the husband wanted to try this so we went ahead and got one. It was really piping hot as we happened to have one from the freshly made batch so we waited a couple of minutes for it to cool before we could hold it up with our hands and eat.
To our surprise, it wasn’t filled with chives. It had an assortment of ingredients like jicama, taiwan sausage, pork meat, mushrooms, coriander and probably more which we couldn’t quite make out. It was like a popiah with gyoza skin that had been pan-fried to a golden brown and crisp on the outside. The filling was rather tasty and in every bite we could taste the crunch of the jicama as well as the textures of the other ingredients. The husband was laughing away when he saw me taking a few bites of this pancake because I told him earlier that I didn’t want any as I thought it was a chives one! This is highly recommended!
While I liked the extremely golden brown exterior of the scallion pancake which wasn’t overly greasy, I found the dough too thick for my liking.
Also, there weren’t a lot of scallions in the dough so overall it was a lacklustre bun that tasted really under-seasoned (not enough salt!) and bland.
Looked promising but unfortunately it didn’t wow me though the husband thought it was decent.
The meat filling wasn’t as ‘brothy’ as I hoped it’d be but the taste of the marinate was quite alright though not rich and fragrant enough. Also the dough of the biscuit lacked that chewiness that I like so I found the whole thing rather flat.
While I might still go for the Pancake with Meat & Vegetables, the rest were just carbs that weren’t worth the calories though prices were cheap. Life is too short for bad carbs! Go for Shan Dong Bing Jia at People’s Park Complex, that’s my best bet.
Shan Dong Da Bao
30 Woodlands Ave 2
#01-22, Woodlands Xchange (MRT Station)