Green Onion Pancake at Café Orient

Green Onion Pancake at the Café Orient Restaurant in Ottawa

If you are not very familiar with the classic Dim Sum dish known in English as the ‘Green Onion Pancake’, you can take a look at my Dim Sum Gallery post featuring the 蔥油餅 at Gain Wah in Vancouver, which provides a bit of an introduction, and also illustrates an excellent example of the dish. Unfortunately, the one which was served to me at an otherwise great restaurant in Ottawa, the Café Orient on Somerset Street (pictured above), was not even remotely as good.

I ordered the Green Onion Pancake at Café Orient at the same time as I ordered their Steamed Rib with Salted Black Bean. The two ended up being served nearly fifteen minutes apart and the ribs, which turned out to be among the best I have had, were gone by the time the pancake arrived. Sadly, the second dish was a disappointment.

The Green Onion Pancake actually had a pretty appearance, being nicely golden here and there, and the exterior was quite pleasantly crispy at the edges. Unfortunately, that is where the good qualities effectively ended. The interior was quite doughy in texture, and not at all light and flaky as it should be when the pancakes is properly oiled and rolled to form layers. It as also considerably more oily than is usual for the dish.

If you look, you can see the scallion sections embedded in the dough but I really was barely able to taste them at all. The pancake was quite bland, even independently of the lack of onion flavor, and I struck me afterwards that they hadn’t added enough salt. All in all, this was a very second-rate production for a place that can serve some pretty good dishes.


Comments, questions or suggestions most welcome!