Photo by Lenny Markh

THE BITE: I like to eat where our readers send me. I’ve had some interesting recommendations in the past couple of years, but this is the first time I had a recommendation from a reader who also follows Serious Eats. Not only does he follow Serious Eats, he follows recipes from my friend and fellow food writer, James Boo.  This elusive reader has such high regards for the lowly scallion pancake, he actually makes them at home using James’ recipe.

This reader, who will remain anonymous at his request, highly recommended the scallion pancakes at New Star Restaurant (2212 Avenue X – between East 21 and East 22 Streets) which happens to be walking distance from my home.

Oddly, I had never been to this restaurant. Of course, I had to go.

For those who are unaware, scallion pancakes are reminiscent of a traditional American pancake crossed with a biscuit. The dough should be light, a tad fluffy and like a good biscuit consists of multiple layers of dough. But the wonderful part of scallion pancakes is the sweet, crunchy pieces of scallion scattered throughout the layers. In a well made pancake, the dough is pan fried until crispy and slightly charred in multiple places on its surfaces and edges.

Unfortunately, New Star just didn’t deliver the goods. These pancakes were limp, greasy and woefully lacking in the scallion to dough ratio. While a slight chew is expected in any pan-fried dough, these pancakes were rubbery, I believe that this  may have been due to the fact that the dough was under worked. The multiple layers of dough, a hallmark of this dish, simply didn’t exist.

I guess this just wasn’t my lucky day.

New Star Restaurant, 2212 Avenue X, (718) 891-6868

The Bite is Sheepshead Bites’ weekly column where we explore the foodstuffs of Sheepshead Bay. Each week we check out a different offering from one of the many restaurants, delis, food carts, bakeries, butchers, fish mongers, or grocers in our neighborhood. If it’s edible, we’ll take a bite.

New Star on Urbanspoon

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  • BrooklynBus

    I give you credit for saying when you don’t like something without fear of offending anyone. I remember watching Bob Lape on Eyewitness News many years ago on Friday afternoons doing food reviews. We used to criticize his “reviews”: because every single thing he tasted was always the best meal he’s ever had. He is still doing food reviews on CBS radio about 40 years later. Unlike you, I don’t think he’s ever paid for a single meal in his life.

  • Arthur Borko

    They look almost like standard chinese food pan fried dumplings. That rubbery texture is the telltale mark of frozen food…

    • http://www.flickr.com/knightmare6 Knightmare6

      They’re usually preformed and frozen in large batches, then cooked to order, although some places will just refrigerate, but in that case, the preforming is usually smaller batches.

  • http://www.flickr.com/knightmare6 Knightmare6

    All scallion pancakes suck at Chinese restaurants. They’re just too Americanized, meaning they add more oil and crap then needed, but it’s what customers want and like.

  • Davey

    I personally didn’t like the scallion pancakes at New Star Restaurant either. There is another Chinese restaurant I had scallion pancakes that is close to the traditional ones. That restaurant is called “Great Wall Chinese Restaurant” It’s on Gravesend Neck Road(Between E14 & E15). It fits my taste and I hope it satisfy yours’ too

    • Anon

      I live down the block there and because of that they’re my go to Chinese restaurant even tho they’re on average 25-50 cents more expensive per item compared to other places. I’ve had their scallion pancakes and they’re mushy and uncooked in the most foul way possible. Other things on their menu are pretty good for typical Chinese take-away but the scallion pancake is definitely not.