Laboring studiously over a constant fire in a dingy room adjoining some old lane houses, A Da seems like the tortoise in the scallion pancake race, the shifu who brings a venerable sense of craft to the congyoubing-making process. His movements are measured and precise, flattening globes of scallion-chocked dough and lathering them with oil, shifting the griddle, finishing the pancakes in the oven, no more than sixteen at a time.
Best eaten hot and substantial enough to be lunch fodder, A Da’s bing (RMB4) have a rich, caramel-colored crunch, with a warm melted center similar to turnip cake, infused with salty roasted scallion flavor.
The line was ridiculous that day, but apparently you can place an order in advance and come back to pick it up. I’m not sure if that requires knowing A Da himself, but two locals swooped in for like a whole tray of pancakes.A Da Scallion Pancakes / 阿达葱油饼
No. 2, Lane 159, Maoming Nan Lu (the store-front is actually around the corner on Nanchang Lu)
6am-12pm, closed for most of August