Perhaps not the best association, but everytime I see Bang Bang Pan Pan, I think of Ricky Martin’s hit, “She Bangs”. Much in the same way that Ricky Martin can boast about DIY’ing himself to the top of the charts by the mere thrust of his hips, Bang Bang Pan Pan can boast about being the only DIY okonomiyaki restaurant in Hong Kong.
Okonomiyaki is that famous Japanese pancake which literally translates to “what you like grilled”. At Bang Bang Pan Pan, if you’re a crap cook, then you’re gonna make a crap pancake. It’s DIY afterall. So you can’t blame anyone but yourself for a crap meal.
Now, I love the name, whether they are referring to the noise that the metal spatulas make against the pan or something else (I’ll leave that to your imagination) and I love the concept of going to a restaurant, making my own dinner and leaving someone else to clean up my mess. But, do I really want to pay for this?
The ingredients are not the best in terms of freshness or variety. You can choose from an array of fillings: scallops, kimchi, eel, whelk, beef, pork belly, bacon and can also pick a “super side” such as teppenyaki beef or chicken gristle cheese ball.
Once you’ve chosen your pick n mix of ingredients, the waiters plonk them in a bowl with onions, egg, cabbage and a flour batter and dump it on your table for you to mix it up like 5 year olds do at playtime. They then helpfully turn on your pan and leave it up to you to cook up a storm.Here is Chiaphuati mixing it up like a DJ and as he would like remain anonymous, I have heavily disguised him. Apologies Chiaphuati , for failing to make your sunglasses and facial hair more designer like 😛Anyway, Chiaphuati and I were clueless. What do we do? How do we make it into the epitome of an okonomiyaki pancake? If we smack it flat, will the bacon cook properly? Are we going to poison ourselves? Chiaphuati- can you even cook?!?!?!?!
But it’s ok, panic not, they have a hilarious step by step picture manual on how to cook your pancake. If you follow it to the T, then you should have no problems. But, if you want to free-style, that is entirely up to you, but the waiters may kill you for being creative.We were AMAZING. Okay, I jest, we were average, and we couldn’t flip it properly, but we enjoyed our pancake, with generous toppings of bonito flakes, herbs and sauce. Tasty? Natch.Our friends showed us up by making a professional looking pancake and it became a competition-who can produce the best looking pancake? As you can imagine, striving for taste went out of the window as we battled with our spatulas and tried to garnish the pancakes with aplomb and flourish.Bang Bang Pan Pan is another novelty experience. It is great fun, but it’s unfortunately let down by its ingredients. However, if you want to recapture your childhood and muck around with your food without embarrassing your parents, then bang away 🙂
Chopstixfix rating: 3/5 for amusement
Bang Bang Pan Pan, 34 Leighton Road, Causeway Bay. Tel: 2203 4009