Regional Chinese restaurants are opening in Budapest at an increasing rate: Instead of the bland sameness of Chinese takeouts, you can now taste dishes in the city that would hold their own in their places of origin (for example Yu Man Tang's la zi ji chicken and Dabao's steamed dumplings). Now, we can add jianbing to that list, available at Happy Panda, a small takeout shop on a District 8 side street.
Jianbing is a popular northern Chinese savory crêpe, usually eaten for breakfast, packing sweet bean paste, some kind of meat, a fried cracker, scallion, cilantro, and an egg. It's cheap, filling, and tasty. Happy Panda offers five versions, including a vegetarian, all of them made to order on a cast-iron griddle right before you (€4-5). There's also dumplings, a couple of soups, and noodle dishes, but you're here for the jianbing. Happy Panda can get a little overwhelmed during peak lunch hours, but the owner-couple does its best to get to your order quickly.
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