One of the first things I ate in 2016 were pancakes, and they were (and still are) some of the best pancakes I've had to date (The Book Club). Roll on 2017 and I pretty much start the new year the same way I did the one before, eating more pancakes. Post Xmas/New Year diets? Pfffttt, whatever, a new location has popped onto my radar and the pancake cravings must be satiated.
Where The Pancakes Are opened in September 2016 (so fairly new still). It's a little hidden away between London Bridge and Southwark (South Wark :P ), but not too far from either. In my experience these slightly tucked away locations tend to be hidden gems within the city. Does Where The Pancakes Are deserve to be added to the list of gems? Let's find out.
On arrival I'm surprised at how much smaller the place is then the website and other images I've seen make it feel, I was expecting a much larger space. Ultimately it's quite cosy though and has a relaxed, peaceful atmosphere with music playing softly in the background and a bright inviting interior. Luckily for me literally no one was here, perks of early Friday afternoons I guess.
Let's order some food then shall we.
You have a few choices between savoury and sweet pancakes and a choice of two "Dutch Babies" (not the human kind, that would be very, very odd). A Dutch Baby is a baked pancake, served to you on the skillet. It's a really nice touch and something a bit diferent from the usual stack of pancakes.
In today's case I order the Dutch Baby as a savoury option, which is goats cheese, parmasan, thyme, rosemary and a side salad. It's really nice in flavour and texture being soft in the middle and crunchy around the baked edges. Highly recommended but definitely not sharing sized. The bitter side salad felt a bit boring though, it's just a little bit too dry for my liking. At the time I did say to myself I'd have loved some tomatoes, maybe that's all the dish needed?
We're not here for the savoury though, this is The Sweet Space after all.
Cinnemon poached pineapple, pommegranates, toasted coconut, cream and lime syrup.
Three words, THAT LIME SYRUP. Bottle it up, it's amazing. It's zingy but has a sweetness to it that stops it being savoury. The combination of pommegranate with the lime is delicious. The toasted coconut flakes were more like toasted almonds though, didn't really have any hint of coconut at all to me, in fact looking back at the photo, they look more like toasted almonds? Hmmmm, curious.
Berry compote, cream, crushed meringue...missing toasted almond flakes (sad face).
Again something I didn't notice at the time was the missing almonds from this plate. I think they were added to the other dish by mistake? Luckily the meringues had a nice crunch to add extra texture and the berry compote was a tasty mix of sweet and sour.
In both cases the actual pancakes themselves were on point. My main gripe with other pancake joints is that the longer it takes you to finish them the more stodgy and tough they are to eat, literally becoming a chewey chore. This happens to me everytime at places such as The Breakfast Club. Instant no-no.
I'm very happy to say that this issue does not occour at Where The Pancakes Are. Even after taking a bunch of photos and my generally slow eating pace, the pancakes remained soft, light and moreish the entire time. Whatever has gone into their batter they've done justice to their namesake in this area, the actual pancakes are definitely impressive.
And let's not forget the presentation. The plating is spot on with reds, oranges and yellows that pop off the plate with added height achieved using their tasty house cream.
Overall I enjoyed my visit to Where The Pancakes Are. I think there are a few issues which in hindsight I should have seen on the spot such as missing/changed ingredients to both dishes. Considering the entire time I was there a maximum of six people were seated (me included), issues with any dish should have been non-exsistent. You have to ask would this problem compound itself on a more busier day/night?
Saying that though, I didn't actually notice anything missing until after editing photos and double checking the menu for each dish for writing up this post, I'd say the impact was fairly minimal based on that reasoning, although definitely worth a mention.
The staff are really nice and attentive and I think at one point the manager (owner?) even came to describe the Dutch Babies to us, which was pretty cool. It shows they want their customers to enjoy themselves and have a good experience, which I think is a great trait for any small buisness, so plus points for that.
I'm a big fan of quirks that add a bit of individuality to a place, so bringing out the receipts in a poetry book is one tradition I hope Where The Pancakes Are keep for the long haul.
Pricing wise, the Dutch Baby was £11 and the buttermilk stacks were £8.50 for the Berries and £9 for the Hummingbird, so comparative to the competition pretty much. I do feel you get slightly less on the plate though, I do kind of wish these were stacks of three for the same price.
Is this the new gem of London? Right now, probably not, but I think with time it can and will move up the ranks. I left wanting more, but that was my stomach telling me it wasn't fully satisfied and wanted more to eat, guess that's a good feeling for everyone this January though.
Rating ★★★☆☆ (3.5/5)