DEREK ROBERTSON, FEBRUARY 2018
The humble pancake has a long and storied history – evidence suggests they were one of the earliest cereal foods eaten in prehistoric societies – so it’s no surprise that almost every country has their own version. In the UK, Shrove Tuesday – more commonly known as Pancake Day – was traditionally the last day for indulging in richer, fattier foods such as eggs and butter before the 40 days of Lent, but you need not be of a religious persuasion to gorge on these delightful little treats. All kinds of toppings and fillings are commonplace these days, so tuck into your particular favourite at one of these ten places.
Where The Pancakes Are
The name says it all. Whether it’s stacks of fresh buttermilk and buckwheat pancakes, or more hearty, over-cooked Dutch-style pancakes, this place has it all. And if you can’t decide between savoury of sweet, try something different; the tropical Hummingbird, complete with cinnamon poached pineapple.
This Richmond bistro is the place for traditional Breton galettes, from the classic ham and cheese to the outlandish Fruit De Mer stuffed with seafood, mixed fish, and a tomato and cognac sauce. And if sugar is more your thing, don’t despair; they have plenty of sweet French crepes on the menu as well.
My Old Dutch
The Dutch love pancakes almost as much as the Brits, but while there’s nothing wrong in choosing from the huge range of sweet ‘poffertjes’ covered in cream and fruit, their real specialty is inventiveness. Chicken curry, smoked duck, and a Hawaiian are just some of the more esoteric choices available.
La Petite Bretagne
A properly authentic crêperie with branches in Hammersmith and Dalston, this place oozes stylish charm. Their made-to-order buckwheat galettes with all the usual sweet and savoury options are second to none, while the authentic Breton cider and red’n’white checked table tops add a rustic flavour.
Jackson + Rye
This all-Amercian eatery is the perfect place to indulge in thick, fluffy, buttermilk pancakes with a range of traditional toppings; think banana and maple syrup, or blueberries and cream. They’re also open till 4.30pm, so if you’re after a late, boozy lunch, sample one of their amazing rye whiskies.
This Clapton institution may have a relatively simple pancake-only menu, but they do them oh-so-well. The classics are what to try here; an oozing egg, gruyère and ham galette, or simple lemon and sugar crêpe. Perfection personified.
Christopher’s has been going strong since 1991, and it’s easy to see why. The American diner’s brunch menu has a great selection of pancake options, such as the “superfood” complete with camu powder and goji berry jam. Best of all though is the build-your-option; whatever crazy taste sensations you desire, they can make it happen.
Granger & Co
If you’re after something a little different, Granger & Co have you covered. They specialize in ricotta pancakes; lighter and fluffier but just as creamy as their buttermilk brethren. Try the banana and honeycomb butter for a incredible moreish taste sensation.
The Book Club & Stories
Not one place but two, in Shoreditch and Broadway market respectively. But both have created special Pancake Day menus that are heavy on both taste and innovation. Those with a sweet tooth will adore the Deep Fried Banoffee Pancakes with Salted Caramel Rum Sauce, while on the savoury side try the Beer and Bacon ‘mancakes’.
The Breakfast Club
Worth a visit anytime for brunch, The Breakfast Club’s pancake section is truly to die for. Of course, they have all the usual savoury toppings – if you’re particularly hungry try the egg, bacon, sausage, and fried potatoes stack – but the real star of the show is the salted caramel banoffee pancakes with vanilla cream and chocolate sauce. Indulgence never tasted so good.