The Three Best Places To Eat Pancakes
Pancakes, vanilla chantilly and berries at Cambridge Street Kitchen, London. Photograph courtesy of Cambridge Street Kitchen
The MR PORTER Style Council share their favourite spots for Shrove Tuesday.
As far as Christian red-letter days go, we at MR PORTER are big fans of Shrove Tuesday, or to give it its tough-as-nails street name, “Pancake Day”. Celebrated since… well… no one exactly knows when (but certainly post-Christ and pre-Uber), it’s that rare feast day that doesn’t come packaged with a sense of guilt and/or humility, plus, you don’t have to visit any relatives. Hurrah!
For anyone not familiar with the big PD, the idea behind the whole thing is to prepare oneself for the fasting period of Lent by eating all the food you have leftover in your cupboards. While today, if we followed this to the letter, we’d have nothing to look forward to each year but a spoonful of Nutella smeared on an old pot of olives, thankfully in Olde Times the back-of-pantry equivalents miraculously came together to make pancakes – delicious enough to make the following 40 days of penance worth it.
Of course, many people enjoy making their own pancakes on this annual YOLO moment, but that shouldn’t discourage you from stepping outside the kitchen and embarking upon your own quest for pancake perfection. And if you feel like doing so, what follows is a few of the places (and pancakes) that are heartily recommended in the Style Council. Londoners, New Yorkers, Los Angelenos, scroll down for the top pancake joints in your city, and a few thoughts from their flipping marvellous chefs.
Photographs courtesy of Cambridge Street Kitchen
Cambridge Street Kitchen
This restaurant in Pimlico’s Artist Residence hotel comes highly recommended by designer and Style Council member Mr Andrew Wren, who, rather comprehensively states that it is, “great for breakfast, lunch and dinner”. Now, depending on how much you like pancakes, and in what quantities, they are a foodstuff which could quite easily be consumed during any of those three meal times (or, in fact, all of them). And, if you heed the words of Ms Jessy Harrison from Cambridge Street Kitchen, there’s a timeslot we’ve missed out. “We pile our fluffy pancakes high, with a healthy dollop of tasty toppings for that brunch-time wow-factor. We’ve developed the recipe over the years, tweaking a basic recipe to create the ultimate thick and fluffy pancake, seasoned with both salt and sugar and with a light caramelization to the outside.”
Left: photograph by Ms Kathy YL Chan. Right: photograph courtesy of Buvette
Since it opened in 2011, Ms Jody William’s fantastically French café-cum-bar-cum-restaurant Buvette has drawn round-the-corner queues to its West Village location. Though it’s open every day until 2.00am, Style Council member (and impeccably dressed man about town) Mr Alessandro Squarzi endorses Buvette in particular for breakfast time, at which he’s not only eaten “the best eggs and bacon ever” but found a cappuccino that’s “as good as the Italian ones”. Anyway, on to the pancakes: here they’re prepared, like everything else at Buvette, in a classic French style, but with a few key tweaks. “We fold egg whites and orange zest into our batter for a petit soufflé pancake,” says Ms Williams, resulting in a “light, springy texture,” that’s not too sweet. She recommends serving them with strawberries and cream, a dab of cultured butter melting in the centre, or, for those looking for something different, with lemon curd and blueberries.
Left: photograph by Ms Skandia Shafer. Right: photograph courtesy of Winsome
The word “winsome” according to Google means “attractive or appealing in a fresh, innocent way”. Unfortunately, this leaves us with little more to say about this much buzzed about Echo Park eatery, because it is all of the above, both because of the appetising modern American menu and the charming interiors, courtesy of Wendy Haworth Design Studio, which gives it the feel of a (very) upmarket diner. One should expect this sophisticated approach to carry through to the food, and - since it’s the order of the day – the pancakes. “Our pancake is made from buckwheat and semolina – two ingredients you wouldn’t normally find in a stack at your local diner,” confirms Mr Marc Rose – the owner of Winsome. “They come together to create a hearty, but delicate pancake, which we drizzle with chestnut honey, top with seasonal preserves, and dust with powdered sugar.”
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