Where the pancakes are…
Thick and fluffy or paper-thin and crisp around the edges, pancakes come in many guises. There are few who can resist them – especially on Shrove Tuesday.
Of course, there’s more than one way to fry batter. In our February issue, we dedicated a whole feature to pancakes from around the world. There’s masala dosas from India, caramel crepes suzette from France and a recipe for farinata, a chickpea-flour creation from Italy.
In fact, from the Finnish pannukakku to the Malaysian apam balik, it seems that just about every country in the world has their own version of the pancake.
Patricia, the owner of the London pop-up pancake restaurant WHERE THE PANCAKES ARE…, knows better than most just how much the world loves these carby delights. Patricia grew up in the Netherlands, where a pancake house was never far away. She then moved to France to study, where she chowed down on plenty of Breton buckwheat gallettes and cider, before she upped sticks and headed to California. There she spent a decade not always eating towering stacks of pancakes drenched in maple syrup, as you might expect, but embracing healthy eating which inspired her to experiment with the ingredients she still uses in and on her pancakes today.
As a result of Patricia’s travels and a lot of experimenting, her pancakes are in a category of their own. They look a little like Scotch pancakes but are lighter and fluffier and made from buttermilk and buckwheat. Toppings include just a few sweet and savoury options for now but the list will expand when she finds a permanent spot later this year.
Highlights include a classic combination of smoked salmon with chive hollandaise, asparagus, poached egg and red amaranth and the more unusual poached kumquats with tangerine-Cointreau cream. The one with cinnamon, pineapple, cream, lime syrup, toasted coconut, almonds and berries was pretty special too and has been going down a storm since the opening. Dairy-free duck egg waffles are also available as well as small stacks for children.
The concept is so simple yet effective. “People have underestimated pancakes,” Patricia tells me as I work my way through the menu. I’ve got a feeling she might be trying to change that…
You can find WHERE THE PANCAKES ARE… at The Proud Archivist, 2-10 Hertford Road, Hackney, N1 5ET until 22nd February. Main image © Howard Shooter.