Savoury. Pancakes. Lunch.
Doesn’t Quite Tie In?
When you think about pancakes or crepes, what comes to mind? I am guessing maple syrup (mmm…), whipped cream (mmm…), berries and simple sweet indulgence. Whoever would think of whole wheat, meat, vegetables, lunch or dinner?
Well, someone did! Paddington House of Pancakes (PHOP) at City Square Mall, takes the simple pancake and crepe beyond breakfast and dessert, and put forth a menu offering innovative and exotic dishes that can be had at any time of the day.
PHOP is a contemporary style café, boldly done up in blacks, whites and reds. The ambience is homely, and the restaurant is brightly lit with comfortable, spacious seating. Moreover, an entire wall mounted with mirrors from end to end gives the impression of a much bigger space than there really is.
Settling into our comfortable booth, we undertook the task of mastering the heavy manuscript of a menu, which we took our own ‘sweet’ time to leaf through.
Pannekoek – Mexico
A pannekoek or Dutch Pancake is a style of pancake with origins in the Netherlands and Belgium. They are usually larger (up to a foot in diameter) and much thinner than their American counterparts. PHOP offers these in an open-faced pizza-style with a wide range of toppings. Our choice featured chicken fajita with
lettuce,onions, peppers, mozzarella, spicy tomato salsa and sour cream. The pannekoek was thin and crispy, with succulent and flavourful chicken chunks. However, to have it in its most appetizing state, it should be consumed as soon as it is prepared. So caught up were we in taking its pictures that by the time we knifed into it, it had gone a little soggy.
This dish sported 2 blueberry pancakes accompanied by scrambled eggs, turkey bacon and mushrooms. The pancakes were excellent – just the right kind of thick and fluffy – with fresh blueberries, and delicious cream cheese filling in the centre. The eggs were scrambled with tomatoes, onion, peppers and light seasoning. The turkey bacon was wrapped around
grilled mushrooms, and added a sharp zing to the dish with its smoked aroma and flavour.Served with maple syrup on the side, these American Flapjacks come in other options too – California, Alaska, Minnesota – each with variations of egg, meat and toppings. A must-try, do be generous with that drizzle of maple syrup on your pancakes!
Paddington Burger– Auckland
Before we review this burger, let us share something interesting we learnt. The batter used to prepare the bun for this burger is made from buckwheat, a plant cultivated for its grain-like seeds. Despite the name, buckwheat is not related to wheat, as it is not a grass. Because its seeds are eaten, it is referred to as a pseudo-cereal. Batter made from buckwheat flour is gluten-free, which makes it appropriate for those with a gluten intolerance. At PHOP, these buckwheat pancake muffins are prepared fresh, dusted with sesame seeds and affectionately referred to as puffins.Now the Paddington Burger Auckland is essentially an egg-and-cheese burger. Sandwiched between the puffins are beautifully stacked layers of goodness standing tall, held
together by a tiny PHOP flag. What a sight these burgers are! Our vegetarian option incorporated three types of cheeses (cream, cheddar, and mozzarella), a fried egg, pineapple, gherkins, olives, tomatoes, onions, peppers, grilled zucchini, chilli flakes, and walnuts. The freshness of the vegetables was clear in their crunch and juiciness. The puffins were soft, filling and fibrous in a whole-wheaty sort of way. Served with a side of fries, this sure is one wholesome healthy burger! We immediately made a to-do note to return to PHOP to try the non-vegetarian burgers.
 Buckwheat: Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia
French Crepes – Tuscany
We happened to be in a grilled-zucchini-ish mood, and yet another of our mains ended up vegetarian. These savory French crepes were skinny and crisp. With eggplant, grilled zucchini, olives, peppers, mixed mushrooms and mozzarella stuffed in the crepes, and a side of homemade tomato sauce, this dish looked more like a Mexican taco! It didn’t taste anything like one, thankfully. Rather it was an authentic and pleasant experience to have crepes this way.
It was amazing how we could taste the hearty fillings separately in each mouthful.The tomato sauce was delicious, somewhat like a pasta sauce, only more creamy. These crepes at PHOP are unique in that they combine both savoury and sweet in this predominantly savoury main course. Named after French cities, the other available options are Nice, Paris, Provence etc., and come wrapped around chicken or seafood along with mix of other toppings.
The Big Treasure Box
It’s a bowl of warm, soft, fluffy, dollar-coin-sized pancakes, garnished with strawberries, bananas, peaches, lychees, raisins, desiccated coconut and a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Gosh – literally a mouthful. Scrumptious both to look at and indulge in, this dessert got a sure thumbs-up. The fruit was fresh, juicy and generous.
A huge serving meant to be shared, this must be tried. Do ask for additional ice cream, and practice some forward-planning and pacing. Having gorged away from the top of the bowl, we were left with dry topping-less pancakes at the bottom.
Short Stack of Pancakes with Banana and Ice Cream
The second dessert was well, what I would call, a classic – the way we have known our pancakes all along – original, with grilled banana, walnuts, ice cream, caramel sauce and chocolate honeycomb butter. What would a visit to a house of pancakes be without this traditional sweet course?
The pancakes were perfectly done – thick, light and fluffy, and these mouth-watering pancakes couldn’t have been any better . A pancake lover, I could have two of those and called it my lunch, and may be two more to have it for dinner!
Verdict – Paddington House of Pancakes
The Paddington House of Pancakes experience is truly unique, with pancakes in forms and versions you would never expect -American flapjacks to French crepes, Russian blinis, Dutch pannekoeken, and so much more. Not only is the thought and creativity evident, each dish is fresh and delicious, and served in large, generous portions. With friendly and attentive staff, food was served within 15 to 20 minutes of ordering, and even after serving, staff was readily available with a smile for additional queries and requests.
4 years old, PHOP is exploring a second outlet in 2016. Packed on weekends, we suggest you venture that way on a weekday. Have brunch at PHOP before you head next door to restock on desi groceries from Mustafa. With so much to offer, one does end up feeling like there is much left to try. I am already planning my next visit with my kids to try the remaining dishes!
Aghna Javed is a proud product of a simple gadget-free bachpan, mum’s food, places she travelled to, the three boys in her life (yes, counting her hubby in too), books she has read, and everything else that life throws at her. Previously having worked at P&G, she is now a budding entrepreneur bringing interactive marketing campaigns to life in Singapore. Amongst her many aspirations in life, Aghna indulges in her childhood hobby of writing through FUCHSIA, volunteers with Singapore Red Cross, and simultaneously works on improving her Mandarin-speaking skills. Read more about Aghna in contributing writers.