The story of where the pancakes are is really the story of why good, simple food matters. It’s a story of pancakes, people and London. There really is no other food that so purely nourishes us, physically and emotionally, yet is so underrated.
I grew up in Holland with a mother who was a fishmonger. Fresh, healthy eating was always centre-stage. We had weekly deliveries of fish on our plates most days.
The soaring highlight of my childhood was our regular family outing to a local pancake restaurant. It was a dark, buzzing place where the passionate owner cooked with multiple pans. He would bake large, steaming hot Dutch pancakes with aged gouda and bacon or apples and raisins. People from miles away would travel there for an honest meal and a cold glass of lager. It is still around today and as busy as ever.
The comfort and connection of pancakes
Years later, carving out a career in California, I discovered cloud-like pancakes and maple syrup to comfort my soul. After endless days and nights of work, there was nothing more reassuring than the quiet booth, the plate stacked with warming pancakes and the waitress refilling my mug of coffee.
I met my husband and London became my permanent home. At the school gates my heart sank to find parents divided by status and nationality because our children had no borders between them. I began to cook as a way to bring people together, creating a club where we made jams, samosas, cannelloni and even Christmas dinner. Food became the bond that changed our relationships. It connected us and fired a spark within me.
After visiting a fading pancake restaurant on the Kings Road, I made a decision. Food and people would be my future and pancakes would be the vehicle to take me there.
no one should miss out on pancakes
I began to experiment with different flours and tested every pancake variety possible. My goal was to completely regenerate pancakes. I wanted to accommodate new flavours, allergies and dietary needs so that everyone could join in. When my stand at the local school fair grew an enormous queue around the block, I knew I was onto something special.
We opened where the pancakes are in 2016 and I have a lifetime of food memories, people and the cultural melting pot of London to thank for it. This place has inspired a modern reinvention of the most universally loved food there is and brings people together every day.
Not bad for a humble pancake.
Patricia Trijbits – May 2019
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