Before you get too excited, I should tell you that Rowan Atkinson’s face is nowhere to be found. Instead, you’ll be greeted with a super-cute little bean, happily proclaiming ‘Life’s simple pleasures’. Continue reading
As if I was going to miss out on Pancake Day just because I’m living in Tokyo. Family restaurant Denny’s does an all-you-can-eat pancake offer for just 999 yen. I heard it calling to me. The challenge was on…
Sadly, one thing that Japan does not do very well is chocolate. If you lust over gooey, stodgy brownies that are almost molten in the middle, and eating one leaves you in a near-orgasmic coma for an hour or two, then you’re probably going to be dissatisfied by the average cocoa offering over here. (Of course, everything can be obtained for a price and if you’re prepared to seek it out!)
An abundance of chocolate can be found, however, just before Valentine’s Day. This is a celebration in which, conversely to Western practices, women give chocolate to men. Given that when I have visited any dessert or chocolate cafés/shops, they are almost always exclusively populated by females, I wonder if this practice acts as a form of cultural legitimation that permits men to enjoy chocolate at least once a year.
They say ‘when in Rome, do as the Romans do’. Well, I can tell you straight away that there is no way in hell (or the entire universe) that I’m giving chocolate away. Oh no, it’s going to go gliding down my greedy gobbling throat. With emphasis on the glugging noises. Continue reading
It’s Pancake Day! Rejoice! Finally, we can give these simple floury, eggy, milky creations the full appreciation they deserve.
Why then, am I looking so anxious at the giant stack of pancakes in front of me? Because I had to eat them ALL in 15 minutes – that’s why.
Every Mardi Gras, The Breakfast Club really does take the day at it’s literal meaning – ‘Fat Tuesday’ – and presents customers with an ego-massaging, or ego-destroying, Man V Food eating competition. The rules are as simple as the ingredients: eat all the pancakes within the time limit and pay nothing; fail and pay £17.50 to Rays of Sunshine children’s charity (so basically, it’s a win-win situation).
Last year, I wolfed down 12 pancakes in 20 minutes, earning myself some applause and this wonderful footage of me
gagging bravely struggling.
This year, the challenge was tougher: just 15 minutes for 12 pancakes. And they were definitely bigger and eggier than before.
I knew before I started that defeat lay ahead of me, but how much did I enjoy getting dirty?!
By ten minutes in, I settled for defeat. Quantity was not the problem so much as sweetness and dryness, and swallowing pancakes mixed with water was not agreeing with my stomach. By taking the sensible decision to quit, I a) didn’t feel ill all afternoon and b) got to take away what I didn’t finish – win! Pancake Day is lasting that bit longer for me and I’m looking forward to breakfast!
Apparently, there is no such thing as too many pancakes…
Original article posted on Tryum.com.
Pancake Day. Mardi Gras. Fat Tuesday. Whatever the term… the day of pancake goodness approaches!
Simple though they are, pancakes are a comfort food that can insistently transport you back to your childhood days. They come in many different forms and many different guises. So if you want to branch out this Pancake Day, here are some top tips for shaking things up a bit…
The Functional: My Old Dutch
If you want pancakes, My Old Dutch has pancakes! The Holborn branch is a favourite haunt of LSE students, and it keeps things simple. It serves up a range of sweet and savoury treats at pitch-perfect prices – you can get a pancakey fix from £5.95. Or if you go for the Monday Madness, all pancakes are just a fiver. Bargain!
Try the apple/pear and cinnamon for the perfect amount of sweetness and the ability to smugly claim that you’ve just eaten one of your five-a-day.
Where: Kensington, Holborn, Chelsea
The Fancy: The Delaunay
Sitting on the Aldwych, The Delaunay is a fixture on the London dining scene for serving up good quality European fare in rather swish settings. However, The Delaunay is definitely not above serving the simple delights that are pancakes. On their brunch menu, there are the classic delights of bacon and maple syrup (£9.75) and blueberries and crème fraiche (£9.95), or the more unusual plum and cinnamon compote (£10.50). I’m not going to lie though – it’s all about the bacon. Who can resist that saltiness cutting through the sweetness, cushioned with some soft dough? Not me, anyway.
The atmosphere is far more laid back than you might expect from a place that has doormen and two people working front-of-house. Settle in and get your pancakes on order. Also, fear not: at the Delaunay, poshness does not equate to portion poverty. The pancakes are some of the heaviest we’ve ever sampled and they’re huge. You may well be defeated.
Where: 55 Aldwych, WC2B 4BB
The Foreign: Japanese Pancakes
Savoury – Okonomiyaki by Sho Foo Doh, Pacific Social Club
Stop with the sushi stereotypes! There are pancakes in Japan too, and they’re delicious enough that you should definitely put them on your food radar. Famously un-Japanese in aesthetics is the incredibly messy okonomiyaki. This is a savoury pancake, made from the standard eggs and flour, but with cabbage, topped with a sweet sauce, mayonnaise, fish flakes and seaweed. It can have various fillings – most popular is squid or pork. Yes, it sounds like a catastrophe but trust us, it works.
For some seriously delicious and messy times, head to the Pacific Social Club on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday night where Sho Foo Doh cooks up Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki (£8) which include NOODLES!! You can then add a range of toppings priced between £0.50 and £3.
Where: Pacific Social Club, 8 Clarence Road, E5 8HB
Sweet – Dorayaki at Japan Centre
If you absolutely refuse to take your pancakes savoury, then you need to get stuck in to dorayaki. These are similar to Scotch American pancakes but come with a gorgeous sweet filling sandwiched in between. In Japan, the filling tends to be azuki bean paste or custard, but a whole range can be bought from the Japan Centre, just round the corner from Picadilly Circus. Like this red bean and cream cheese mix. There’s also a really genius matcha (green tea) and mascarpone mix. Warning: these are addictive.
Where: 19 Shaftesbury Avenue, W1D 7ED