OK, so it’s Shrove Tuesday, aka Pancake Day, and you live in London so the burning question is: where on earth do you choose to go for your pancake fix? Well you go to where the pancakes are of course…quite literally.
Yes, you could have chosen to really push the boat out this year and paid £26 at Christopher’s for their grilled lobster and purple sweet potato pancake, or headed to Shoreditch and feasted on a stack of espresso martini-inspired pancakes at The Book Club. But we put a little bit of thought into our choice when we chose the all-year round pancake extravaganza restaurant in Flat Iron Square that is Where The Pancakes Are (WTPA).
Now the reason that I say “we put a little bit of thought” into our venue of choice, is no mere throwaway statement. Having spent more than the designated lunch break hour trawling through this years Pancake Day specials, our interest was peaked upon hearing that this restaurant had teamed up with food-rescuing, pickle-producing, condiment-creating brand Rubies in the Rubble. Born literally out of the horrendous food waste problem that we have in this country, Rubies in the Rubble take fruit and vegetables that are rejected by markets because of the way they look and turn them into delicious relishes, pickles and sauces. Together, they politely requested people not to be tossers and added two ‘Thoughtful Pancakes’ to the menu to celebrate sustainability and to fight food waste.
It’s not until you remember that the idea behind Shrove Tuesday was to use up eggs and fats (such as butter) before the fasting for Lent began, that you realise how clever this partnership actually was. Not to mention delicious.
And so to the pancakes. Prior to eating at WTPA, I said hands-down that the best type of pancakes are the French crêpes and that American pancakes are thick, dry tasteless place mats. However, this experience changed all of that. WTPA serves stacks of American pancakes made with buttermilk which means that these thick pancakes are lower in fat than their standard milk equivalents – great news when you plan to pile them high with calorific chocolate sauce and marshmallows!
Two pancakes topped with smoked streaky bacon, whole blueberries and a pot of Rubies in the Rubble Blueberry BBQ sauce made up our ‘Thoughtful Pancake I’. This was a delicious mix of lighter-than-air pancakes, rich salty bacon, and smokey yet sweet sauce – a classic combination with an ethical twist. We went for this over the ‘Thoughtful Pancake II’ which came with Rubies in the Rubble Banana Ketchup instead, having decided on the Banana Praline Marshmallow pancakes for afters.
As planned, our highly indulgent sweet choice of pancake consisted of bananas, hazelnut-sunflower-cocoa-nib (whatever that means) praline, basil marshmallows and our choice of chocolate sauce.
Yes, that’s right, basil marshmallows. Green, slightly peppery and yet sweet, these were great little bites on their own but led to diabetes-inducing heights of sweetness when eaten with everything else.
Despite the couple of hours wait in the drizzly English weather that “forced” us to go around the stalls in the food market and try several different dishes before we could settle down for pancakes, this was a thoroughly enjoyable visit. A very clever partnership for this years Pancake Day, and it certainly made us think about wasting food a lot less and eating pancakes a lot more.