Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Pancake Phun at My Old Dutch

Still in London for the rest of the work week, I'm having a nice time exploring the diverse neighborhoods that make up this city, and in turn, uncovering their culinary gems. 

I was so intrigued by my Chelsea visit the other day, that I decided to go back and check out a Dutch pancake house, called My Old Dutch, which struck my fancy. 

Absolutely loving thin crepe-like pancakes with inventive toppings, I was immediately sold on their menu - and the atmosphere seemed fun and festive too.  The last bit that sealed the deal was when I saw that all specialty pancakes were just 5 Pounds on Mondays.  DONE and done...I was so there.

Loving the cheery exterior that showcases a restaurant sign with a bright orange tulip - the official symbol of Amsterdam - I was immediately taken with it and peeked inside and at the menu.  A long, wide dining room sprawled in front of my eyes, with light earthy colors, classic (and well made) wooden chairs and tables, as well as colorful artwork that represented the Dutch culture in a modern way.  Think, "A Girl with the Pearl Earring" painting with a modern twist. 

The overall vibe is casual and fun, and there's a real diversity in the dining clientele - from families with young kids to couples, small groups of friends and even solo diners like me.  And from this, it was clear that My Old Dutch does a great job of accommodating any kind of customer.

Besides the long, thin pancakes that dominate the majority of the menu, My Old Dutch also serves waffles, salads, and delicate little treats called poffertjes, which are essentially miniature pancakes, dressed with syrup and butter.

Although the pancake choices were plentiful (28 in total between sweet and savory), it didn't take me long to make up my mind and choose the Amsterdammer with smoked bacon, sauteed apples and maple syrup on top. Here's how I liked it:

The Amsterdammer Pancake - Even though I noticed other people's food as it was arriving, I didn't completely comprehend the portions.  When my Amsterdammer came to me in all its glory, I marveled at its sheer size.  I've provided several views of this for your comprehension, and to say that the size of the plate was bigger than a large serving platter is an understatement.  I have to was a little intimidating, but also thrilling.  "I will finish this thing," I thought to myself.  And sure enough, it was quite easy. 

The pancake batter was so thin and light that it made for a nice forkful, especially if you accordioned the pancake and then topped it with the chunks of softened baked apple and the smoked bacon that was embedded into the pancake.  I just loved the presentation that you can see above, and after I fully absorbed it, I took the ramekin full of sweet syrup and drizzled the whole thing on top.  What a combination - the sweet syrupiness of the liquid melded with the smoky elements of the bacon (which tasted and looked more like its Canadian relative) and the gentle flavor of the apple.  It absolutely felt like breakfast food, which was very welcome after a really long work day.

Fruli Strawberry Beer - The selection of fruit beers on the menu made me happy.  I think they were pretty well priced too, and I chose the Fruli strawberry to try.  "Strawberry beer?" Certainly new to me! I loved the pretty bottle and matching glass I received, and after I poured the beer heftily inside it, a lovely pink foam formed on top.  Even though people usually wait for this to settle down, I dived right into the sweet fruitiness.  Overall, the drink tasted more like champagne rather than beer - it was effervescent, refreshing and like a nice liquid dessert to cap off the indulgence of that pancake.

Service and Cost:
As has been the case in London, the service was great and very attentive.  It's interesting, but I found that in London, you don't just have one server, but a series of different ones, who all seem to be communicating with each other and are in sync, which is great. 

My food was brought out in good time and the check was speedy too - so no complaints.

In terms of cost, it was very reasonable, due to the Monday 5 Pound pancake special, but on a regular day, prices are as follows:

Starters - 3.95 - 7.95 Pounds
Salads - 4.50 - 7.50 Pounds
Pancakes - 5.75 - 10.75 Pounds
Poffertjes - 4.95 Pounds
Dessert - 4.25 - 5.50 Pounds

3 Mmmms

My Old Dutch - 221 Kings Road, Chelsea London SW3 5EJ
020 7376 5650

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