The Pancake Parlour is a well-known Melbourne chain of pancake-inspired restaurants that spans Victoria. Most Victorians have experienced the taste of their maple-syrup-ey goodness at one stage of their lives, as they have been around since 1965. While I have had little exposure to them in my life I have occasionally visited them, and when offered a free "short stack" at the Melbourne Central restaurant, for being a student ,my friend and I decided it would be a brilliant way to check the place out.
The inside of the restaurant looks brilliant. It is laid out well, with interesting framework and ornamental copper work on the external face. Entering the doors you are ushered into a friendly family environment with ample room and plentiful options of places to sit if the restaurant isn't crowded. There are also fancy looking booths outside, though the Melbourne Central shopping area can get very loud, very quickly and sitting out here is ill-advised if you want to have a conversation with those you are dining with.
When it came to service, however, there was much to be desired. My friend and I sat patiently for a long while before we were asked what we would like to order. We feel this is because the staff knew we held the vouchers for the free "short stacks". The staff seemed reluctant to offer these to other students who we could see sitting across from us. However, this was not the case for all staff, as a friendly waiter did eventually bring us out our complimentary meal with a smile on his face.
As for the food itself, it did taste brilliant. Personally, I'm not terribly fond of pancakes but I did enjoy my pancakes topped with maple syrup and cream (I had a choice of cream, whipped butter and ice-cream). I did taste a part of my friend's whipped butter and must admit that he chose the better option.
During my visit I did have a look at the actual menu and must say the prices at the Pancake Parlour are not cheap, so if you are to visit make sure you plan accordingly.
If you are a student there are a new range of student dishes which all cost $15 so make sure you bring your student card next time you visit.