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Published August 11th 2019
A palatable dose of plump Pancakes for Sydneysiders
Early that morning as we entered the historic-looking brick building, Pinaki, the restaurant manager, greeted us with a broad grin and ushered us in. What lay before our eyes was the expansive bosom of Pancakes on the Rocks filled with bright morning light spilling in from the skylights lining the high walled ceiling. The stillness of the interior was broken by occasional diners enjoying a bountiful breakfast of pancakes and the crisply clad staff attending to their daily chores.
The eponymous food is the hero of Pancakes on the Rocks (POTR). The menu is rich with appeasing combinations of pancakes. With the aim to reach out to an even broader customer base POTR added salads, crepes and pizzas to its pancake exclusive menu in 1994. The oversized menu is eye-catching with pictures of the dishes appearing adjacent to their names. Wanting to sample the originals as well as later additions, we ordered a pancake and a crepe.
From where we sat, on the high platform with booths to sit up to 12 guests, the vantage point provided a good view of the restaurant's expansive interior and the street outside. An assortment of pendant lights drop down from wooden beams that have been painted and structured to appear like iron. This girder like wooden ribcage not only forms a sturdy skeletal support but also renders an industrial look to the poshly decorated body of the restaurant.
We are served with our drinks. The mango juice and mocha had been kept simple without much fanfare. Despite the straightforward looks, the cold-pressed juice and the thickly creamed beverage tasted fantastic. Given the serving size and the looks, the prices are as friendly as the service.
But what's most impressive is the quantity of each of the all-day breakfast items. The savoury choices are served with a generous amount of salad, protein ranging from eggs, bacon, & sausages, and a mound of cream, butter or cheese. The sweet ones are loaded with a selection of sauces and topped with ice-cream.
We had gone for the savoury section. My Mexican Potato pancake was served with a dollop each of sour cream and guacamole. The spicy Mexican beef sauce was the hero of the dish. Together with tomato salsa and salad, the pancakes were very wholesome and ticked all boxes of taste and nutrition to begin the day with. At $18.95, the dish is served in quite a hefty amount to be had at the beginning of the day and keeps you going through it. The chunky potato pancakes were spongy with a crisp cover and went perfectly with the mildly tangy and finely spiced beef sauce. The fresh greens added the desired crunch.
My husband's Seafood crepes were a delight. A subtle creamy mix of fish fillets, prawns, scallops, mushrooms and spring onions in white wine sauce formed the filling. The tender shelled crepes had been served with a drizzle of hollandaise and seafood sauce and a handful of greens, onions and baby tomato salad. What would have otherwise passed for a normal dish, the viscous filling made top-notch.
POTR provides for gluten-free options as well and one can always choose from the selection of extra additions.
One of our fellow dinners ordered the Big Breakfast and it was, I must say, keeping up to its name a gigantic bite. Pancakes, hash brown, egg, bacon, sausages, grilled tomatoes, grilled banana and pineapple made this big platter the right selection for the adventurous appetite. The more precisely designed sweet options like the Strawberry Patch are dressed in fineries like jams, sweet sauces, fruits and ice-creams.
Bringing a foreign favourite and introducing it so successfully in a land where it was little heard of needed guts and gusto. No wonder this American breakfast is doing so well in down under. Bravo guys! Since its inception in 1965, the chain has made splashes across the eastern coastline of Australia up to Gold Coast. And now the owners are targeting the global market eyeing to hit the Asian food market first. If Pancakes On The Rocks retains the quality of food and service, then for sure sky is the limit for it.