Brisbane’s cafés are currently in an arms race to produce the perfect pancake. Across town, the once-humble stack is being dolled up and piled high with exotic fruits, hyper-coloured coulis and candied ice-cream. Here are 10 who nail the new brief.
The Jam Pantry
The Jam Pantry prides itself on a seasonal menu, constantly updated via the blackboards lining the walls of this south-side Queenslander café. One month, the featured pancakes might be brown rice and buckwheat sourdough with baked plums, fresh figs and soy cream; the next, white chocolate and poppy seed with lemon-baked apples and blueberries. But one thing remains constant: if you order them, they’ll be the envy of the table.
2 / 575 Logan Road, Greenslopes; (07) 3158 9570
The buttermilk and ricotta pancakes at Billykart’s are so fluffy and delicate they almost eat like a soufflé. It’s a slightly acquired texture but, make no mistake, this is still one of the most decadent stacks in town, finished with golden banana and rich coconut caramel.
1 Eric Crescent, Annerley; (07) 3392 9275
You’ll have to travel 10 minutes from the CBD to get to Little Clive, a charming bolthole just off Annerley’s hilltop high street. It’s worth it, though, to experience the café’s neat stack of vegan-friendly vanilla bean pancakes, which come laden with honeycomb, whipped chocolate ganache and macerated strawberries, and finally sprinkled with crumbs of hazelnut dukkah. The café itself is a cosy spot to get to know the locals, with a bunch of op-shops and antique centres around the corner to explore afterwards.
8 / 461 Ipswich Road, Annerley; (07) 3162 0260
A new addition to Brisbane’s cafe scene, Freja Rasmussen and Nathan Dunnell have combined their backgrounds in pastry-making and fine dining to present a refined all-day brunch menu. The pair’s strawberry pancakes are one of the stars, a neat, ruby red stack served opposite macadamias and berries. The cakes are fluffy and not too sweet, leaving you free to take away a house-made croissant for a second breakfast.
3 / 1 MacGregor Street, Wilston; 0458 159 945
Harajuku Gyoza isn’t a typical pancake joint. Then again, these aren’t typical pancakes. Three puck-like meringue pancakes are cooked for 12 minutes, giving them a wobbly, gelatinous texture, and finished with Nutella, cream, banana and maple syrup. They’re tricky to make so Harajuku Gyoza only servces up a limited quantity each Sunday from its Albert Lane restaurant. Order at 2pm for a 2.30pm pick-up.
141 Queen Street, Brisbane; (07) 3210 1231
The highfalutin Hamptons only opened in January but its already flooding Instagram with one of its hero dishes: matcha pancakes so impossibly fluffy they almost look like a small tower of muffins, served with a side of candied ginger ice-cream and wild berry coulis.
49 Gerler Road, Hendra; (07) 3268 4331
For as long as Pearl has been a favourite with Brisbane’s café crowd so too have its pancakes. This Woolloongabba charmer is currently dishing up a fragrant citrus stack with mascarpone, figs and pistachios – it’s about as exotic as the humble pancake can get.
28 Logan Road, Woolloongabba; (07) 3392 3300
Rogue is hidden at the northern end of Newstead, wedged between riverside apartments and a bunch of car yards. Best known for its quietly innovative dinners, the restaurant opens for breakfast on Saturdays and Sundays, bringing chef Dan Myers’ considerable fine-dining skills to bear upon an extensive breakfast menu. Pride of place is a vertiginous stack of peanut butter pancakes, served with salted caramel, strawberries, chocolate ganache and ice-cream.
14 Austin Street, Newstead; 0476 764 833
Seven South deals in a blueberry ricotta hotcake that could almost be too much – if it wasn’t dished up with lemon thyme, a dollop of crème fraîche, mascarpone, berries and maple syrup. Overlooking a handsome Yeronga greenway, here you come for the breakfast but stay to wander along the Brisbane Corso, a well-to-do, if often undiscovered, corner of the city.
1 / 92 Hyde Road, Yeronga; (07) 3255 9141
Raymund and Giorgina Venzin have always done a mean vegan pancake. Pawpaw’s banoffee hot cakes are one of their best iterations yet, battered with buckwheat and piled high with grilled banana, seasonal fruit, macadamias and caramel ice-cream. Take it with an expertly made soy or almond milk latte and you have one of the best guilt-free pleasures south of the river.
Corner of Potts and Stanley streets, Woolloongabba; (07) 3891 5100
Top image: Seven South