Those humble treats from the griddle are making a comeback, taking over Melbourne menus one café at a time. Pancakes take many forms: French-style crêpes, thick American buttermilk hotcakes and everything in between. Here are 10 of the best in town.
Little Tommy Tucker
Chocaholics of the world unite: the Bentleigh café doesn't hold anything back: on their hotcakes are Oreos, chocolate soil, Nutella mousse, vanilla bean yoghurt and dehydrated raspberries. Well, at least Little Tommy Tucker included some fruit in there…
432 Centre Road, Bentleigh; (03) 9576 5174
The SOS stands for Save Our Souls, which makes sense when you factor in the gluten-free status of these fat and fluffy tiramisu pancakes. Layered high with cashew cream, banana, pistachio, cacao nibs, espresso ice-cream and hot maple syrup, they’re a life raft to food intolerance sanity.
5/177 Toorak Road, South Yarra; (03) 9826 2377
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Long Story Short
The buttermilk Tim Tam pancakes at Port Melbourne hipster hangout Long Story Short are nothing short of an extravaganza: poached nashi, vanilla peanuts, Tim Tam gelato and mascarpone chocolate “soup” poured over the lot just to finish it (and quite possibly you) off.
40 Crockford Street, Port Melbourne; (03) 9646 5697
A Thousand Blessings
A Thousand Blessings is biodynamic and organic – and it’s also worth a thousand blessings to find some classic thin crêpes in a world that’s gone to the thick side of hotcake worship. To wit: elegant buckwheat and matcha crêpes, sweet red bean paste, green tea mascarpone, seasonal berries and yuzu cacao caramel.
251 Highett Street, Richmond; (03) 9421 4087
Not one but two killer pancake creations vie for attention at District North in the heart of Dame Edna land – choose almond milk pancakes with Persian fairy floss, smoked honey custard and a reviving hit of espresso mascarpone should you be at risk of sliding into a diabetic coma; or the equally arresting, lurid green pandan pancakes with kaya mascarpone, mango, charred pineapple and sesame meringue.
678-680 Mount Alexander Road, Moonee Ponds; (03) 9372 9116
Pillar of Salt
Elvis would have loved Pillar of Salt’s pancakes: peanut butter choc-chip buttermilk hotcakes with raspberry, mango and coconut jelly, salted caramel pretzel crumble, Canadian maple and crème fraîche. And just a few more salty pretzels on top, to really drive the love-me-tender point home.
541 Church Street, Richmond; (03) 9421 1550
You have to go to Mordialloc to find this creative little breakfast/brunch spot (don’t worry, it’s near the beach) but it’s well and truly worth it for Hendriks’s artistic take on the ricotta hotcake, topped with a vibrant lavender-coloured white chocolate and blueberry ganache, coconut mascarpone, fresh blueberries and toasted coconut flakes.
105-107 White Street, Mordialloc; (03) 9021 8980
Image: Elisa Watson
Aptly named for well-heeled Armadale, High Society gets its Italian on for its ricotta buttermilk pancake stack. Just add fresh figs, berries, almond biscotti crumbs, limoncello syrup, a squiggle of Nutella and a merciless dollop of double cream crowning the top.
1102 High Street, Armadale; (03) 9509 4993
High on Northcote Hill, Scandi-influenced newcomer Tinker combines two devil-may-care concepts into one irresistible folly with their Jaffa hotcakes – otherwise known as orange blossom hotcakes with orange curd, meringue with dark chocolate, strawberries and vanilla mascarpone.
235 High Street, Northcote; (03) 9482 5264
Top image: Long Story Short