Advantages Cheap and unusual
Disadvantages Everything that implies
I like balance in my life. So if I spent the morning I the gym, I feel obliged to eat some chocolate as soon as possible after leaving. And when I get free cinema tickets I feel that since I’m getting entertainment for nothing, I’m allowed to go out for a meal or snack afterwards despite being on a student budget. Last week we went to see The Italian Job, Finding Nemo and In America all for free, so that meal had definitely been earned, and we headed to the Dutch Pancake House which is handily located less than a minutes walk from the Odeon.The menu contains, as you might expect, pancakes. Sweet and savoury ones, but fewer of the former and more of the latter. They also have waffles, ice cream sundaes, cake and, randomly, salads on offer. Drinks, cold and hot are available but rather pricey (approaching £2 for a small coke) and the range is not extensive. We both ordered pancakes, Sally one straight off the menu, and I a variation which they seemed happy enough to make up for me. They came in huge flattish bowls. I say huge and I mean it – probably 60cm2 each. The dolloped toppings were in the centre (things like ice cream and fruit) and the drizzeled ones all over the surface of the pancake (things like sauce and in some cases cream). We thought the toppings were generous, but I think this depends on which chef is working on the day you go as friends had come home from here the day before complaining they only got what turned out to be less than half the ice cream each that we were given. The pancakes were perfectly nice, but not as outstandingly wonderful as I had hoped from a place dedicating themselves and their name to the production of the things. They are crepe rather than American style, so wafer thin, but they managed to serve up perfectly cooked specimens apart from the odd burnt spot in the centre. The ice cream seemed to be supermarket own brand – not cheap watery Value stuff but also not Haagen Dazs. I haven’t tried the savoury ones but speaking to people who have thy seem to receive mixed verdicts depending on the topic – the bacon and syrup “typically Dutch” one being much better received than the chicken one for example which, as friends so nicely put it, contained lower quality bird than you’d get from the McDonalds or KFC down the street. Ice cream sundaes, though essentially just ice cream and sauce, were served nicely in tall glasses and looked appetising.
The ambience of the place is not what I had expected. Walking past you see the lobby area and the staircase, but most of the action takes place at the bottom of these. Head down and you find yourself in a bright enough room with huge wooden tables and few decorations from the post 70s era – the décor really would make Austin Powers proud. Definitely not the place for a romantic evening meal, but for Sunday lunch with your girlfriends it’s fine. Try and avoid needing the loo though – there’s only one way to describe the toilet (singular) here and that’s “grotty”. The staff were friendly enough, but the service was a bit slow last time considering there were only 2 other couples in the place at the time.Prices are reasonable – no pancakes are over £5 and most are around the £3 mark. For most people they don’t offer a substantial meal, but they also don’t come with the price tag of one. I have had better pancakes – at Strasbourg Christmas market for example – but these were nicer than you might expect for England.
Despite my reservations, I suspect this is going to become our regular joint for pre and post cinema scoffing. It’s open until all hours, unusual and fits a student budget which is all I’m after.*****-----*****-----*****-----*****-----*****-----*****-----
Dutch Pancake House
St Peter’s Square
Mon – Sat 12noon – 10.30pm
Sun 12noon – 9.30pm
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