Strictly Pancakes

Singapore’s “first dedicated pancake house” certainly aims for the right vibe: Comfy couches fill one corner of a cramped attic space upstairs; the smell of coffee is omnipresent. It ought to be a laidback, easy going place to hang out and waffle with friends. The space they’re in works against them—that gloomy strip known as Prinsep Place—but they do themselves no favors. The décor is shoddy (despite barely being open two months), the service inattentive (despite their “Number One Golden Rule” being “Every Guest is Our Priority”), and it takes so long for the food to arrive when you do succeed in ordering it, that the fact that some of it tastes rather good is almost an irrelevance. The menu splits between sweet and savory, though in both cases it comes served with a side of maple syrup (the whole place is a paean to the maple tree, with fast facts about the goodness of maple sprinkled like runny sugar across the menus and walls: Who knew that it takes 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup?). We plumped for the Chicken a la King, a “Medium” stack of three fluffy pancakes, with a helping of grilled chicken, sweet onion slices in a creamy sauce and two limp asparagus spears stretched out on top. It wasn’t bad, but there’s a reason that sandwiches, not pancakes, rule the world: The damn things are too sweet, too light to work well with meat in a rich sauce like this. Bring on the wholegrain, we say. They do, in fact, offer sandwiches, including what looked like a rather nice beef pastrami, as well as finger food like fries and potato wedges, but we tend to do as we’re told, and so ordered strictly pancakes. The non-savory option, Lemon Curd for the Nerds (if only as much time had gone into decorating as it evidently has into some of the names), went some way to redeeming the concept; the chocolate pancakes providing the perfect complement to a smooth zesty custard and a dollop of vanilla ice cream. But still, hardly worth the twenty minute wait. The motto at the back of the menu reads “Love, Remember.” Sadly, there ain’t much to love here, and what we remember isn’t pretty. Apart from drinking the maple syrup straight from the glass, that is. Now that was memorable.