Finding ourselves in Chester on a beautiful spring Sunday with friends and ready to tackle some lunch, my nine-year-old didn’t hesitate to insist we return to Hanky Panky Pancakes.
The name is a bit of a giveaway as to what you’d expect but it’s the tip of the iceberg to what you’ll discover.
Hanky Panky Pancakes came about after a night of drink and talk, their website declares the idea ‘sparkled with fun and possibility’. And it does.
From the get-go there’s a fabulous retro feel: the colours, the quirky things on the wall, the way the staff dress.
We were greeted by the most warm and welcoming lady, who remembered me and my son from our previous visit. Nice touch.
Me and my friend ordered lattes and the kids went for cherry cola.
Then there was much deliberation over what style of pancake and what toppings. Savoury or sweet?
I’ve previously had the Italian Job (galette made from buckwheat flour with chicken, pesto, topped with salad, I added cheddar), but this time I chose the El Matador.
Again the buckwheat crepe-style pancake, with chorizo and sundried tomatoes, topped with salad. I added goats cheese. My friend opted for the same.
The cheese selection on offer is from the Chester Cheese Shop.
My son has previously had the Rocky Road (Scotch pancake, marshmallows, chocolate chips, Rocky Road ice cream - from Backford Belles, chocolate sauce) but went freestyle this time.
There are a whole host of toppings/fillings to choose from, and he chose marshmallows, Nutella and bacon on two Scotch pancakes! Bacon goes with everything, right?
His friend went for the crepe style pancake with whipped cream, marshmallows and blueberries.
As we waited for our order, we oohed and aahed at plates heading to other diners. There were big stacks, simple lemon and sugar crepes, and lots of happy faces.
When ours arrived, the children were impressed. It’s like Willy Wonka on a plate.
The Scotch pancakes are light and fluffy despite their size, and it turns out bacon does go with everything (I never doubted it).
The savoury pancakes are my favourite though.
The chorizo, tomatoes and cheese were wrapped in the warm pancake, and every bite delivered, with the goats cheese adding a sharpness. The children pulled faces at the salad on top but it works.
The place is perfect for families but there were groups of friends
and plenty of couples, enjoying something a little different.
In addition to the great selection of soft drinks and teas and coffees, they also do shakes, smoothies and sundaes.
Hanky Panky Pancakes is open 8am-6pm (Mon-Sat) and 9am-5pm (Sun), so can offer the perfect start to your day.
It’s more than a novelty restaurant. Passion for what they’ve created oozes all around and the quality ingredients shine.
They’ve made pancakes cool but not pretentious.
And you know what, it really does sparkle with fun.
How it rated:
See full story in the Chester Leader