Monday, October 17, 2011

#KumuCulturalInSingapore2011: Strictly Pancakes

Has it really been 4 months?


Indeed. As much as I don't want to do a repeat of March, more important things have happened. I am, at the very least, a part-time blogger (and lover undercover. Hrhr).

Anyhoo, a loooot of time has passed (and I have admittedly been back to Singapore for the Great Singapore Sale), but I still have a lot to share for my #KumuCulturalInSingapore2011 series. So here goes.

Meet Zhorai.

Contrary to popular belief, Zhorai is not a grumpy Ex-pat living in Singapore.
She's just an Ex-pat living in Singapore who doesn't like their local food.
Gasps! You might say. Someone can actually dislike Singaporean food?
You see, Zhorai is a picky eater.
Doesn't like spices. Not even curry.
Which eliminates all basic Singaporean food groups in the menu - Malay, Indian, Thai.
So what is left for Zhorai to eat than Chinese cuisine? Which we all can agree gets to be a tad boring when eaten repeatedly for months on end.

So what is a good friend to do when she drops by Singapore?

Bring her to Singapore's first dedicated pancake cafe, Strictly Pancakes, that's what!

Prinsep Place at Prinsep Street

Located at 44A Prinsep Street, Singapore, Strictly Pancakes is situated in one of the quaint and quieter parts of Singapore. Unlike the megatropolis that is Orchard Road or the corporate non-jungle that is Jurong East, Prinsep Street is like the cleaner version of Cubao X or Makati's The Collective (only less cooler). 

Rocking the t-shirt and some white-framed shades.
Prinsep Place at Prinsep Street, where Strictly Pancakes is located, is a stone's throw away from the La Salle College of The Arts so expect some hipsters and young-ish crowd when you go there.

Also catering to the students (and probably student's budget) are the different pubs and cafes dotting the area. Worth paying a visit while you're there is Mr. Bean's Coffee (LOLZ) The Selegie Arts Centre where I believe The Photographic Society of Singapore often meet.

Strictly Pancakes - The Place

So enough blabbering about the street. It was just a devious ploy to show you all my day off photos. Hrhr!

Strictly Pancakes has an IKEA-esque feel to it: utilitarian and minimalist, yet cozy. From their website, their logo design, even to their interiors, everything is (supposedly) clean (white text against a muted pop color) and crisp.

Reminds me a lot of My Arcade Hero Creatives :D
I say supposedly because the couches could use a little scrubbing and conditioning =/ Or maybe it's just Zhorai's misophobia (fear of contracting germs, yo!) that's been rubbing off on me.

Even so, I love how they maximized the merely 30-square-meter space to include low tables with cozy couches and the standard sit-down tables (seen at the foreground of this next picture). It makes Strictly Pancakes a great place for Getting-to-Know-You Dates (sit down muna!) or cozier and more intimate Going-Steady Dates (pang-couch ang dating!). 

If it were a school day and if it were in the Philippines, I would've expected a college crowd somewhere there. The low tables with comfy couches are also perfect for group study sessions!

Of course, our lazy bones just had to choose the couches. In fairness, di nandiri si Zhorai.

And now, the food!

Being the first dedicated pancake cafe in Singapore, one would expect the fluffiest, the tastiest, and simply the best pancakes in Singapore. It delivered in that aspect. Mind that I specifically said in Singapore because I am never really fond of Singapore doing their own spin on Western dishes. We do it better here in the PH, I must say (Pinoy Pride!).

While researching for places to bring my BFF and her tired palette to, I noticed that SG is so big on breakfast/brunch places. Didn't even bat my eyelash on those because Zhorai and I are just spoiled with some of Manila's best brunch places. I have to say that our hotels have better breakfast buffets than most brunch places in SG, this coming from someone who doesn't really subscribe to Pinoy Pride. I'm just sayin.

I don't think there's nothing like it in Singapore, but I could be wrong. Anyhoo, the place boasts of freshly made batter with every order (no stale batter from these guys!), maple syrup straight from Canada, and the first in chill brew coffee, that is gourmet coffee brewed in low temperature to release that different aroma and flavor.

I appreaciate though that Strictly Pancakes offered a lot of experimentation on their menu.

Step 1: How high can you go?
  • Short (2 pancakes)
  • Medium (3 pancakes)
  • Large (4 pancakes)

 Step 2: Salt on your buttah, madame?
Choose your own butter
  • Salted 
  • Unsalted
  • Garlic + herb
  • Rum + raisin for the more adventurous.

Step 3: "Friends for a Lonely Stack" aka sidings
  • Bacon
  • Scrambled Eggs
  • Sauteed Mushrooms
  • Corn Beef Hash
  • Chicken Chipolata

And now, the food!

We decided to skip the usuals and go straight to the main event.

The best thing about pancakes is that they can serve as blank canvasses for anything. Strictly Pancakes really went wild on their selection: from the the usual Sweets or the unexpected Savory.

Zhorai and I were feeling dangerous so here's what we ordered from the Savory bunch:

Zhorai's order: Butter Garlic Prawns 
SGD 14.00 or approx PHP 475.00 ++ tax

Medium stack served with prawns buttered generously with garlic and cherry tomato salad on the side for an aromatic, mouth-watering treat. 

Made of so much win! Give Zhorai shrimps, give Zhorai butter garlic, and we're good to go! The pancakes served as a great backdrop, if you may, to the butter garlic shrimps. The symphony of herbs thrown into the butter + garlic concoction was much appreciated, too.

My order: Beef Me Up
SGD 14.00 or approx PHP 475.00 ++ tax

Have a super thick juicy homemade beef patty flanked by two extra thick pancakes with sautéed mushrooms and a side of arugula salad. Served Well done.

It was anticlimactic to Zhorai's previous Order of Win. The beef patty was dry (because it was well done and I usually prefer my meat medium well), the contrast between salty and sweet (I ordered maple syrup + salted butter) was not appreciated on my end, and it just looked kawawa next to Zhorai's order.

Potato Wedges
SGD 6.00 or approx PHP 205.00 ++ tax

The potato wedges came as our meal's great equalizer. Nothing spectacular, nothing life changing, not really disappointing. Aside from being pipping hot when served (something you should watch out for), the wedges were OK when paired with catsup.

Value for money and is it worth visiting?

The food at Strictly Pancakes weren't cheap to start with, makes one miss the Pancake House pancakes in the PH, really. But Strictly Pancakes is not exactly the usual hawker place in Singapore. So YES, if you want to splurge on something different and NO if you don't want to spend more than the usual for pancakes.

Strictly Pancakes
44A Prinsep Street, Singapore 188674
6333 4202

Opening Hours:
Mon:             1800 - 2200*
Tue - Thu:     1130 - 2200*
Fri:               1130 - 0000**
Sat:             1000 - 0000**   Closed from 1600* -1800
Sun:             1000 - 2200*   Closed from 1600* -1800
*Kitchen closes 30 min before   **Kitchen closes 45 min before

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