You loved our winter edition of the “NYC Pancake Diaries,” and with spring arriving in the Northern Hemisphere now, we pen the second volume. Allow us to introduce six fruit-covered versions of this scrumptious brunch dessert for your future weekend brunching adventures. Bon appetit!
- Dessert destination: Coco & Cru, Greenwich Village, Manhattan
- Short and sweet story: Buttermilk Pancakes ($16). For pancakes that resemble a jewelled-tone hill of berries (blackberries, blueberries, raspberries and strawberries), visit Coco & Cru. The pancakes here are on the smaller and less fluffy side, but the location of the cafe at a sunny corner on the border of Greenwich Village and Soho makes Coco & Cru a sweet proposition to commence a lazy weekend of shopping and people-watching.
Trying to be healthy…
- Dessert destination: Wild Son, Chelsea, Manhattan.
- Short and sweet story: Buckwheat Pancakes ($18). Lower Chelsea is a curious neighbourhood pocket – tourists crowd the HighLine and Chelsea Market precinct by day, while party-goers thump out the pavement by night. Almost hidden away from this is Wild Son, a cosy (read: tiny) cafe that serves a “healthier” rendition of the brunch dessert that is pancakes. At Wild Son, the pancakes are made of buckwheat, decorated with a bright canary yellow quenelle of orange tumeric butter, and snow-flaked with icing sugar and berries.
To be seen or to eat, that is the question
- Dessert destination: Mercer Kitchen (Soho) & Public Kitchen (East Village/Soho).
- Short and sweet story: Buttermilk Pancakes ($20). There are a quite a number of places in NYC that one may consider visiting to feel as though one were part of a movie about #lifeinNYC. Mercer Kitchen and Public Kitchen follow such a formula — sleek and ultra-trendy environs where the weekend brunching dress code is more designer jeans and heels, rather than torn jeans and sneakers. Yet, however much one may love the voguish ambience of both of these places, the food offerings has almost always, been somewhat underwhelming. On our visits, the pancakes were flat pieces of dough, the berries tasted unfrozen, and the plating style was so-very-lackadaisical. Such a pity.
- Dessert destination: Shooshoo, Nolita, Manhattan
- Short and sweet story: Knafcake ($17). The most recently-opened pancake provider of this list that these Dessert Correspondents are compiling, Shooshoo is similar to Coco & Cru above. Located in a sun-drenched corner at the edge of Soho and East Village, it channels a West Elm furniture shop through its use of lush velvet upholstery, brassy highlights and leaf-everywhere interior decor. The pancakes at ShooShoo take on a Middle-Eastern twist, with a sweet cheese-like centre sandwiched between two circles of pancake, and layered with honeyed walnuts, sugar, rose syrup, and berries. We love the pancakes here, but they are just very, very small.
Sunshine on my plate
- Dessert destination: Nomo Soho, Manhattan.
- Short and sweet story: Lemon Ricotta Pancakes ($15). One of the first brunch places in NYC that we visited when we relocated over, Nomo is the quintessential millenial dining spot – loud clubby music pulsating through an airy garden conservatory-like space, dripping with chandeliers, sided with rainbow-graffiti walls, and frequented by people in various states of over-dressed. The pancakes here are highly Instagrammable, yet also substantively delicious – that rare combination of wonder. They are bruleed on the surface, symmetrical in roundness and fluffyness, and the lemon tang is a perfect counterpoint to the typical sweetness. One bite, and you will understand why Nomo is one of the very few eating spots in NYC that we would happily to.