Sunday, 29 December 2013

A day out: Pancake Parlour, Frozen and Starbucks

Today we took a train to the city for Sylvia's first cinema outing.  I have been woken the last few mornings with requests for pancakes.  It seemed a nice idea to go to the Pancake Parlour before seeing Frozen.  A perfect sticky, sweet entree prior to the main event.

The Pancake Parlour is not just a place to eat.  It is somewhere that fills me with memories.  My little sister bursting into tears at the sight of someone dressed as The Mad Hatter, eating there after staying up all night after we finished Year 12, stopping at the Ballarat Pancake Parlour on a road trip and even taking E there when we came to Australia.  It still has the old fashioned 'lovely' lady and the booths but I fear I have changed.

I haven't been there for years but I still have a favourite dish.  The Cheese and Potato Pancake with salad.  Let me tell you why.  When I go there I really want a short stack with whipped butter and maple syrup.

As a child this simple pancake with hot chocolate (with marshmallows) was my idea of heaven.  I thought it a very sophisticated heaven.  The buttermilk pancakes were so large and fluffy compared to my mum's.  And I am sure this must be where I first had maple syrup.  I can't remember it anywhere else in my childhood.

But I digress.  I like savoury too.  I had an epiphany one day when I discovered I could eat half the cheese pancake with salad and eat the other half with maple syrup.  Win win.  Only I discovered that they only use maple flavoured syrup unless you pay extra.  Which is cheeky when the prices are already ridiculously high ($19.40 for my pancake and salad!)

E had the Farmers Breakfast: two pancakes, fried eggs and hash browns.  (I didn't photograph it as I had thought it was one of his usual meaty breakfasts.)  He enjoyed it though it was too filling and he thought the hashbrowns were more like rosti.  Sylvia had Alice's Wonderland Surprise: a pancake topped with ice cream, fudge sauce and sprinkled with 100s and 1000s.  She mostly enjoyed the ice cream and said I should have just got her ice cream in a cone and that she still wanted me to make her pancakes for breakfast soon because mine are different.  Kids!

Next we headed up the escalators to see Frozen.  (Above is the view from the cinema down to Melbourne Central.)  We all enjoyed it.  Beautiful icy scenery, sad family rifts, true love, a cute snowman and some amusing trolls.  E thought it a bit too long.  I worried for Sylvia's ears with the volume up so high.  Sylvia couldn't sit still but she has asked if we can see Frozen again soon. 

E wanted to try the Starbucks Christmas coffees.  He had a toffee nut frappacino but found it so full of ice he could barely drink it.  We all shared a Christmas tree biscuit.  I think he has a fondness for the place because he remembers a time when they were special in Edinburgh due to lack of any decent homegrown coffee houses.  In Melbourne Starbucks is fairly lacklustre compared to other fine cafes.

Then we had a wander through the shops to look at the sales.  Signs like these make me feel like crying.  I didn't have much desire to buy.  Our house is full to bursting and we don't have many needs.  Sylvia got some new sandals and E found a few new shirts.  I was just happy to return home to a simple meal of tomato bean stew and broccolini to counteract all the rich food of late.

The Pancake Parlour
Melbourne Central
Cnr  La Trobe St and Swanston St, Melbourne.
Level 3, next to cinemas.
(03) 9654 3117
www.pancakeparlour.com

Starbucks
295 Swanston St,
Melbourne VIC 3000
03 9663 3380
www.starbucks.com.au

14 comments:

  1. I hope Cooper enjoys it as much as Sylvia did. He's been to the cinema a few times, but usually gets restless about 3/4 way through.

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    1. Thanks Jac - hope he loves it - Sylvia was up and down but she kept watching the film which was good - I think part of the reason we waited so long to take her to the cinema is that we were worried it would be hard to keep her attention for a full length movie but she is getting better

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  2. I think we're all guilty of indulging in far too much rich food at the moment. I have another dinner on tonight and a then there's NYE and then a lunch on Thursday - it goes on and on. And I'm loving it! We have Pancakes at the Rocks here in Sydney and yes, I have many fond memories. We also went there at the end of Year 12! xx

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    1. Thanks Charlie - it does seem to go on and on at this time of year - I have haggis to make for new years and leftovers to deal with and a birthday party coming up but we will get more of a rest now. I am sure quite a few of us thought we were at the height of sophistication going to the pancake parlour when we finished school :-) I think some of the franchises also call it the Pancake Kitchen

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  3. Hi Johanna!

    Oh how I love this post and that parlor! So charming:) I think it's just wonderful that you and your family had such a memorable outing. I love your win/win solution. I'm making a few dietary changes in the New Year. Thank you so much for sharing, Johanna.

    P.S. If you get a chance, you might want to pop by my blog. I did a post about Rudyard Kipling.

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    1. Thanks Louise - it was a memorable outing - good luck with dietary changes - I have been on the chocolate diet lately but it wont last :-) I did read some of the kipling post but must get back to finish it

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  4. I have actually been to that pancake parlour - being me, I ate, of course, sweet pancakes ;) I'm glad you enjoyed Frozen and skipped the shopping bedlam. It makes me want to cry too!

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    1. Thanks Kari - my problem is that I want both sweet and savoury. I would love to try the fancy ones but sometimes remember when we all had a fluffy duck as kids and my brother got a coke and that simpler was better :-)

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  5. PP was one of my favourite places too and I loved their maple syrup before discovering it was maple *flavoured* syrup. Gah! I think that's where I would have had my first taste of maple syrup too. "Pure Vermont maple syrup", they used to call it. I always got the Alice in Wonderland as a kid then short stack with the butter as a grown up. Of course nothing there is vegan apart from the outrageously expensive glass of fresh squeezed orange juice. Husband goes there with the kids when he gets one of those vouchers for the free short stack. Also PP was responsible for me learning about buckwheat, though my early buckwheat pancake efforts were awful and tasted nothing like PP. Actually even the packaged PP flour mix tasted nothing like the restaurant pancakes!

    When we go to the cinema we take headphones for the kids, they're noise cancelling (about $35 from Aldi) but without that functionality they still reduce the volume a bit. I hate how loud cinemas are!

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    1. Thanks veganopoulous - I think it is only because I go there so infrequently now that it took me so long to discover their maple syrup underhandness. We bought some of the pancake mixture when kids and loved and and I actually took it on holiday a couple of years ago and still loved it.

      I like the sound of the noise cancelling ear phones. Yesterday on a noisy train Sylvia told me dolly has two iphone - one that plays music and one that has silence - I really want to find one of those iphones that play silence :-)

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  6. My 17-year-old daughter went in for her first Boxing Day sale (I can't think of anything I'd rather not do!) - and she also went to Melbourne Central to see Frozen yesterday. I was a bit confused, because I thought it wasn't the sort of thing a group of 17 year olds would want to see, but they loved it. (You may well have seen them!

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    1. Thanks Linda - I think it is sweet that your daughter went to frozen - it was a fun film (probably more fun than the sales) - was she one of the girls with interesting coloured hair :-)

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  7. Sounds like a great outing. I haven't been to the pancake parlour for years.

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    1. Thanks Cakelaw - I don't go often and when we saw the prices we decided to enjoy our visit as we wouldn't be back in a hurry - but it is a nice nostalgic treat

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