Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Pancakes! in Nine Streets

This unassuming pancake house can be found in the heart of de negen straatjes- an area that is well worth a visit. A few years ago, after a morning of shopping (Marlies Dekkers has a branch on the same street) I stumbled across this place and thought ‘why not?’ so wandered inside.

It’s tourist friendly with menus provided in Dutch, English and even Japanese, but it remains incredibly authentic despite many non-traditional pancake toppings.

This small bistro has a charming blue and white colour scheme, the main dining area is on a mezzanine level and if you want to snoop at the kitchen head downstairs towards the restrooms and you can say hello to the chefs and you might even see them preparing your lunch. 

The washrooms are small but adorable- they have a discreet stash of deodorant and hand cream (if you’re caught without) as well as post-its that well-wishers write notes on before pinning them to the wall. (Not that I knew at the time but the last thing I wrote before getting engaged was a little note that I stuck on the wall in here.)

If you’re new to the city and want something traditional, a pancake with apple, cinnamon and stroop (rhymes with ‘hope’ not ‘hoop’) is a good plan and there are always excellent daily specials. Regardless, here are my favourite three from the regular menu: 
  • Number 27: Goats cheese, spinach, garlic oil and pine nuts (although Charlie always has bacon added to his) 
  • Number 28: Camembert with ham, chicory and raspberry 
  • Number 31: Salmon, crème fraiche, guacamole and chives
Pancakes! serves very tasty orange juice (squeezed to order) as well as delicious juices (either pear or apple) from a local organic farm called Appelaere. You can also buy their juices in any good Dutch supermarket.

They also serve poffertjes here- they’re the small, round pancakes you often get drenched in Bailey’s or fruit syrup at festive markets. Don’t let that put you off; the stalls can be hit or miss so if you fancy trying them, this is a good place to order from.

Bad service is something I won’t tolerate, even in Amsterdam. The staff here are incredibly friendly and helpful, feel free to ask about anything from the menu to the surrounding area. 

Bear in mind that there is limited seating so prepare to wait if you go on a Saturday afternoon. You’ll get a little wooden clog keychain with your bill and I’ve such a fondness for them that this year I made one into a Christmas tree ornament.

Incidentally, Pancakes! is also a good choice for kids (but be prepared to clean up sugared little fingers) and has colouring cards and crayons as well as some games to keep them entertained while you enjoy the food and company.

Berenstraat 38, 1016 GH Amsterdam, Netherlands

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