My favourite February tradition doesn’t involve roses, heart-shaped chocolate and declarations of love. It involves a heart-warming stack of pancakes!
Shrove Tuesday, also affectionately known as Pancake Day, is a Christian holiday celebrated in English-speaking countries across the world. The word ‘shrove’ originates from the word ‘shrive’ which means to ‘obtain absolution for one’s sins’.
Shrove Tuesday was a day that people were encouraged to use up all of the sugar, fat, flour and eggs in their cupboards and have one last feast in preparation for the 40 days of fasting for Lent that began the next day. Nowadays for many, Shrove Tuesday is just a great excuse to eat pancakes!
Recently, brunch cafés have popped up all over Kansai and are becoming increasingly popular among young couples on dates and ladies-who-lunch. Pancake Day is the perfect reason to try out one of these places. But if you prefer to roll out of bed to a stack of steaming goodies, you could try this quick, cheap and easy recipe at home. Pancakes make a great breakfast or dessert and can be topped with almost anything that takes your fancy, savoury or sweet.
To make 4 pancakes (a perfect treat for two) you’ll need:
• 1 cup all-purpose flour
• 1 teaspoon sugar
• 1 cup whole milk
• 2 teaspoons baking powder
• Butter for frying
1. Sieve and mix together the flour, sugar and baking powder
2. Slowly add the milk, but be careful not to over mix – it should be slightly lumpy with bubbles
3. Melt butter in a frying pan on a high heat
4. Before pouring the mixture into the frying pan, turn the heat down a little and use a damp tea towel to wipe the bottom of the frying pan
5. Pour a fourth of the mixture into the frying pan and cook for around 2 minutes on each side, until golden brown
6. Serve on a plate with your topping of choice. My favourites are chopped bananas and maple syrup, and cream cheese with blueberry sauce
This cool retro café serves a tasty array of sweet and savoury pancakes, costing around ¥1,000, including a drink. It’s often very busy at the weekends so be sure to reserve a table.
• 151F Honcho Vel Domir, Motoderamachi-kitanocho, Wakayama
• Open: 10am-6pm, closed on Sundays
If you like a cocktail with your pancake then this is the restaurant for you! It’s also a great place to take a break from the bustling streets of Shinsaibashi.
• 1F YA Building, 1-10-33 Kitasumi, Nishi-Shinsaibashi, Osaka
• Open Hours: 10am–8:30pm, closed on Sundays
Pancake Café Mog
This cute café has a big selection of pancakes, but the most interesting are their savoury style ones, such as Fondue Cheese or Mexican Hot Chili. Pancakes and a drink will set you back around ¥1,500. They also do an adorable set for kids.
• 5-1 1-chome, Miyakojima-ku, Osaka-shi
• Open Hours: 11am–10pm