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Pancakes are the most quintessential comfort food there is (apart from curd rice!). But to make good pancakes is an art and a difficult one at that. I went on a search to find the best pancakes in Delhi and the results were mixed, with some moments of euphoria and some of sheer disappointment!
Here’s a comparison of pancakes from 4 places in Delhi:
1. The All American Diner at Habitat Centre
2. Elma’s at Hauz Khas village
3. Blue Door café at Khan market
4. Smoke House Deli at Khan market
We all know the oldest of the lot was the All American Diner, and their outdoor seating arrangement definitely gets bonus points. But I feel, and I don’t think I’m alone here after reading some reviews on Zomato, that the quality of their pancakes has deteriorated considerably! It felt rubbery and not very flavourful! But I love the idea of having ample amount of honey and maple syrup at your disposal to slather up the pancakes. Other than that, I’m not a big fan of their pancakes anymore.
Next up, Elma’s. The style is pretty and has a lot of tables since the place is huge. Their pancakes are crisp and hot. The accompaniments included honey and fruit compote. I quite enjoyed their pancakes and the ambience and the non-intrusive waiters. Elma’s at HKV is always a happy experience as long as I don’t have to eat their cakes- I find them a little to satiating for my taste. But the pancakes are super!
Third is the Blue Door Café at Khan market. After having some kick-ass crepe with homemade caramel sauce, I had high expectations for their pancakes and was sorely disappointed. It was soggy, and had absolutely nothing on the side- no honey, no syrup, no whipped cream- nothing, except for the butter and syrup on the first pancake and chocolate syrup and powdered sugar drizzled on the plate. And the pancakes were not so great either… I’m sure it was made with buttermilk, but it was a little too moist and salty. And they have only two options- either you go bland with the regular stack or go all out with everything in it from chocolate syrup to bananas to cream to what not… A few in-betweens would’ve been nice.
And finally, Smoke House Deli at Khan Market. (On the side, have you ever visited Cottons from Jaipur that is right opposite SHD? Lovely cotton clothes and affordable- but only for women!) Firstly, I was kind of disappointed with the hygiene factor, there were flies around, one dead fly right next to me on the sofa, and the plate could’ve been cleaner. But the people are friendly, lovely ambience and the best BEST playlist of good old jazz. Kudos for an awesome play list SHD! Coming to pancakes, I ordered the Blueberry version and it had lots of Blueberry compote in it, I mean lots! The pancake was super fluffy and almost resembled a sponge cake. It was served with cream on the side (would’ve preferred whipped cream), and drizzled with syrup. It was delicious, but pretty big for one person. I had to get half of it packed.
So after much comparison, I’m sure which one is my favourite. But, I must admit I missed having cinnamon on the pancakes. None were actually generous with cinnamon. Another factor was the perfect mix of sugar and salt. Honestly, I am not in love with pancakes of any of the 4 places, but if I have to rate them, this is how it will be:
Rank 1: Smoke House Deli, Khan market- delicious, affordable, huge portions, crispy, generous with dressing (a huge plus is their music list!).
Rank 2: Elma’s, Hauz Khas village- Second with a marginal difference. Theirs is simple, basic, and yet delicious. Would’ve loved to have more cinnamon in it though.
Rank 3: Blue Door Café, Khan market AND The All American Diner, Habitat Centre- If you are in BDC, their sweet crepes are a better choice, and the AAD was quite disappointing.
Finally… If you want to try the BEST, I mean THE BEST pancakes, you’d have to travel to McLeod Ganj in Himachal, find this quaint little home stay called the Flourishing Flora at the TIPA road and eat their pancakes. It is the stuff of Gods and the most delicious pancakes I have ever eaten in my entire life!!! Till then, may be the ones in Delhi could satisfy you 50%...