Awarded by Elle Armon-Jones, Owner The Big Foody
Many years ago when I was a fresh off the boat I.T worker in Auckland I used to wander down Lorne Street for lunch and snarl at the very idea of a pancake hole in the wall. There were queues of people outside No. 1 Pancake on the south end of Lorne Street all ready and waiting for their order. Following a childhood pet hate of pancakes, it wasn’t until I walked past one day and actually saw what was being made that I got in line and decided to see what all the fuss was about.
SK Lim and his family are from South Korea and every morning make the thick wheat dough for the pancakes. Their outlet is a tiny space where somehow they manage to conduct a swift and efficient operation churning out over 200 pancakes a day. These aren’t any old pancake! They are thick doughy filled pancakes cooked on a griddle until they are crisp on both sides and the contents are piping hot. There are a number of savoury options including bacon and cheese, ham and cheese, meat and cheese, vegetable and cheese and my personal absolute favourite potato and cheese. The sweet options include a red bean, cinnamon and CHOCOLATE…. yes chocolate! For years we have been taking our guests on the Big Foody tours to No. 1 Pancake as it is a completely unique experience in Auckland and while there have been some raised eyebrows when we have told them we’re tasting pancakes, it is an instant love story.
Back to the potato and cheese. I will never forget trying the first one on a chilly wet Auckland winter day. It was $4 for an instant hand warmer. I waited for a couple of minutes to see what other people were adding from the four options of sauce and went for added warmth with the hot chilli. Let’s get one thing very straight, this is not Cordon Bleu dining, this is a dough filled with mashed potato and Tasty cheese and it’s delicious! Try it!