Bianca: An entire café dedicated, essentially to pancakes? Yes, please!!! But, there’s a catch, these pancakes are dairy and gluten free. Healthy Pancakes? Who knew… Hale & Hearty have a niche and that niche is a healthy one. Perhaps I’m not the target market but when there are pancakes to eat, duty calls.
I made two separate visits a few months apart. I knew I wanted to come back because the menu was expansive and I do like to be ‘thorough’.
My first visit was with my favourite @phillxiaaaaa, coffee is Di Bella, my Skim Capp $4 needed a touch of sucre to tone down the bitterness. There are over 17 pancake varieties and these range from protein based, vegan, savoury, right down to your regular faves. With the option to tailor pancakes with added extras.
It was lunch time so Phil went the savoury route, with the Chorizo & Goats Cheese –w/ tomato salsa $22 + add bacon $2. I was a little sceptical how a savoury pancake would work but I needn’t have worried. The pancakes themselves were fluffy and soft, though I did find across the board they were a little denser than your regular typical cafes but only marginally. The sourness of the goat’s cheese was a great match for the salty chorizo & bacon.
Trust me when I say it was a big struggle my first visit to narrow down what I wanted. There are so many appealing options. I finally settled on the Apple Crumble –w/ mascarpone, poached apple & paleo granola, maple syrup $18 + add bacon $2. One thing you’re instantly struck by is just how well rounded the flavour of this dish is, the pancakes themselves are not overly sweet, balanced by the mildly sour apple and salty bacon. It’s not a jarringly sickly sweet experience. In other words, pancakes for breakfast can totally be a viable, healthy option. (I’m sticking my thumbs up in celebration). The Paleo granola was made up of a mixture of nuts and dried fruits, great for some texture, as this otherwise would have been one note.
My next visit I had Madre in tow and I was keen to explore more of the pancakes on offer. FYI they do offer a wider menu with egg dishes, burgers & wraps, toasts and brekkie bowls a.k.a your acai bowls etc. I’ll leave the Acais to Alejandro.
I instantly gravitated towards the Monkey Wrench –w/crunchy peanut butter, chocolate & coconut water $10. Super tasty and particularly hard to stop drinking, so I didn’t. I’m a little unsure if there was a miscommunication and they used C milk instead, as it was really thick and a little guilt inducing.
But down to business. I always associate red velvet with something a little sinful so I felt they needed to make an appearance. Red Velvet & Raspberries –w/mascarpone $18 probably more ‘dessert’ like than the rest, as there was some sweetness. I enjoyed the berry jam & syrup which added some tartness. This pancake had the best texture for me, light and airy and a dollop of mascarpone just tying it all together.
I was curious about the Protein style pancakes and settled for what I thought might be the most ‘user’ friendly. The sugar-free Peanut Butter & Chocolate –w/organic peanut butter & choc Paleo granola $26. Before we get into the pancake let’s just talk about that price tag. You’re paying for the quality of ingredients here, but it will sting. I really was not a fan of this one at all and I LOVE peanut butter! This was the densest of all the pancakes across the board. There was a pleasant hint of cinnamon and sweetness from the choc paleo granola (with a mixture of goji berries and nuts). But I struggled.
And the final pancake Banana & Walnut –w/dairy free coconut yoghurt, walnuts & banana $16. Hands down my favourite of the lot. Gorgeous fluffy texture, I really enjoyed the freshness of the banana and the crunch from the walnuts. I ordered a side of bacon just to alleviate all the sweetness with the pancakes and it was definitely a wise move.
These probably aren’t your ‘guilty pleasure’ pancakes, whilst tasty there is a wholesome healthiness that you can’t shake (which isn’t bad) but when you want to be bad… it might not be the place to do it…