One of our favorite random finds on Ari Soi 4 is Panary Cafe Dutch Baby Pancake. The ambience was very relaxed and the decor quirkily fun.
And the food was delicious. Baked in a cast iron pan to achieve a crispy edge with a high rise, and then the middle is piled with tasty toppings. Not wanting to be complete gluttons (in public, that is) we stuck with just ordering one savory and one sweet to split with our respective caffeinated beverages of choice. It’s still hard to pinpoint the appropriate words to describe this dish to somebody who has never known the pleasure of a Dutch baby pancake. Leslie, too, was once on that sad sad side but is now on the brighter, more glorious side of knowing. But we’ll give it a try.
The pancake portion is sweet and fluffy and egg-y. It’s just…you’ve got to try it. And the toppings! Oh, the toppings. We ordered the Salmon & Cream Cheese pancake: nice sized slab of smoked salmon, a rocket salad tossed with balsamic vinegar and an incredible ball of wasabi-infused cream cheese. People! The cream cheese gives the dish that special kick, making it just yum, so do not neglect the crucial step of slathering that cream cheese all over everything. Everything. And then licking the knife.
After cleaning our palettes with our latte and americano, we delved our way through the Custard Cream & Berry Sauce pancake. The custard was light and smooth with a nice scent of vanilla. (Yes, we smell our food.) And the batch of homemade berry sauce was decadently sweet — if it were a bit more on the tart side, we think there would be more balance in the dish. But what do we know? We shoveled that dish into our mouths quicker than Louis could make a little baby cry.
As silly farangs in a city that has a lot of unspoken rules and procedures, we really appreciated the simple & straight forward sign that told us to make our order at the front and find our own seat. Thank you, Panary Cafe! The wait staff was very friendly, helpful and accommodating – they gave us space and helped arrange out table when the little fellow was getting a bit antsy. Plus, they were young dudes and acted all sorts of cute when trying to play with Louis.
This is definitely a restaurant we will revisit, especially when we are in a mood for a “back home” kind of brunch. Looking forward to ordering more off the menu and bringing friends to sample the Dutch babies!