There is an art to making pancakes. Not crêpes, pancakes; fluffy, delicious pancakes that spring back when touched and bring about the happiest of joys that few other things could ever replicate. I have always appreciated pancakes, but often felt guilty about eating them, and so reserved them only for special occasions. Last year, someone came into my life that made me realise that a special occasion need only be a weekend, whether or not we had just completed a long run. His love of pancakes increased my love of pancakes. At one point we were eating pancakes almost every weekend, trying different ones each time. We decided to document this, rating each pancake we tried, based on the four key criteria: presentation, portion size, quality of maple syrup and bacon (oh yes, there has always got to be bacon involved) and, most importantly, fluffiness.

Below, I give you our list of the top 10 pancakes on the island, increasing from worst to best. Others may have different criteria, but this is ours. Each category is ranked out of five, with a total score out of 20. Note that the pancakes were seldom the only dish we ate on each tasting, but we did not allow the quality of any other dishes to affect our scoring system.

 top 10 pancakes hong kong

Awakening Cafe

Presentation: 1/5
Portion Size: 4/5
Fluffiness: 2/5
Quality of bacon and maple syrup: 2/5
Price: $35 + $15 for bacon (but looks like prices may have gone up since we went)
Comments: The pancakes were fluffy, but unfortunately rather dry. This therefore outweighed the fluffiness, resulting in rather cardboard-esque pancakes. No one likes eating cardboard. The syrup was served too cold and was definitely not real maple syrup. The bacon was tasty and crispy, but we were only given a measly two very thin rashers. I’ve heard that at Awakening Café the only good thing on the menu is the Buffalo Chicken Burger, so perhaps it’s best to order that and stay away from the pancakes.

Total Score: 9/20

Shop 6-7, Ying Wa Terrace, Centre Street, Sai Ying Pun
+852 28580005
www.awakeningcafehk.com

 top 10 pancakes hong kong

Eat Right

Presentation: 2/5
Portion Size: 4/5
Fluffiness: 1/5
Quality of bacon and maple syrup: 3/5
Price: $80 + $10 for bacon
Comments: There was not even a hint of fluffiness, yet the pancakes were still very tasty. They are made with whole wheat flour and are the pancakes you want to eat if you’re going for something light and healthy, and you don’t mind eating cardboard – it is, after all, tasty cardboard. The side of berry compote was tart and refreshing to balance the sweet, sticky syrup. Unfortunately the bacon didn’t have enough flavour, however.

Total Score: 10/20

23 Staunton Street, SoHo, Central
+852 2868 4832
www.eatright.com.hk

 top 10 pancakes hong kong

Brunch Club

Presentation: 2/5
Portion Size: 4/5
Fluffiness: 4/5
Quality of bacon and maple syrup: 3/5
Price: $45 + $22 for bacon
Comments: They were fluffy and thick, but weren’t particularly light. The syrup was good, yet unfortunately the bacon was far too salty and not crispy at all. There were no other sides apart from maple syrup and butter and the presentation was very simple, as it would be at home. The taste was good, but I wouldn’t say the pancakes are worth coming back for, particularly as they took forever to arrive and the service was terrible.

Total Score: 13/20

G/F, 70 Peel Street, Central
+852 2526 8661
www.brunch-club.org

 top 10 pancakes hong kong

The Flying Pan

Presentation: 3/5
Portion Size: 4/5
Fluffiness: 2/5
Quality of bacon and maple syrup: 4/5
Price: $64 + $12 for strawberries; $96 including a pot of tea
Comments: There was barely a hint of fluffiness, and yet the menu lists them as “fluffy pancakes”; they were quite stodgy and didn’t have a great deal of flavour on their own. The portion size was good provided you are either very hungry or very hungover. The bacon and syrup were very good but unfortunately there just wasn’t enough bacon to go with the three pancakes.

Total Score: 13/20

G/F, 9 Old Bailey Street, Central
+852 21406333

OR

3/F, 81-85 Lockhart Road, Wan Chai
+852 2528 9997 

www.the-flying-pan.com

top 10 pancakes hong kong

Jaspas

Presentation: 3/5
Portion Size: 4/5
Fluffiness: 4/5
Quality of bacon and maple syrup: 4/5
Price: $105 + $25 for bacon
Comments: These ranked highly on the fluffy scale and had a nice hint of vanilla. They definitely require a great deal of hunger; two wouldn’t be enough, yet three is a bit too filling. The bacon and maple syrup were very, very good. These were the most expensive pancakes we tried, which seemed a little unnecessary for somewhere as casual as Jasaps; even Wagyu pancakes are cheaper!

Total Score: 15/20

G/F, 28-30 Staunton Street, SoHo, Mid-Levels, Central
+852 2869 0733 

Other locations in Happy Valley, Sai Kung, Kennedy Town, Sai Ying Pun and Discovery Bay. See website for details: www.casteloconcepts.com

 top 10 pancakes hong kong

Antipodean Cafe

Presentation: 5/5
Portion Size: 4/5
Fluffiness: 5/5
Quality of bacon and maple syrup: 2/5
Price: $95 + $40 for bacon
Comments: These pancakes were excellent. They were wonderfully fluffy, presented beautifully and just about the right portion size. They had so much potential, but were then let down by the quality of the syrup (which was not real maple syrup, but ‘maple flavoured’ syrup. The bacon had a good flavour but was a bit too stringy. The service at Antipodean was so terrible that we can’t even bear to return, no matter how good the pancakes may be.

Total Score: 16/20

3 Upper Station Street, Sheung Wan
Full review here

 top 10 pancakes hong kong

Wagyu

Presentation: 4/5
Portion Size: 4/5
Fluffiness: 3/5
Quality of bacon and maple syrup: 5/5
Price: $85 + $20 for bacon
Comments: These are pretty safe pancakes although they weren’t as fluffy as we would have liked. The portion would be a little too big for one person but good to share with one other dish. The sides of fresh berries, perfectly ripe banana and vanilla bean ice cream added a little something special, whilst both the syrup and the bacon were perfect. Price-wise, particularly compared to other dishes at Wagyu, these are pretty good value.

Total score: 16/20

Unit 3, G/F, Centrium Building, 60 Wyndham Street, Central
+852 2525 8805
www.casteloconcepts.com

top 10 pancakes hong kong

The Pawn

Presentation: 4/5
Portion Size: 4/5
Fluffiness: 4/5
Quality of bacon and maple syrup: 5/5
Price: $80 + $15 for bacon
Comments: These buttermilk blueberry pancakes almost took the winning prize. They were lovely and fluffy but perhaps the portion size could have been a little bigger and there could have been a few more berries. The blueberries came alongside the pancakes, as opposed to inside them, which meant they still went well with the bacon and chopped berries. Although the bacon didn’t look particularly appealing to begin with and wasn’t as crispy as others, it was perfect, proper English bacon.

Total Score: 17/20

62 Johnston Road, Wan Chai
+852 2866 3444
www.thepawn.com.hk

Full review here.

 top 10 pancakes hong kong

Mano

Presentation: 5/5
Portion Size: 4/5
Fluffiness: 5/5
Quality of bacon and maple syrup: 3.5/5
Price: $78 + $45 for bacon
Comments: This was not a stack of pancakes, but one giant pancake! It was wonderfully fluffy, whilst still ever so slightly gooey in the middle, so that it wasn’t too cake-like and stodgy. The maple syrup was very good, but the bacon was unfortunately a little too salty; as the pancake itself, clearly made to rise with bicarbonate of soda, was also salty, there was not that lovely salt-sweet contrast we had hoped for. Nevertheless, the fluffiness, presentation and overall concept made this definitely one of our favourite pancakes.

Total Score: 17.5/20

G/F, The L Place, 139 Queen’s Road Central
+852 2399 0737
www.manohk.com

 top 10 pancakes hong kong

As cliché as it may be, the best pancakes I had on this quest for Hong Kong’s best pancakes were enjoyed in the comfort of my own home. I can’t take credit for them, but these were off the scale on the fluffy-o-meter and tasted divine. I quote from the mouth of the cook himself, “tell me you’ve had a fluffier pancake than these and I will show you the front door.” It doesn’t often happen, but he was certainly right on that one. My wheat-free Lent is over in a little over a week; I know what I’m demanding for breakfast on Easter Sunday!

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