I woke up craving pancakes. Stacks of fluffy creations that are smothered in sauces and fruits or chocolate. I knew I wanted to go to Pancakes at Carillion. So I dragged poor Jeremy out of bed and we very slowly made our way to the city, fully intending to go straight to the restaurant but I did make us do a couple pit stops at some retailers nearby (can never resist a sale!).
We made it just before 11am and the place was packed. Only one table was free and that was outside the main restaurant, but we weren't about to complain about location when we could see the delicious food on everyone's tables.
I fully intended to get pancakes. A strawberry patch (pancakes, fresh strawberries, strawberry sauce, whipped cream and ice-cream - $15.50) or a bavarian apple (hot cinnamon spiced apples and sultanas with buttermilk pancakes, whipped cream and vanilla ice-cream - $14.90). They are so great here, soft and pillowy without being doughy. Decadent and freshly garnished. My mouth is actually salivating thinking about it.
But as always, my instinct to go for savoury food first thing in the morning won out. So did Jeremy's. But that's fine because it just means we can go back for yummy pancakes soon. Maybe as a mid-afternoon meal when I can have pancakes and not be tempted by the savoury items.
Jeremy was tossing up between the wagyu burger and the mushroom crepes for some time, before finally landing on the farmers brunch crepes ($20.90). Sliced country royal blue potatoes, fresh rashes of bacon, onions and egg slightly sauteed and seasoned. Its topped with a creamy cheesy sauce and spring onions, accompanied by a salad with Italian vinaigrette.
The crepes are made perfectly (as you'd expect a pancake house to produce), soft and pulling apart with ease. The filling inside is a great breakfast dish; the egg especially delicious inside and the sauce really wonderful to eat - particularly with those spring onions (I love spring onions, actually we both do). He's pretty impressed, and happy that he decided to get a dish that this place is unique in producing. After all, a burger can be bought anywhere (even though the burgers here are ah-maz-ing as are the chips).
My dish was the Carillion chicken pockets (previously called the pocket full of chicken before this place was renovated). It's tender chicken fillet fried with fresh mushrooms in a creamy sauce. The crepe is folded into a little square and parmesan cheese is melted on top in a crusty lid. Next to the salad is a mound of sour cream and another of tomato salsa ($21.90).
The filling is the best part of this dish. That creamy sauce sends me straight to heaven and the mushrooms are fresh and just soft enough to eat. Mmmmmm. This is the dish I always find myself drawn to even though I wanted pancakes. Happens nearly every time.
The chicken is plentiful and well cooked; the parmesan on top of the crepe sharp. And the sour cream, well that works just so well. I love that the salad that comes on the side is so big and fresh. There's a great selection of vegetables and it makes you feel less guilty about the cheesy creamy crepes you're devouring at the same time.
Our drinks unfortunately arrived after our food which we weren't that pleased about. However, one sip each and we were back to a happy place. Jeremy's banana smoothie ($6.90) actually tasted of banana (not artificial flavours) and was a creamy mixture of milk, ice-cream and a hint of honey. Very breakfast appropriate. Or brunch given the time.
My iced chocolate ($4.90) was exactly what I felt like. Chilled chocolate milk with ice-cream, whipped cream and lashes of chocolate sauce down the inside of the glass. I felt like a kid drinking it, my face probably covered in cream and my spoon scraping down the side.
This place makes me feel nostalgic and happy at the same time. It reminds me of trips here on the weekend when I was still in high school (and this was an expensive meal out). But I really do need to get back there soon to have the pancakes that I've been craving.