Did you know that the Boozy Bunch are not just reviewers but readers too? That’s right, folks, we’re the perfect date: smart, sexy and usually full of alcohol. For this month’s book club, we were reading ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ by Margaret Atwood. A rollicking good read if you’re into a dystopian world of female subjugation and forced breeding. I mean, who isn’t? After the previous month’s book on ‘Everyday Sexism’, we were a table full of ready-to-be-outraged women (and Grant) looking forward to some book-appropriate food.
Since I had chosen the book, I got to choose the restaurant (look at me wielding my female power with abandon) and so went to My Old Dutch Pancake House. I am not sure why I chose this, perhaps it was the Amish-like clothes women in the book were forced to wear, headscarfs and long dresses. And their behaviour, modest, timid and silent. The food, bland heavily featuring eggs and stolen butter. All that said pancakes to me and the group cheerfully acquiesced.
I’d never been to My Old Dutch Pancake House before but it was heaving at 7pm on a Thursday night. We were quickly seated at the back, it’s almost as if they knew, and hungrily perused the menu. So many options, including their special Roald Dahl calorie-laden dessert pancakes. No doubt in Atwood’s Gilead, those would have been seen as an outrageous form of excess. Just one for the table then, Margie.
I was most excited to see the Dutch classic bitterballen on the menu and also kaasballen and demanded we order a round. When the revolution comes, I’ll be first against the wall, no doubt.
The kaasballen were a resounding hit across the table. But really when are deep fried balls of mozzarella, cheese and onion not a hit? So good, we ordered another round.
The bitterballen were not quite as popular. Bitterballen are Dutch meatballs served with mustard but probably not the consistency our group was expecting. Even though the Dutch swear by them and would erect statues to immortalise them, our book club members were not such fans.
But onto the main event, the pancakes. With so many choices, I just went for something basic: ham, cheese and pineapple. Do you think there will be pineapple and cheese after the revolution? I hope so.
The pancakes are huge but for £8 – 12 price range, you expect them to be. They were fine, nothing spectacular, bit like eating a skinny pizza. Other members of the table said theirs were rather bland, which is ironically perfect for our book chat.
Considering women are forbidden to read in the book, we exercised our freedom thoroughly and conversation raged thick and fast and fairly loud. I’m surprised we weren’t booted out by some of the looks from the other tables. But, in my opinion, My Old Dutch isn’t the place for a date or quiet conversation. It feels like somewhere you bring your kids.
Which isn’t surprising considering the special menu they are offering at the moment, My Willy Wonka. You can choose from a range of Roald Dahl inspired pancakes heaped with candy, ice cream and sauces. At £15.95 per pancake, you expect big things.
We decided to share the ‘Miss Trunchbull’s Treat’. Unlike all the other pancakes on the menu, this is a stack of American style pancakes and not crepes and it was covered in chocolate candies, Cadburys mini rolls, ice cream and chocolate sauce.
I was terribly disappointed with this and only had one bite. It looked a mess and tasted worse. The chocolate toppings, which should have been the high point, just tasted like cheap pound shop candy and it wasn’t appetising at all. Everything was overly sweet and utterly forgettable. Save your money.
We wrapped up our meal and paid the bill, with 7 people it came to about £30 each including 1 beer. That seems rather expensive to me for what was not particularly good food. I know other members of the group are fond of their Monday Madness special with pancakes costing only £5.25, so if you are interested in checking it out, go on a Monday!
You can find My Old Dutch Pancake House at:
131-132 High Holborn