Before heading to Sydney, I kept getting recommendations from friends to visit Pancakes on the Rocks, one of Sydney’s most famous all-day “brunch” destinations for every kind of pancake (American-style). This place has such an extensive pancake menu that will pander to your wildest fluffy pancake dreams. Not only does it serve pancakes all-day, but it never ever closes. Yes, open 24-7. Imagine that! Now imagine that… in Australia, the land of where nothing opens that late everyday and food options get crazy limited the later it gets.
There are plenty of Pancakes on the Rocks outlets all over Sydney, so it’s pretty much a mini-McDonald’s of the pancake world. We visited the one near Sydney Harbour, at The Rocks, early on our first morning in Sydney for brunch, mainly out of convenience, as we had a day planned out ahead around the area.
Pancake on the Rocks is in one of the nice little shop houses at “The Rocks”. I’ve heard the stories, I did my research and I was braced for a queue. Indeed there was one, even though it was pretty early in the morning when we reached.
I was crossing fingers because I HATE queuing for food. I find it ridiculous to make yourself ravenously hungry before a meal just from lusting for a seat inside. With that kind of situation, you either end up incredibly satisfied (regardless of whether food quality was good or plain sucked) or so unhappy at the other extreme end (because you’re just too damn hungry and your hunger is almost all gone after two bites of whatever you waited so long for).
Thankfully, it wasn’t like a snaking queue. It must have taken us about ten minutes or so to get seated, but that wasn’t too bad.
The buttermilk pancake selection is madness. Savoury or sweet, with whipped cream and fruits or with scrambled eggs and breakfast sausages, it’s pretty much pancakes done in any way possible.
It’s not a cheap affair to dine out in Australia and Pancakes on the Rocks is no exception. Each dish is around AUD10 – 15 and we went when the Australian Dollar was very strong against the Sing Dollar. I guess things should have come down a fair bit by now. Also, tax is already included in the price stated on the menu and the servings were humongous (as expected). Two pancakes per menu item that came in a nice hefty size could have easily filled up two people. I am not a dainty eater and I had a real challenge wolfing down everything on my plate.
Freman is a caffeine junkie and the first thing he ordered was a Cappuccino (AUD3.50) and like most of the coffee we had on the trip, it was really not bad. (His words, not mine.)
The Pancakes ‘N Sausage (AUD13.95) makes for a rather heavy breakfast. There’s an egg of your choice, two greasy delicious sausages, two of their renowned gorgeous browned buttermilk pancakes and topped with airy whipped butter.
I have no recollection why we ended up with the exact same item on the menu just with eggs done differently. I had mine scrambled while Freman got a sunny side-up with some grilled tomatoes on the side. (Really, did we have to take the same Pancakes ‘N Sausage?)
Their pancakes are not very thick, but the texture is excellent being nice and fluffy. I like my food savoury (especially with that much “non-dessert” stuff on one giant plate), so I didn’t quite get why maple syrup was served as well, but it makes for fabulous photos.
Ooh sugary stream of maple syrup and butter. God save my waistline! Sydney (and my own greed) definitely made me gain so many pounds! I think I’m still dealing with the damage and paying for my sins now with my high visceral fat and body fat percentage, but no regrets.
If you’re not too into the whole pancake craze, you’ll find crepes, pizzas and even salads (really now, salads?) on the menu for variety but man, they are famous for the pancakes, so you should really let yourself go here.
Service was pretty decent. There’s really divergent feedback online about the service here, but when we were there staff were polite and accommodating. Of course it wasn’t going to be super fast because there were quite alot of customers dining in the two-storey restaurant when we were there, but it was alright.
Since eating brunch and pancakes in Sydney, life is no longer the same. I hear you feel the same way after having sashimi in Japan, but well, that’s one life-changing experience I’ve yet to have. Anyhow, you gotta give this place a shot if you’re planning a trip to Sydney, Australia.
Pancakes on the Rocks
4 Hickson Road, The Rocks, NSW2000
Open 24 hours, 7 days a week.