For as long as I can remember the My Old Dutch Pancake House has been a fixture in High Holborn (132 High Holborn to be precise), but up until this weekend I had never ventured inside the place. I fancied trying somewhere different, but economic on Saturday night when Mab remembered that she used to eat here when she was an impoverished student at the Middlesex Hospital.
So after a few drinks at the Holborn Whippet (a marvelous little boozer in Sicilian Avenue serving craft beers like Adnams Oyester Stout) we decamped to the rustic Dutch splendour of My Old Dutch. The place was absolutely stuffed (mostly with students from London University and UCL, but with a good few tourists as well) so it was just as well that we had made a reservation. The restaurant is on two levels and our table was on the ‘quiet’ ground floor. Downstairs was a bit more rowdy with a bunch of Irish lads celebrating st Patrick’s Day.
We started off with a Dutch sharing platter for two.
This came with six bitteballen (Dutch meatballs), two slabs of deep-fried cheese, a selection of Edam and gouda cheese and some twists of smoked salmon accompanied with a sour cream and a mustard dip. This high cholesterol treat slipped down a treat even if I did burn the inside of my mouth with a hasty bite of thermonuclear bitteballen. For anyone expecting the mustard dip to be a bland continental affair, think again it’s made with English mustard so expect a bit of a kick.
Then the pancakes arrived.
They arrived on massive Delft plates covering them right up to the rim. They looked a bit like pizzas’ only they were on a Dutch pancake rather than a bread base. I had the Hot Dutch,
a wonderful confection of pepperoni, chorizo, cheese, red chili and tomato. Hot and spicy it reminded me of the Vesuvio pizza that I had enjoyed so much at the El Toro Steakhouse in Salou only with a pancake base that contrary to what I had feared worked really well. I also sample Mab’s ‘build your own’ pancake with chicken, spinach, cheese and chili which was quite nice too. Much to my surprise although the pancake base looks very insubstantial by the time we had munched our way through the main course we were too stuffed to even contemplate a sweet one for dessert!
My Old Dutch has only a very limited wine list, but it does have a good selection of Belgian Beers including Fruli strawberry ale and the draft Heineken at £3.40 a pint is cheaper than most nearby pubs.
So what’s the damage? We paid £97.76 for four people with starters, mains, a potato wedge side, a bottle of Cabernet, two pints and Malteasers shake (just imagine slamming Malteasers in a blender with some ice cream) . Price includes optional service charge.
Would we go back? Yes it has a good ambience, it’s not that expensive and there are lots more things on the menu that I fancy trying. They also do a loyalty card – buy nine pancakes the next one is free!
There are also branches of My Old Dutch at Kensington and Chelsea.