At a party, we’re having dinner and talking about what we enjoy eating for breakfast. One of my companions waxes rhapsodic about the pancakes at Malcolm’s Deli. “They’re thick and fluffy,” she croons, then – lifting up her (now-empty) dinner plate – adds, “And they’re this big.”
That was stimulus enough for me. As you might know, breakfast is my most beloved meal of the day and weekends are a time when it becomes extra special. Pancakes are a particular favorite for me probably because they remind me of cake. I also adore pancakes because I never knew that there were so many ways to eat them. I enjoy the pancake sandwich at Pancake House and I make a mean oven pancake. Of course, plain pancakes are anything but, especially when they’re hit with a shimmering stream of syrup, maple, but most often, otherwise.
At Malcolm’s, they call their pancakes hotcakes, and you can get the eponymous Malcolm’s Stack (3 hotcakes, P280) or the Mini Stack (2 hotcakes, P230). I order the former and they are indeed, as my dinner companion mentioned, as large as a dinner – er, breakfast – plate. As promised on the menu, the pancakes come with their requisite partners of syrup and butter, but the butter is a cold block so I need to make do with butter bits as opposed to spreading it evenly. This is not ideal but it’s not bothersome either.
My first thought upon first bite is how delicious powdered sugar is on pancakes. Yes, I know I’ve smeared it with syrup already but the sugar shaken on the pancakes prior to serving isn’t just aesthetically pretty, it adds a varying component of sweetness. Very nice. The pancakes themselves are some of the best of their kind: golden-brown and glowing with a crumb that almost falls in on itself, it’s so soft but still firm enough to stand up to syrup and the prodding of a fork.
One thing I must say however is that these pancakes may suffer from too much baking soda. Some bites yield a sudden and unpleasant metallic tang, an indicator of an excess of this leavener, as indicated also by the very large holes on the pancakes’ surface. Baking soda is used to “lift” and lighten batters, making them tender, and is responsible for their nice golden color. This is not to say that these pancakes are inedible, heck, I’ll recommend them to anyone; this is just a slight hitch is all, and on the day I visit, someone in the kitchen might’ve been off with their measurements.
If you’re not a pancake person like I am, there are plenty of other options (P300/set) such as the eggs done your way paired with sides of bacon or a whole lot of Wagyu in links, tapa, or corned beef. What you see in the photo above is the Wagyu Corned Beef set. It reminds me of a classier version of the tapa in Tapsi ni Vivian, as it’s very tender and robustly beefy.
Malcolm’s also has omelets, French toast, healthier options like smoothies and oatmeal, and five – count ‘em, five – kinds of eggs Benedict (all P300) on its menu. Like any breakfast fanatic, eggs Ben is a benchmark for any breakfast place worth its eggs. Though I consider the variants with Wagyu corned beef (Irish eggs Ben), the one with mushrooms and sautéed beef (Malcolm’s eggs Ben), etc., I decide to stick to their version of the Classic with Canadian bacon, spinach, and onion. The eggs aren’t poached as skillfully as their counterparts at say, Apt. 1B – stringy edges, thisclose to overcooked, and the hollandaise sauce is a tad watery, but it’s all an honest effort and I appreciate that. The memorable thing about Malcolm’s eggs Ben is the ingenious addition of sautéed shallots. It cuts through the creaminess and cloy of eggs and sauce, clearing the palate for more.
Hmm, I’ve just gotten a text message that the pancakes at Charlie’s Grind & Grill are “… heavy but lovely and buttermilk-tangy.” Guess I’ll be having those soon.
Fairways Tower (same strip as Ristras and Joey Pepperoni)
Fort Bonifacio Global City
5th Avenue corner McKinley
Breakfast available from Monday-Friday, 7am-11am.
On Saturday and Sunday, breakfast is served all day (and night!) from 7am-11pm.