Have heard of The Pantree when they were still at CT Hub 2 quite a number of years ago and was actually really skeptical about the raving reviews that they were getting; still weren’t too convinced to head down when they had first relocated to Marina One in 2016 thinking it is overhyped Min Jjang Kueh. That being said, now that I am usually in this area, I did find myself curious to give them a go; the thought of having a savoury variant of the Min Jjang Kueh was pretty tempting on a day where I was looking for something light. Being a modern iteration of a typical Min Jjang Kueh stall, The Pantree not only serves up classic variants such as the Peanut Pancake and the Kaya Pancake, but also more inventive ones such as the Cookie Butter (Speculoos) variant and the Floss, Luncheon Meat, Cheese and Egg one as well. For folks looking for a more substantial eat, The Pantree also does serve up Curry Chicken, while the list of beverages here largely includes coffee.

We weren’t expecting much out of the Luncheon Meat, Cheese and Egg Pancake and Kaya Pancake which we had ordered — I mean, how different can Min Jjang Kueh be? That being said, we were impressed when we took our first bite into the pancakes; for one, the pancakes here are absolutely crisp — those looking for a Min Jiang Kueh that comes with shattering crisp edges should look no further. It is also little wonder how the pancakes here are so widely raved despite it being priced at a premium compared to others that are typically sold in coffeeshops and hawker centres; as one chews further into the pancake, the pancake does come with a substantial bite where the batter is of concern — it is also especially buttery, but not to the point that it becomes overly flavourful, greasy nor too dense. The Luncheon Meat, Cheese and Egg Pancake was like a sandwich in Min Jiang Kueh form — they are pretty reasonable with the portion of ingredients that go into each pancake. No doubt we did had the issue where the luncheon meat slides around the pancake as we are chewing through the pancake which can potentially make it a little bit of a messy experience, but the addition of cheese does create that classic umami flavour profile that one would get with melted sliced cheese in between their Min Jiang Kueh — the saltish notes of the luncheon meat being just about right here, while the egg brings all the elements together. Something which we found to be pretty suitable as a grab-and-go for breakfast or tea-break, or even just for light lunch.

Having finally tried the pancakes at The Pantree, we were pretty impressed — no doubt it does come at a price point slightly steeper than that of other similar stalls that we often find in the neighbourhoods, but the hype is real with this one; The Pantree is indeed an establishment that serves up artisanal local pancakes with pride and passion. It is also evidently so when you see the folks behind the counter in action — they seemed to have mastered the craft of doing so and in great precision; from preparing the batter to the way they top the fillings and to leave the pancakes to air on a rack with a fan to cool them down. It is that sort of place that we were initially having our doubts on, but definitely somewhere that we will be heading to just to grab a light bite just nearby now that we have finally tried them — a tale on how one should never judge a book by its cover!