The Pantree is a playful portmanteau of the words ‘pancake’ and ‘tree’, in hopes for its Min Jiang Kueh (面煎糕) to grow and flourish. Also, a word play on “pantry” for professionals working in the various offices above and nearby to come by for a mid-day snack when they are feeling peckish.
Located at CT Hub 2, the humble shop boasts a total of 17 variations of pancakes on its menu, and an assortment of hot and cold beverages to have alongside. This means that there’s a new flavour to try every day!
Unlike traditional Min Jiang Kueh sold in markets or hawker centres that are pre-made in a large amount beforehand, each pancake at The Pantree is made upon ordering, so that it’s served hot and fresh.
The home-made, pearly-white batter is spread evenly on the griddle to achieve its extremely thin and crispy shell, while retaining a good amount of chewiness from the kueh. Sugar is then sprinkled over to sweeten the batter’s taste. A twist on the traditional snack that will cater to the younger generation.
Chicken Floss ($3), Peanut ($1.80)
You can choose from three different options on the menu: classic, sweet or savoury. The flavours range from the more traditional peanut to local favourites like chicken floss and many others.
Both flavours brought back childhood memories, especially growing up having pork floss with porridge for lunch, and peanut pancakes as snacks when the older ones at home crowd around the table for afternoon tea.
If you’re looking for a heartier option or a fuss-free lunch replacement, the Luncheon Meat & Cheese ($3) would be a great flavour to grab-and-go. It is generously packed with an entire slice of Kraft singles cheese, two slices of luncheon meat and you can add an egg for a more filling meal.
The melted cheese and luncheon meat welded together harmoniously, almost like having a sandwich with the bread replaced by a pancake. The crunch from the pancake, and soft interior created different textures in one bite.
For something sweet, the Nutella & Peanut ($3.20) will satisfy your warm, chocolatey cravings. Top that with chunky ground peanuts and you’ll get a mouthful of crunchy delight.
I personally preferred having the Nutella ($2.80) pancake alone, and played with the idea of adding in cheese for a savoury, creamier texture. It’ll be a decadent snack at best.
Moving on to the classic section, the Peanut & Corn ($2.20) tasted the lightest and did not overpower the taste of the pancake batter.
It was buttery, sweet and crunchy from the sweet corn, making it one of my favourites on the menu.
I was pleasantly surprised and excited when Victor, the owner, told us that there will be two new items on the menu this Christmas. To kickstart the festivities, the Speculoos ($3) and Turkey ham ($2.80) will be available from 26 November 2016.
Coffee lovers will be glad to have a local spin of their favourite cookie in the form of a spread for the Speculoos ($3). The strong cinnamon taste with bits of cookie crumble within tasted very much like something you would have on a cold winter day.
Sadly, the turkey ham had not yet arrived on the day we visited — customers can look forward to ordering it with egg, cheese, or both.
If you’re in need of a snack that’s lovingly handmade, head on down to The Pantree to savour these pancakes. It’s not mentioned that you can mix and match the different ingredients together, but you may request to customise your very own pancake.
We were told that the most insane creation to date was when a customer wanted every ingredient on the menu to be packed into one. Victor and his wife yielded and eventually made it in two portions so that the batter could hold in all that monstrosity. Please don’t do that though, you’ll hold up the production line.
A relocation is in the pipeline for The Pantree, as Victor is planning on moving when he finds another suitable location. Do keep a lookout on its Facebook page for more details.
Expected damage: $2.80 – $3.50