Metro Recommends: Korean No. 1 Pancake

The No. 1 Korean pancakes in Auckland, no contest. Photo: Rebekah Robinson


Metro Recommends is a regular recommendation of food we love, whether it's an unsung hero we want to share with the world, or a crowd favourite we can't help but sing the praises of.

While walking down to No.1 Pancake on Lorne St in the CBD, I got distracted listening to Fiona Apple too loud and nearly changed course to The Fed to get a chicky sam before remembering why I was going to get lunch in the first place.

This momentary lapse was nothing to do with the allure of No. 1 Pancake and everything to do with the fact it was raining and the Fed is much closer to my office, but a nice savoury pancake was probably better for a drizzly day anyway because the only thing hotter than the centre of a No.1 pancake is the surface of the sun, probably. It doesn’t matter how many times I get a No. 1 pancake, I ALWAYS burn my tongue on it, like one of the dumber rats scientists have done experiments on, who don’t learn from touching the electric button or whatever. Given most of my experiences of consuming these ‘cakes has been with half my taste buds burned to shit it’s pretty impressive how much flavour I’m still able to appreciate. Greasy and salty with hot (scalding) gooey cheese and a golden crispy exterior, every pancake is truly *chef kissy fingers*.

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To clarify, these Korean pancakes are not the kind you put maple syrup on. They’re more like a fried roti, stuffed with beef and cheese, or potato and cheese, or cheese and cheese - you get the idea. My go-to is chicken and cheese. There’s also a range of sweet, mainly red bean-based options, which are yum but less of an amazing $5 lunch deal. That’s right, these bad boys are only $5 each but you need to get in quick because as of July 1 the proprietors are putting the price up to $6, a decision they have clearly not made lightly.

Chicken and cheese. Photo: Tess Nichol

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Currently stapled to the outside of the little hole in the wall (bring a brolly if it’s raining because you’ll have to wait on the street for your order) is a long explanation about the price increase, along with an illustrative table showing the percentage breakdown of the rising cost of ingredients and fuel since May 2017. “We don’t have to tell you almost everything has been getting more expensive over the last couple of years,” the note begins. “We’ve all been feeling it. From refuelling cars to paying rent. However a recent hike in egg prices have really pushed us over the limit.” It ends: “Please don’t hesitate to have a chat with us if you have any questions or comments” and thanks customers for 15 years of love.

Mainly I think the idea of mum and dad business owners is a vote-grabbing scam (Jeff Bezos is a dad too you know) but reading this apologetic, extremely sweet note I felt I would vote two ticks blue for sure if Simon Bridges campaigned entirely on making sure the No. 1 Pancake family could live in comfort and happiness forever. Your move, National.

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