Make and design your own pancakes

PLAY WITH YOUR FOOD: The writer designs his own pancake at Nook: House of Pancakes, a DIY pancake store that lets customers make and customise their own pancakes.
Make and design your own pancakes

EDIBLE ART: A Nook staff member designs a pancake inspired by a character from the movie Despicable Me.


    Jun 27, 2013

    Make and design your own pancakes

    OUR parents may often have told us off for playing with our food but, at this pancake house, if you don't play with it, you won't get to eat it.

    Nook: House of Pancakes is one of the latest eateries that operates on a do-it-yourself (DIY) concept, where customers make and customise their own pancakes.

    A hotplate is placed on each table for customers to spread the pancake batter of their choice - original, chocolate, pandan, strawberry and banana - in whatever design they want and with toppings.

    Customers who do not wish to make their own pancakes can order chef-prepared pancakes and other dishes.

    Given that I did not have much experience in cooking, I would seem to be the ideal customer to prove just how easy DIY pancakes are to make.

    In all honesty, I did not have as many problems with the cooking as I did with the design of the pancakes - I could not come up with one.

    I ended up making three pancakes: A smiley face that ended up looking like the Joker from Batman, a car and a fish.

    My failures aside, the real fun is in the making of the pancakes and not the end products per se.

    When My Paper visited the cafe at 21 Lorong Kilat, it was clear that owner Dawn Lim, 24, cares about creating a unique identity for Nook.

    The former air stewardess initially wanted to start a cafe serving all-day breakfast. However, the saturated scene prompted her to come up with a unique business idea.

    The thought of using pancake art as the basis for her restaurant came to her as she was browsing through Google.

    While she may have hit a creative jackpot, making a profit was a struggle - for the first two months, at least. Ms Lim said she felt like giving up after the first month in operation last August.

    "We did not make enough to cover the rent. I used all my capital for the shop. I had no reserve capital," she said.

    On the third month, Ms Lim came up with the idea of a pancake buffet. Costing $10 per person, customers get a free flow of pancakes and selected toppings including cheddar cheese and Oreo chunks.

    What began as a promotion on the cafe's Facebook page soon got over 2,000 likes.

    "Overnight, the word spread and people came to know about the promotion. The very next day, we had a full house," said Ms Lim.

    Indeed, the cafe was filled with mostly young people when I visited. According to Ms Lim, the cafe is popular with families and students, and is usually packed on weekends.

    Expansion of the business is in the works for Ms Lim, who said that she is entertaining a few franchise offers.

    When asked if she has any advice for budding entrepreneurs, she said: "I would advise them to start from scratch. Gaining experience is important because this business is so risky."

    Nook: House of Pancakes

    21 Lorong Kilat, #01-03

    Opening hours: Tuesday-Friday, 12pm-10pm

    Saturday-Sunday, 10am-10pm

    Tel: 6466-1811