The Diner – Carnaby Street

It might be the food critic in me but there are times when I feel that the London food scene is less than mediocre. I know that makes me sound so ungrateful for all the yum food I share wth you all.. don’t get me wrong, I’m definitely not! I guess it all started when I was in Dubai (as most of my stories start) and tried red velvet pancakes for the first time at Cocoa Room and I was sold! But it made me wonder why I’d never had or seen or heard of the concept of red velvet pancakes in London. I mean, I could probably make them at home (that’s a lie.. probably not tbh!) so why can’t all these amazing restaurants that serve brunch after brunch serve them too. What is it about Dubai that London can’t offer.. after all, we do fine dining better than anyone else!
So off I went on a hunt… I finally found some at The Diner in Carnaby Street, although they do have other locations too. It’s not halal but that was okay I was only there for the pancakes!

Luckily it was that rare ocassion in London where there was some sunshine and we were lucky enough to be seated outside straight away… good thing as well because the inside had really bad lighting! (#foodographyproblems)
Service wasn’t great as all we ordered were the pancakes and took over 30 mins to arrive. Still we waited (rather impatiently but in my defence I had waited 6 months for this!) out came the pancakes and my heart skipped a beat at all the red! (enter heart in eyes emoji). They looked so beautiful (although I’d like to take some credit with my #foodography skills)… but all I could see was jam (jam and I aren’t great friends!)

After the initial excitement was over.. the pancakes themselves were rather dry, and didn’t really taste of red velvet. 3 layers of pancakes, in between each layer was jam… a lot of strawberry jam! The jam really took over any little taste that the pancakes had.
The pancakes came with a drizzle of cream cheese flavouring and a side of maple syrup… the cream cheese sauce was spot on… of course red velvet is incomplete without cream cheese but it just wasn’t enough. The maple syrup was my last resort to redeem these pancakes. Unfortunately the maple syrup didn’t really make for a great combo with the cream cheese sauce, jam and pancakes. I would have loved to see less of the jam and much more of the cream cheese…Sigh!
All in all, I was left a little (a lot) more than disappointed. Maybe my expectations were a little high (thanks to Cocoa Room) but for the first time in a very long time, the food critic in me was left feeling like London had failed me. (Over dramatic maybe but it was genuinely a sad feeling).
Although look at those pancakes, they’re thick, chunky and blood red just as they should be…

So, the quest for red velvet pancakes in London continues! Is there anyone out there that can redeem my love for the London red velvet pancake scene??? #tobecontinued

Food – 4 out of 10 
Service – 4 out of 10
Atmosphere – 6 out of 10 
Experience – 4 out of 10

Overall, giving The DIner – Carnaby Street a total TLH score of 4 out of 10.

Address: 18 Ganton Street, London W1F 7BU
Closest Station: Oxford Circus (Central, Bakerloo and Victoria line)

Have you guys have any red velevet pancakes in London? Get in touch, I’d love to hear from you!

Lots of love,

TLH xx


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