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Deja Vu, Prestatyn; TASTE TEST.

THE modest pancake has been making lemon and sugar look good for years, but in more recent times, restaurants have used this adaptable wrap to enfold all sorts of delicious things.

Evidence suggests that our prehistoric ancestors enjoyed tucking into these sweet creations many moons ago. Old grinding stones were used to make flour, which were mixed with water and baked on a hot rock or stone.

As you would expect, pancakes are slightly more sophisticated these days, and whether you're a sweet or savoury kind of person, there are so many styles and ways to enjoy pancakes, which make them so yummy.

I always look forward to Shrove Tuesday but why limit something you really enjoy to just one day a year? This is the reason that we find ourselves in the unlikely setting of Prestatyn, reviewing a French pancake house. Deja Vu is a small independent creperie, serving French crepes and galettes on the high street.

We smell fresh croissants as we enter the premises and take one of the intimate seating areas near the back of the tearoom. It is stylishly decorated, and makes you feel like you are sitting in a cafe in Paris not Prestatyn. The tables are covered in French style black and white cheque tablecloths underneath a parquet floor.

You can people watch through the old floor to ceiling windows, which take in the bustling high street, with background French themed music that completes the Parisian atmosphere.

It won't surprise you that the menu has a fantastic choice of crepes and gallettes (savoury pancakes for the uninitiated) but you can also start with almond croissants or French toast with maple syrup if you want to live dangerously re your waistline.

However, can you ever have enough pancakes in life, especially as it is such a versatile food that you can enjoy for breakfast, lunch, tea or supper? The greedy plan was for a savoury one for mains with a sweet one for pudding so the health conscious should look away now. We even start proceedings with a sugar tooth aching chocolate milkshake with whipped cream on top with a classic red and white straw plopped in the middle.

My wife sips from an equally calorie-filled hot chocolate stuffed up to the top with marshmallows that leaves her with a chocolate moustache that made her look a bit like the stereotypical Frenchman! If only she had a beret and a striped shirt, eh.

The cafe owner actually makes the pancakes fresh right in front of you on the service bar area. They come out one by one so you may not get your crepes at the same time so a little patience may be needed if busy, but it's well worth the wait.

who must have been fairly new as the owner had to instruct them as they took their eye off the service at various points, however they were all very pleasant and hard working.

I choose the La Mediterranean for my main, which was a veggie med style pancake with roasted peppers, basil, pesto, feta cheese and olives. It sounds like it should not work of course but I can tell you now it does. It is made from buckwheat flour that is gluten free, and the pancakes are griddled with a smidge of butter so fairly healthy for a pancake.

After much deliberation my wife opts for La Poisson, which was a crepe filled with smoked salmon and sprinkled with rocket, lemon, capers and creme fraiche. It had a fancy dressing of balsamic vinegar over the top to give it a modern and sharp presentation. The pancakes are folded French style to make a casing for the goodies inside.

We were of course fairly full at thi t b t hit this stage but who can resist a sweet French pancake for afters? Not me, so we decide to share the sweet pancake for pudding but struggle to agree on which one due to the choice. We end up ordering a delicious Nutella and Malteser pancake served thoughtfully on two plates instead of a sharing dish, a very nice touch indeed.

Fluffy crepes smothered with warm, melted hazelnut chocolate with broken biscuit chocolate and a scoop of ice cream is as good as it gets and was the highlight of the already scrumptious lunch. I wonder if there is a de fib machine close by just in case as I wobble to the counter to pay my dues. You may scoff about the humble pancake as a taste test, but more than 20 million pancakes are eaten globally every day. I actually had a bit of deja vu as we were reminded of crepes that tasted as good as any we have eaten in France. Ooh la la, crepes indeed.

MARK WILLIAMS
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Publication:Daily Post (Conwy, Wales)
Date:May 11, 2019
Words:801
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