I LOVE pancakes.
I don’t have them often, but every few months I get a hankering for some good old-fashioned pancakes.
I like them fluffy and gooey on the inside and golden on the outside. A small traditional stack of three pancakes is perfection in my mind’s eye.
And in terms of accompaniments; I don’t want anything fancy, just maple syrup and butter is pure perfection. I’m also partial to lemon and sugar on said stack of pancakes but generally, maple syrup is where it’s at.
The challenge I have is that really good traditional pancakes are hard to find! And I know because I’ve tried and been disappointed on multiple occasions.
And so, a couple of months ago, we took to Google to see where Sydney’s highest-ranked pancakes were, and one place dominated the reviews and recommendations: Happyfield at Haberfield. And so we locked in a date, and off we went.
The reviews were 100% correct! I believe these are the best pancakes in all of Sydney. They were fluffy, gooey, golden, and simply delicious – everything I had imagined.
But what I had not imagined was how cracking the overall experience was. There’s no resting on your pancake laurels at Happyfield, let me tell you!
You can’t make a booking, so you register your name and number with the incredibly warm and personable host, who I later found out to be one of the owners, @Chris. When we arrived on a Sunday morning, there were at least 10 groups of people waiting happily for their table. About 10 minutes after registering, Chris called, and we got seated by a window, and I could not get over how good the branding and fit-out were. No detail was left unaccounted for; everything was joyful, fun, yellow, and consistent.
Our waitress was friendly, personable, and, of course, happy! She was super helpful when we were making our ordering decisions, and I think because we were soaking in the happy vibes, we ordered a chocolate malt milkshake instead of coffee, which is basically unheard of. Everyone else’s food coming out of the kitchen looked AMAZING! I would say the pancakes were not even the most popular dish on the menu; everything came out of the kitchen looking like an Instagram post.
Did I mention the pancakes are the best in Sydney?
We ended up having a fat chat with our waitress, where she told us how much she loves working here and that the owners were both lovely and very involved; one works the door and the other is in the kitchen. Thinking this place had to be an institution for at least 20 years, I was shocked to learn that it only opened in 2020!
This thriving business has only been open for three years, and can you imagine what they went through after they just started a café and COVID hits immediately?
But they are thriving because they are focused on doing all those small things exceptionally well. The food is exceptional. Every staff member is exceptionally friendly. The branding is exceptional.
After we wrapped up, I couldn’t help myself. I went up to Chris, the owner who had initially greeted and seated us, and I told him how amazing our experience was and how happy I was for them that their business was thriving. He was humble while we chatted, and he told me that after 18 months of pain with a tough DA process, they finally opened the extension that we had dined in just last month, so it was helping to meet the demand.
As we stood there chatting, there were probably more than a dozen groups waiting happily for their tables. And everyone happily waits because this place is exceptional.
I love seeing businesses like this thrive! And I love supporting deserving businesses like this kill it – Jesse and Chris you deserve every bit of success that comes your way.
If you care enough to be dedicated to being exceptional, you will experience exceptional results. Happyfield is a brilliant example of this in action.
If you want to see a hospitality business that has mastered service (and have an amazing meal while you’re at it), do yourself a favour and book some time in your diary to head to Happyfield at Haberfield.
Now onto scheduling in my next pancake visit….
Nic McClanachan, October 2023