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  • Lisa Martus


Pancake restaurants have been a staple of the breakfast and brunch scene for decades, and for good reason. Pancakes are loved by many as a versatile sweet treat which can be made in a variety of flavors and styles to suit any taste. Whether you prefer the original pancake with cinnamon, sugar and a twist of lemon or savory pancakes with spinach and feta or mince fillings, there is a pancake option for everyone. But first and foremost, pancakes are a classic comfort food - they are warm, fluffy, and make you think nostalgically of a warm kitchen on a rainy Sunday spending time with your family. Many pancake restaurants also have a cosy, homey feel with decor that evokes memories of those childhood breakfasts.

The Pancake House on the doorstep of Haenertsburg is an iconic restaurant in the Magoebaskloof area, conveniently situated on the R71 between Polokwane and the lowveld, attracting international tourists en route to the Kruger National Park as well as regulars from the surrounding towns. Built in 1995 by the Schoemans who owned Steven’s Lumber Mills, this log cabin building has become a landmark for travellers along Route-71 and many plan their trip to include breakfast at The Pancake House. Wim Van Zyl and Beyers Malan moved to Haenertsburg in October 2020 from Pretoria having sold their business, Josephine’s Tea Room in anticipation of semi-retirement after having been involved in the hospitality industry for over 30 years. They owned a guesthouse in Waterkloof as well as a coffee shop but were also two of the founding members of Hazelwood Food Market many years ago.

Their retirement was put on hold when they were approached to open a restaurant in the current premises and opened their doors on the 1st of December 2020. ‘At the time, there was no other place in The Village selling sweet stuff like waffles and pancakes,’ says co-owner, Wim Van Zyl, ‘so that was our inspiration to go back to the sentiment of the past and we loved the character of this building which had been around for 38 years.’ Wim and Beyers have brought their years in the hospitality industry and combined talents to the business, priding themselves on providing a great customer experience based on good food, coffee and efficient service.

Like pancake restaurants across the globe, this restaurant has a curated menu that features not only pancakes but also other breakfast favorites from ‘hearty’ to ‘healthy’ as well as omelettes, waffles, divine cakes, flapjacks with maple syrup and Shakshuka … a North African and Middle Eastern meal of poached eggs served in a simmering tomato and bell pepper sauce with spices’ and toasted flat bread produced in their kitchen. Of course pancakes remain the stars of the show - the ‘Chocoholic’ filled with Nutella spread and served with cream or ice cream is a best seller.

This variety appeals to families and groups with different tastes and preferences who want a hearty breakfast or a quick-and-easy option without breaking the bank. The Pancake House is also well-known for their ‘bonbon coffee’ which looks as good as it tastes - they use their own unique brand of coffee blended especially for them. Enjoy these treats on the deck outside or next to the cosy fireplace on a cold and misty day.

Wim and Beyers love living on ‘The Mountain’ because of their closeness to nature, the easy lifestyle and fantastic community. They are enthusiastic proponents of the variety of activities in the area, recommending hikes to Debengeni Waterfalls with Sandi of The Mountain Company; a walk up to the Haenertsburg graveyard or any of the other trails which allow visitors to enjoy the scenery and the beauty of the mountains and nature in the surrounds. It is no surprise then that The Pancake House has a good reputation on many of the Chat groups for Kruger Park travellers where there are positive reviews for the great menu, good value, lovely views and professional service as well as the attention from the owners. Wim says that he ‘would like future generations to drive past here like I did when I was younger and stop here and enjoy something delicious to eat. I would like The Pancake House to become one of the top tourist attractions in Haenertsburg.’

The Pancake House in Haenertsburg has gained popularity for their unique menu offerings, quality of food, friendly staff, cosy atmosphere, location, and affordability and of course, the delicious pancakes, so whether you are travelling along the R71 or spending the weekend in Magoebaskloof, stop in and check it out for yourself. They are open from Tuesday to Sunday. For more information or to check availability, connect with them on 083 444 5835 | and follow them on Facebook.

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