Wednesday 25 April 2018

Pancake Brunch at Crab & Waltzer, Whitley Bay

As regular visitors to Di Meos (our ultimate ice cream obsession) we noticed as soon as Crab & Waltzer popped up opposite the ice-cream shop on Whitley Bay seafront. The beautiful outside seating area and the promise of pancakes made us want to plan a visit as soon as possible for brunch by the seaside.

Unfortunately since their opening Crab & Waltzer have had pretty mixed reviews, negative comments on their Facebook page and only a 36% excellent rating on Trip Advisor with many complaining about poor service, expensive dishes and average food. We're not the kind of people that pay too much attention to Trip Advisor so when we had friends visiting over the weekend we made a pancake plan and headed to Crab & Waltzer, our fingers tightly crossed that we would have a great experience.

I love the idea of Crab & Waltzer. It is ideally located opposite the soon to be opened Spanish City (so excited!), has a good amount of tables and the interior is perfect for its seaside location. Little colourful beach huts sit in the children's play area (the restaurant is very kid friendly), some of the seating is in waltzers (love it!) and the place is decked out in colourful lights and fairground inspired signs.

Pancake Brunch at Crab & Waltzer, Whitley Bay
It was busy when we arrived with a lot of tables already taken, a handful of children running about and a group of about 10 as part of a 60th birthday group. The place had a lovely buzzy atmosphere and we were greeted with friendly smiles and quickly grabbed ourselves a table by the window for a spot of people watching.

Ordering coffees all round we took a while to peruse the menu. The choices for brunch are really good, especially the pancake menu which had me picking out three and struggling to choose between them. We all changed our minds a few times before putting in our order and settling down for a chat over our coffees.

Around 30 minutes later a very lovely and apologetic waitress came over and confessed that the restaurant was pretty busy and that there would be a wait for our food. She offered us complimentary coffees while we waited which we really appreciated. I'd definitely always prefer that restaurants were up front with customers if there's going to be a wait and as we weren't in any hurry the news didn't really bother us.

Pancake Menu at Crab & Waltzer, Whitley Bay

Second cups of coffee drained and we began to realise that when they had said there'd be a wait, they had really meant it. We'd been waiting for over an hour and were definitely approaching the "hangry" stage where your belly rules your head and you begin to start feeling a little ratty. I have to admit even though we'd been warned about a wait we weren't quite prepared for it being such a long one.

When our food turned up I was thankful that the dishes looked so good. Simon and Gary's meals appeared first and after waiting a few moments for the girls' dishes to appear we told them to start without us. Unfortunately ours came out a good 5 minutes after our husbands' meals which was a bit of a shame considering the wait we'd already had.

Simon had the Breakfast Pancakes (£7.95) - Buttermilk Pancakes, Bacon, Sausage, Scrambled Egg and House Syrup. He eagerly demolished the Bacon, Sausage and Scrambled Egg but I soon noticed that he was struggling to get through his pancakes. It's not often that Simon leaves food but when I took a forkful of his pancakes I could see why he couldn't finish his dish. They were too stodgy and dry and I think this particular dish would be better served with a smaller version of the American style pancakes.

Breakfast at Crab & Waltzer, Whitley Bay

Gary ordered the House Breakfast (£8.95) - Sausage, Smoked Bacon, Mushroom, Tomato, Egg, House Baked Beans (which looked particularly good), hash brown, black pudding and a sizeable slice of buttered toast. He had asked for his meal without Tomato which unfortunately had somehow made its way on to his plate. No harm done, but after the long wait for food it wasn't the best service.

Luckily I have more success to report from the girls' dishes. Jenny had the Bakewell Crumble Pancakes (£6.95) - Raspberry and Almond Compote, Toasted Flaked Almonds and Homemade Crumble sitting on Buttermilk Pancakes. Her brunch looked so good and I had serious food envy when they appeared in front of her and she made a good effort to get through both pancakes before getting too full and having to give up.

Pancakes at Crab & Waltzer, Whitley Bay

I opted for the Sweet Ricotta Pancakes (£7.55) - served with cinder toffee butter, strawberries, bananas, blueberries and house syrup. Wow how good does it look? The presentation of the dish was spot on, so deliciously colourful!  It tasted even better than it looked, I absolutely loved the flavours and enjoyed every forkful. I almost made it to the end but had to quit just before the last bite because I was too full up.

Pancake at Crab & Waltzer, Whitley Bay

Our experience at Crab & Waltzer was a mixed bag and whilst I'm thankful that my brunch was so tasty I am a little gutted that I can't give this place the glowing review that I really want to.

With more than a handful of people reporting of bad experiences at Crab & Waltzer it's definitely time for the restaurant to make the few changes to ensure that it's the place that everyone wants it to be. With Whitley Bay fast becoming the seaside town to visit in the North East I am keeping everything crossed that this lovely seaside restaurant manages to turn things around before the Summer trade hits the seafront. We desperately want them to succeed and we're definitely not ready to give up on them yet!  Fingers crossed that next time we visit we'll have a different story to tell.

I'd love to know if you've made it to Crab & Waltzer and what your experience has been like.

Pancake Brunch at Crab & Waltzer, Whitley Bay

Find Crab & Waltzer at:

5-7 Marine Avenue
Whitley Bay
NE26 1LX

0191 251 9555


  1. So interested to read your review and couldn’t agree more. I was absolutely determined to love this place but the slow service, inconsistent food and frequent mistakes with orders makes it a challenge. We have been several times to keep giving it the benefit of the doubt, but sadly it always falls short. They need to respond with a fresh approach and some staff training. This should be a little neighbourhood gem, but they have a lot of work to do to earn that reputation before the Dome opens and people have more choice.

    1. It really is such a shame but I'm still hopeful it can be turned around. i think they maybe need more hands on deck - when we went it was busy but the restaurant was definitely not full and I think you need to have enough people about to be able to handle the amount of covers that you have especially at weekends.

      It always seems very busy when I walk past so they have amazing footfall, I think the tourists in the Summer will probably flock there was it's so eye catching but to keep the local trade there definitely needs to be some improvements!

      Keeping everything crossed cos I really did enjoy my pancakes!

  2. Such a shame about the service. I was at Whitley Bay on Saturday and its in a great location. I do love the look of your pancakes. Katie x

    1. I'm really hoping that they sort things out because it's a lovely place and I really enjoyed my breakfast!

  3. I would NOT have been happy waiting that long for pancakes.......

  4. The food looks great, but sometimes bad service takes over your whole opinion of a visit! I would not have waited!



© New Girl in Toon | All rights reserved.
Blog Layout Created by pipdig