Pancakes are a hit in Tokyo, and there are generally two camps of pancake fans: those in favour of the classic style, and the those who drool over stacks of pancakes that look very much like soufflé. The latter pancake style has been increasing in popularity, thanks to its soft, light and fluffly mouthful.
Souffle pancakes are characterised by their liberal use of eggs and whipped egg whites in the batter to create the signature fluffly, cloud-like texture. They are then topped with cream, caramel, nuts and fruits such as banana and strawberries. These pancakes are more time-consuming to make, so be prepared to wait. But trust us, it’s worth it.
Stacks on stacks
One of the main culprits behind Tokyo's ongoing 'second pancake boom', this Osaka import set up its third Tokyo outpost in Kichijoji in 2016. The main attraction here is the selection of uber-fluffy, made-to-order 'premium' pancakes, which have caused quite a sensation among the city's sweets fiends. With competitors A Happy Pancake and Flipper's also opening shops in the neighbourhood, Kichijoji's sugar addicts sure have it good.
This Harajuku hotspot is extremely popular for their soft and fluffy soufflé pancakes. Try their signature ‘White Souffle Pancake’; you can really taste the difference in the rich batter which is made using lots of whipped egg whites and ricotta, giving off a hint of sweetness and the flavour of fresh milk. If you’re not into pancakes, the shop also offers other options including French toast and hamburgers.
This Shimokitazawa joint is looking to charm sweets fiends with their light-as-air pancakes topped with fruit or the shop's original maple butter cream. Their super-fluffy, airy, melt-in-your-mouth pancakes are made with ricotta, buttermilk or meringue, giving them that texture that's the talk of town. Look out for long queues as it’s a popular spot; in other words, don’t expect to just walk in – especially on weekends. But if you have the patience, getting in line for some of Tokyo’s most Instagrammable desserts will be well worth it.
This bustling café next to Meiji-Jingumae Station continues to flip out their famous thick-slice pancakes which are a hit amongst the Harajuku crowd. With three shops in Tokyo, and more in Taipei, we can see why people are eager to get their hands on these fluffy stacks of goodness. What really makes these pancakes stand out is the use of whole eggs in the batter rather than just the egg whites, giving them a luxurious texture you'd really enjoy biting into.
This Osaka import serves delectable pancakes and kakigori at its Ginza shop, which takes pride in using premium ingredients, especially the dairy products. The thick, fluffy pancakes are tasty, but where Yukinosita really shines is in the shaved ice department. Instead of pouring syrup on ice, as is customary, the kakigori here are frozen with ingredients and all – an interesting method that works surprisingly well. We especially liked the matcha version, made with Kyoto green tea, frozen milk, red bean paste and shiratama rice cakes.
The name alone will get you smiling, but luckily the flavours are good enough for you to continue grinning at this Shibuya outpost of the Osaka-born chain. They're very firm in their commitment to a no-additive, no-baking powder philosophy, which means they steam their pancakes and do all kinds of other inventive things for a surprisingly soft yet scrumptious finish.
If you can’t get enough of Flipper’s fluffy pancakes, then their new concept shop located inside the ticketing gates of Shinjuku Station’s Newoman building (new-south exit), should be on your list. This take-out only stand sells ‘Kiseki (or miraculous) soufflé-pancake-pudding’ treats, which is basically pudding in a glass topped with a homemade-cream-filled soft pancake. You have three choices, including the two standard versions with custard or chocolate pudding, and another seasonal variation.
More treats this way
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