WHAT THE FLUFF?!
Puffy, jiggly Japanese soufflé pancakes are trending
Japanese consumers have been known to embrace highly-whimsical elements of pop culture, especially when it comes to culinary creations. Recently, foodies in the U.S. have become enamored with a fun Japanese export that actually might have origins in Hawaiian cuisine: the soufflé pancake, a taller, jiggly, and fluffier version of the traditional flapjack that is made to be super puffy with the addition of heavily-whipped egg whites and high-gluten wheat flour.
Last fall, a famous Tokyo-based soufflé pancake chain called Flipper’s set up shop in New York City. Foodies can find the chain’s famously airy and whipped soufflé pancakes in a two-story café whose design reflects its location in the heart of SoHo. The first floor offers counter-service and a dine-in bar, while the second floor contains an eat-in café space that is designed to look like a SoHo loft, complete with massive windows, exposed brick, and subway tile. Not only will breakfast lovers be able to sample Flipper’s original soufflé pancakes, which are topped with maple-flavored whipped cream, but they will also be able to try combinations inspired by American fare, as seen in menu offerings like the chain’s chicken and waffles pancakes.
Last spring, Gram Cafe & Pancakes nabbed the distinction of being the first soufflé pancake purveyor to open in the U.S. (Flipper’s is the second.) The soufflé pancake company already has more than 60 locations around the world, and more are slated to open in the future. Gram Cafe took their U.S. debut in San Francisco seriously: the company flew its executive chef Teruyuki Masumara from Japan to train the staff for the opening. Gram’s fluffy pancakes typically engender a line, as customers queue to secure one of the 90 pancake plates offered throughout the day. While waiting in line, diners receive a ticket that guarantees them a stack of three of the premium, jiggly pancakes they came for.
Got a breakfast sweet tooth that only a stack of the fluffiest pancakes can satisfy? Taiyaki NYC also serves up their own light and fluffy Japanese soufflé pancakes to satisfy trend-conscious foodies. Customers delight in the chain’s take on the Japanese trend—but the jiggly pancakes are only available during a small window of time on weekends. Those who want to try Taiyaki’s pancakes have from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m., Friday through Sunday, to grab a stack. The wait can be long, but the fluffy, Instagrammable cakes are worth it.