Header image courtesy of Flipper’s Japan and Gram Café & Pancakes
Originally published by Inés Fung. Last updated by Jen Paolini.
Originating from foodie heaven Osaka, the Japanese soufflé pancake craze hit Hong Kong a couple of years ago and it’s showing no signs of stopping, as more and more cafes specialising in a good wobbly stack pop up around town. No time to fly to Japan? We’ve rounded up the best authentic import spots to get your pancake fix, so you don’t drive yourself crazy trying to replicate this decadent dessert at home (trust us, we’ve tried). Who eats these goodies first, your camera or you?
Hailing from Tokyo is Flipper’s, home of the phenomenal “Kiseki” soufflé pancake. There is always a queue outside its location inside I.T. in Hysan Place, but we promise it’s worth the wait. Once you’ve braved the masses of hungry sweet-tooths and Instagrammers, make sure to buy a ticket before finding a spot to sit down (don’t worry, nearly every seat has great lighting for an epic #foodporn shot).
Flipper’s famous Kiseki soufflé pancakes come with four topping variations: plain ($99), green tea & red bean ($119), strawberry, blueberry & banana ($119), and hazelnut, chocolate & caramel banana ($119). The “Kiseki” pancakes are so delicately big and airy that they can’t even be stacked, and are instead plated side by side with heaping dollops of rich whipped cream and dusting of powdered sugar. You don’t even need a fork and knife to cut them up; they’ll wobble and split apart gorgeously with just a gentle touch with a fork—they’re that delicate. Don’t wait to wait in line? Get some pancake pies to go!
Flipper’s, 6/F, Hysan Place, 500 Hennessy Road, Causeway Bay | (+852) 2367 2133
Gram Café & Pancakes has become one of the most recognisable soufflé pancake brands in the world since its first shop opened in Shinsaibashi district of Osaka just four years ago. Gram’s premium pancakes receive a limited release of 20 portions three times daily at 11 am, 3 pm, and 6 pm, selling out almost instantly every time.
We love the beautifully fluffy stacks served at Gram, but we especially love the Premium Smile pancakes ($138), consisting of a stack of three flavours: plain with fruits and cream, chocolate, and a special savoury onsen egg pancake that gushes when you cut into it. All flavours are made fresh to order, each pancake is four centimetres thick, and served with fresh cream, syrup, and homemade custard.
If you’ve missed out on the three release times, order the Cool Premium pancake box ($35 per piece and $175 for a box of five) to go. It comes in three flavours (we’re starting to see a pattern here): original, chocolate, and matcha, and is somehow made even better after a little time in the fridge—if you can wait that long before devouring these sweet treats.
A Happy Pancake opened in Lee Garden Three a few years ago to great fanfare and the queues haven’t shortened whatsoever. Now with additional locations in Tsim Sha Tsui and Sha Tin, we hope this will alleviate the long waits at Lee Garden, though for pancakes this yummy we really don’t mind getting in line. Both locations feature an open kitchen so you can watch your jiggly desserts come to life, and the soufflé pancakes at A Happy Pancake are made sans baking powder, leaving them even softer and jigglier than normal, as if they weren’t already chiffon-y enough to begin with.
You’re spoiled for choice with flavours and toppings here, but the most popular option by far is the matcha soufflé pancakes ($108). Made with organic matcha and New Zealand manuka honey, and topped with homemade whipped fermented Ogura butter, the flavours aren’t super sweet or overwhelming and you can get these babies to go at the K11 location. These happy pancakes give us happy tummies indeed.
It’s hard to miss Am.Pm, even from afar—you’ll spot it from the queues spilling out onto the pavement and the shop’s bright yellow exterior, with decals designed to make the street-side booth look like a public school bus (with the pattern of Charlie Brown’s shirt). Their soufflé pancakes, however, are nothing to laugh about. As the most adventurous stack flippers in town, they are the daring creators behind improbable flavours like lava egg custard soufflé pancake ($50), pearl milk tea soufflé pancake ($50), chocolate lava pudding soufflé pancake ($50), and so many more.
But as tempting as their entire menu may be, you’ll have to save room for their signature creme brûlée soufflé pancake ($50), torched to perfection and covered in an ooey-gooey sauce that spills out as soon as you cut into the stack. Combo up to get your pancakes served with a side of premium milk soft serve ice cream or sweeten the deal with a black sugar bubble tea and prepare to eat up quick—Am.Pm has no tables or seats and all orders are takeaway only.
Am.Pm, Shop B, G/F, Grand Place, 560 Nathan Road, Yau Ma Tei | (+852) 2725 4318
This one is truly hot off the griddle: Popular Nagoya restaurant Hoi Hoi Pancake House had its soft opening today in Kowloon Bay’s Megabox, bringing their light, airy, and fluffy Japanese pancakes to our shores. The under-the-radar pancake house regularly draws crowds and long queues at its Nagoya shop, though it may look underwhelming from the outside.
For those who aren’t familiar, this charming establishment produces Hawaiian-style pancakes using premium Japanese ingredients. Their long-time signature, the maple syrup pancake ($98), bursts with sweetness and rich eggy flavour, while tropical favourites like the Hawaiian pancake ($108), topped with crushed nuts for textural contrast, appeal to more adventuresome taste buds. Of course, exclusive to their new Hong Kong location, Hoi Hoi is introducing two new flavours to their menu: matcha pancake ($118) with a Tokachi-grown azuki red bean sauce and creme brûlée pancake ($98).
Hoi Hoi Pancake House, Shop 19–20, 1/F, Megabox, 38 Wang Chiu Road, Kowloon Bay | (+852) 2461 7000
We wouldn’t blame you if you haven’t heard of HeySoNuts before. This understated dessert café is nestled amongst the industrial landscape of To Kwa Wan, but their gorgeous tiramisu cream soufflé pancakes ($102) make the trip worthwhile. Armed with everything that makes a soufflé pancake outstanding—a formidable height, perfect wobbliness, eggy flavour, and a pillowy texture—this cake-like construction is picture-perfect and mouth-watering at the same time.
HeySoNuts, Shop 3, G/F, 147 Pak Tai Street, To Kwa Wan | (+852) 2687 1428
Another off-the-beaten-track destination, Bove can be found in the unlikely Kwai Chung Plaza. Famous as a haven for street snacks and cheap meals, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that this petite dessert stall has set up shop in this sprawling shopping centre. As with most soufflé pancake shops in Hong Kong, queues can get pretty overwhelming, and in this particular instance, hemmed in by narrow corridors and low ceilings, you’ll find yourself surrounded by throngs of people waiting for their orders or trying to put one down, so be sure to mentally prepare for these mildly claustrophobic situations.
Must-tries include their Earl Grey soufflé pancakes ($40) and matcha soufflé pancakes ($35), both bursting with flavour and colour, and it must be said that Bove’s stacks come at a much-easier-to-swallow price point than most other soufflé pancake shops around town. This little shop should appeal greatly to eco-minded diners, as the staff encourages patrons to bring their own lunchboxes and utensils, as their orders are takeaway only. Also of note is the fact that Bove is one of few Hong Kong-born soufflé pancake brands amongst the Japanese imports who have set up overseas locations in our city.
Bove, Shop 3069–T20, Top World, 3/F, Kwai Chung Plaza, 7 Kwai Foo Road, Kwai Fong
With a name like that, you can appreciate that this place knows their way around their eggs. Boasting a long laundry list of egg-centric dishes, light soufflé pancakes make an appearance as well, with eight different options to choose from. Using eggs imported from Japan, Egg Factory’s soufflé pancake with mango & ice cream ($68) is a standout, fusing fruity flavours with soft, bouncy textures. We also quite like the richness of the soufflé pancake with coffee sauce & ice cream ($68) for a caffeine pick-me-up, as well as the pure flavours of the classic soufflé pancake with whipped cream & maple syrup ($45).
Egg Factory, Shop B03C, G/F, Park Central, 9 Tong Tak Street, Tseung Kwan O | (+852) 2395 8844