You may have seen them on Instagram: ethereally light pancakes that are an inch or two high with an irresistible jiggle factor. Richmond has been taken by storm by the worldwide craze for soufflé pancakes.
The fluffy pancakes, a hybrid of a classic breakfast item and a beloved French indulgence, originated in Japan but have rapidly migrated westward. They get their characteristic airy height due to a lower flour content and a separation of eggs. Egg whites are whipped into a meringue and then gently folded into a yolk-batter. Cooking them at low heat ensures that the inside of the pancake cooks evenly while the outside has a light golden crust. They’re a tricky dish but heavenly to eat.
If soufflé pancakes seem too daunting for you to make at home, there are multiple Richmond eateries where you can try this delicious dish:
This South Korean company’s popularity has been bolstered by the endorsement of popular Korean celebrities. Located near the Richmond Olympic Oval, Milkcow Cafe (#105 – 5668 Hollybridge Way), opened its first Canadian location in Richmond. The chain specializes in soft serve organic milk ice cream but also added soufflé pancakes to their menu just over a year ago.
The fluffy treat comes in four flavours: original, tiramisu, ube, and dirty boba (brown sugar with tapioca pearls). Each soufflé pancake order comes with a milky way soft serve (plain), but you can pay to add extra toppings such as Oreo crumble and an Oreo cookie. The pancakes take about 20-25 minutes to make, but they’re well worth the wait. The ube version arrives with two stacked pancakes topped with vibrantly purple ube cream and drizzles of mascarpone cream. A forkful yields a delicate, pillowy texture with just a hint of sweetness, heightened by the silky ube cream. Alternate with soft serve, and you’re in dessert bliss.
On their menu, SweetHoney Dessert (#160 – 4200 No. 3 Road) says that “people love to see these pancakes jiggle and dance as they’re placed on the table.” The café, which boasts over 600 locations in China, specializes in Hong Kong-style desserts such as durian pudding and watermelon grass jelly. The menu features multiple versions of soufflé pancakes, including blueberry, matcha, strawberry, and cream cheese with assorted fruit.
As with any soufflé pancakes, the order takes a while to make (sip a refreshing drink, like passionfruit green tea, while you wait) but is impressive once it arrives. The mango version of the pancakes showcases the texture of the pancake and the natural taste of the fresh mango. Two pancakes high, the stack truly is a dream, topped with house-made mango cream sauce. The pancakes achieve an airy quality—like you’re eating a slightly sweetened dessert cloud.
When Ggó Soufflé, formerly Fluffly Soufflé, appeared at last year’s Richmond Night Market, visitors collectively fell in love, crowding to watch the painstaking process of making the pancakes and snapping photos of matcha and grapefruit versions. Fortunately, the popular stall will return to this year’s Richmond Night Market (weekends and holiday Mondays, May 8, 2020, to October 12, 2020), adding five new flavours to their offerings. They’re still in the process of recipe experimentation but are currently considering tiramisu, London Fog, piña colada, and crème brulée. A storefront location in the Lower Mainland is also in the works, so stay tuned.
Gram Café & Pancakes
The upcoming opening of Gram Café & Pancakes in Aberdeen Centre (4151 Hazelbridge Way) is highly anticipated. Fans of the Japanese chain adore their “premium” pancakes that come in a super jiggly three-stack tower (yes, three!). Renditions with fresh fruit, as well as one with tiramisu mascarpone, elevate the soufflé pancake eating experience. Expect line-ups when this one launches.
One thing’s for sure: you can celebrate the soufflé pancake craze in Richmond in a wonderfully delicious way!