Article by Pepe Samson
Photos by Manila Eat Up

We are obsessed with anything from Japan.

And why wouldn’t we be—the Japanese simply do everything with reverence and determination. Wherever you look, it’s evident how they pour their heart and soul into something and devote most of their lives perfecting, mastering it. Technology, food, crafts—there’s nothing they do half-heartedly, but of course, as big foodies, we are most interested with food.

Take the souffle pancake, for instance. Yes, it’s all over Instagram. Yes, people are lining up for it. But this is one hype we completely understand and embrace. Those jiggly, fluffy things look gorgeous—whether plain or with all the trimmings—but for us, the fact that these are Japanese-made make them even more attractive.

The pancake is a typical snack all over Japan—and not just for breakfast either. Dorayaki is so popular in the streets of the Kansai region that it even made it to TV, in Doraemon. There’s also the savory okonomiyaki, of course, and the sweet Japanese crepes. But the souffle pancake probably trumps them all.

In Osaka, Gram Café has been attracting hordes of pancake lovers since 2014. Its chief decoy? Their premium soufflé pancakes. Thick, fluffy pancakes that wobble like silken tofu. Or gelatin. Or Ivana Alawi’s boobs. Airy, cloud-like, delicate. It’s a creation that astounds not just with its aesthetics but also its texture and taste. They are so difficult to make that Gram Café only offers 60 pieces of it in a day in three time slots, and if you want to taste one, you really need to fall in line.

It’s truly a marvelous creation—how it feels hollow and airy inside but still so moist and soft. Slicing into it with a fork is like slicing into clouds. And the pancake itself is delicious and flavorful. The side trimmings—honey, whipped cream, butter—are just accompaniments to enhance each bite, but you probably won’t need them even.

The good news is that you don’t have to fly to Japan to get a taste of Gram’s delicious soufflé pancakes. Its first branch has finally opened in the Philippines—at the 3rd level of SM Mega Fashion Hall—last February 9! And what’s even better, they are offering 90 pieces of these yummy, fluffy things every day!

We are happy to report that the pancakes are just as good as they taste in Japan. One bite of the premium pancakes at Gram Café Philippines brought us back to the first time we tried this wonderful invention!

Aside from the soufflé pancakes, Gram Café also has a variety of other pancake options in its menu. Regular hotcakes—what you would probably refer to as “hotcakes”—are combined with sweet and savory components, and are sure to delight diners with different preferences. Take for instance the Chili Beans and Sausage Platter, which is one of our favorites from the menu. The chili provides a Mexican/Southern twist to this plate, while the sausage gives added bite and texture to the pancakes. The savory components contrast perfectly to sweetish, buttery pancakes!

Another savory interpretation is the Bacon and Scrambled Eggs Pancake set, featuring lovely thick-cut bacon, creamy scrambled eggs, and a refreshing side salad. It is the ultimate breakfast pancake, one you would definitely crave for especially if you’re a bacon lover.

Got sweet tooth? The Mixed Berries French Toast is for you—and well, for us! The toast slices? Perfect. It has that sweetness level you crave for, one that makes you want to take one more bite. And then one more. Topped with blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, honey, and powdered sugar, it’s a fusion of irresistible tartness and sweetness.

We couldn’t get enough of the Apple & Tea Cream which has sweet, poached apples on top of fluffy pancakes, as well as a side of vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, and earl grey cream. The tea cream is mind-blowing and provides an interesting dimension to a dish that is otherwise just sweet. We would definitely go back for this.

Are you a fan of coffee? Try the Tiramisu which has layers of pancakes, mascarpone cream cheese, coffee, and dark cocoa. We love this interpretation of the classic Italian dessert. If you love dark chocolate or coffee flavor profiles, you need to get this dish! And hello—who can say no to cream cheese?

The next time you find yourself craving for pancakes, round up the gang and hop over to SM Mega Fashion Hall and try the newly-opened Gram Café. If you want to catch the premium pancakes, make sure you get there before 11AM, 3PM, and 6PM. If there’s a line—fall in line, it’s worth it.

And since we are huge fans of Japan so much, we hope to be masters of eating pancakes too.

Check out Gram Café on Instagram and Facebook.

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