Japanese soufflés are fast becoming the next biggest food trend, judging by how many photos are tagged #soufflepancake and the increasing number of cafes offering this dessert. No surprise: The Japanese soufflé, which is a much thicker version of a typical pancake, is airy, light and silken smooth, thanks to the egg whites that are whipped into a meringue.
There’s also the photogenic factor — the thick pillowy stacks — often drowned with decadent toppings such as matcha syrup, ice cream, strawberries and whipped cream — have a cute ‘wobble’, i.e. they are perfect for that boomerang shot.
Here are eight places in Singapore to get your fill of these fluffy Japanese soufflé pancakes:
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Text: Lauren Ong and Eunice Quek/Straits Times
Named after the last queen of France, Antoinette, who was revered for her exquisite taste and indulgence in pastries, the bakery boasts a wide selection of elegantly crafted Parisian desserts and bistro classics. One of its latest additions on the menu includes a collection of soufflé pancakes that are light, soft and dressed with a variety of goodies.
Created by Chef Pang Kok Keong, there are both sweet and savoury options to choose from. The Tres Berries ($16++) is a simple take on the well-loved delicacy, comprising fresh strawberries and blueberries and accentuated with an airy vanilla crème Chantilly, topped with a sweet honey maple syrup. If you are feeling a little more adventurous, try the bakery’s Ondeh Ondeh ($16++) — the dish incorporates the best of the beloved Singapore kueh with the reliable textures of the melt-in-your-mouth pancakes. Pandan-flavoured custard covers the stacks, which have snowy coconut flakes sprinkled on top and are finished with drizzles of gula Melaka syrup.
You can also get the soufflés as a Benedict ($18++), where the pancakes come accompanied by an omelette, slices of serrano ham and a rich dressing of Hollandaise sauce.
Antoinette has several outlets. Visit www.antoinette.com.sg for more information.
The insta-famous soufflés from this Osaka pancake cafe have already garnered a following, as evidenced by the snaking long lines outside its store during peak periods. BTW, it has a controversial history (Google it: It’s an interesting lesson on trademarking your brand before it’s too late) but we’ll not get into that. Brought in by a Singaporean couple and their friend, the eatery opened in June this year.
Try its Premium Pancakes ($17.90) — three cloud-like pancakes are stacked atop each other precariously, topped with a dome-shaped house-made pat of butter and accompanied with a dollop of super smooth whipped cream and maple syrup on the side.
These pancakes are professionally prepared upon order and the place only serves 90 orders each day at specified hours, 11am, 3pm and 6pm, limited to 30 servings per time slot. If the overwhelming demand isn’t enough to convince you to try its soufflé pancakes, their butter and sweet maple syrup might. Rumour has it that the original butter that is served with the fluffy home-made pancake syrup melts right in your mouth!
At #02-110 VivoCity, 1 Harbourfront Walk, Singapore 098585. Visit www.facebook.com/grampancakes for more information.
Miam Miam prides itself on dishes that marry French artisanal culinary techniques with traditional Japanese cooking arts. Known for its various delicious offerings and atmosphere that pay homage to the traditional Japanese kissaten, or tearoom, one of its highlights is its Japanese soufflés. Many flavours are offered here, all equally eye-popping. For the purists, you can’t go wrong with the Original Souffle Pancake ($8.80).
Although it looks deceivingly simple, the insides of the pancake are perfectly crafted, giving you that fluffy soft texture that goes well with the honey maple syrup that tops the dessert. Our favourite however, is the innovaative Houjicha Pancake ($13.80), in which the Original pancake comes topped with handmade Houjicha whip (Japanese pot-roasted green tea), soybean mix coated dango balls and Azuki red beans and is served with brown sugar syrup.
Also on the menu is the Matcha Soufflé ($11.80), created with fine grade matcha powder, and the Valrhona Chocolate Soufflé ($13.80), which comes with a decadent melted chocolate on top of your soufflé. All equally good options for curbing that sweet tooth.
Miam Miam has several outlets. Visit www.miam.sg for more information.
While the coffee house might be known for its ‘hand-dripped’ specialty coffee and premium Arabica roasted coffee beans, Hoshino Coffee’s soufflé pancakes will not disappoint. Originally from Japan, its freshly baked pancakes are created with their homemade whipped butter and served with your choice of syrup. Its Matcha Pancake comes in single ($13.50) or double ($16.80) sizes, and are topped with creamy matcha ice cream and cream.
On top of original pancake flavours ($9.80 for single and $12.00 for double), Hoshino Coffee also offers seasonal pancake flavours that change ever three to four months. Just a quick check on the in-house menu and you can find the pancake flavour of the season. Not enough sweet toppings? Fret not. The place also allows you to add homemade whipped butter ($0.60), homemade whipped cream ($0.60) and a choice of Vanilla, Mocha or Matcha ice cream ($1.20) with each pancake order.
Hoshino Coffee has several outlets. Visit www.hoshinocoffee.com.sg for more information.
Opened some time late 2017, SweeT.Rex has won the hearts of many with its select desserts, especially its Japanese soufflé pancakes. Don’t expect air-conditioned comfort though, if you’re thinking of having a taste. Located at Alexandra Village Food Centre, it’s a small, unassuming hawker stall but totally worth the wait and perspiration.
For just $3 for two, its soufflé pancakes are made on the spot, topped with caramel and strawberry sauce, or a dusting of icing sugar, and served on a disposable plate. Nothing fancy but such good value, especially if you are craving for something soft, fluffy and wallet-friendly.
At #01-79, Alexandra Village Food Centre, 120 Bukit Merah Lane 1, tel: 8163 7630. Visitwww.facebook.com/pg/sweeeTRex for more information.
Another eatery that hails from Osaka, Japan is the popular café chain Bell-Ville Pancake Café. While it might seem like yet other ordinary Japanese pancake place, it’s innovative presentation of the conventional soufflé is what makes the place so unique. Taking inspiration from the mille-feuille, a French bread that has layers of puff pastry filled with jam and cream stacked onto one another, Belle-Ville Pancake Café serves its fluffy and soft pancakes in stacks of two to eight pieces of pancakes.
Up for something fruity? Try the grilled apple with homemade caramel pancake that’s served with fruits, fresh cream and topped with homemade caramel sauce. There’s even a choice between pancakes in stacks of four pieces or eight pieces (for if you are hungry for more), at $12.20 and $16.20 respectively.
But if you are craving for something on the creamier side, give the Strawberry and Mixed Berry pancake a try. The pancakes are sandwiched with mixed berries and Hokkaido cream in each layer, in stacks of two ($11.90) or four ($14.40). Yes, I repeat, cream and fruits in each layer! Now there’s no need to worry about an uneven cream to pancake ratio am I right?
Belle-Ville Pancake Café has several outlets. Visit www.facebook.com/PancakeCafe.belleville/ for more information.
It started out as a pop-up store at Wisma Atria, but the demand for Riz Labo Kitchen’s soufflé pancakes was so overwhelming that it has now turned its temporary fixture into something permanent. Made with gluten-free Japanese rice flour, Riz Labo’s pancakes are crafted with egg whites and Kagoshima brown sugar, rendering that airy and fluffy texture that is reminiscent of a castella cake. Served in threes, its Original Soufflé Pancakes are delicious and comforting, side with a side of ice cream.
We especially love the Matcha Soufflé pancakes — they are delicately soft, wobbly, dusted with Kyoto matcha powder, topped with cream and adzuki red bean paste and served with maple syrup on the side. A heady sugar rush.
At 4/F Wisma Atria, Japan Food Town, 435 Orchard Road, Singapore 238877, tel: 6262 3425. Visit here for more information.
The three-year-old cafe, which specialises in seven-grain pancakes, often introduces new items in line with the seasonal menu of its outlet in Japan. This year, they introduced the limited edition Hoji Cha Tiramisu and Hoji Cha Mousse Pancakes, plus a latte and smoothie.
Also on offer are savoury dishes featuring pancakes. They include Eggs Benedict (above, $18) with tomato, asparagus and bacon, and Kyushu Sunny Day ($19) with a chilli meat sauce and a sunny-side-up egg. Signature desserts include the Berry-licious Pancake ($16.90) and Matcha MontBlanc ($18).
At #01-08 Novena Regency, 275 Thomson Road.
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This post was first published on July 10, 2018, and updated on August 29, 2019.