Souffle pancake has been a popular and Instagrammable food item since 2014 in Japan. Different from traditional buttermilk pancake, it has an extremely fluffy and bouncy texture. Starter of this recipe is believed to be Gram cafe and Shiawase no Pancake in Osaka. This trend triggered numerous patisseries to start their own formula of souffle pancakes, including ELK cafe.
ELK cafe has 13 branches all over Japan and certain stores have their own special menu. They mainly serve trendy desserts, including popcorn sundae ice cream, tapioca milk tea and of course the signature souffle pancake. Although ELK cafe is not the inventor of this recipe, its quality and reviews are significantly high.
The interior of all stores is very stylish with the scent of a vintage feeling. The prominent use of soft white and wooden colour to pair with bold black frames and borders it very simple yet fashionable. It is very appealing and welcoming.
Knowing about this famous place for souffle pancakes, we decided to try out the Osaka branch. After half an hour wait, our waitress guides us to our table. Space given is very cozy, or to be honest too small for three people as I have to squeeze myself and hold on to the plate when eating. Yet, my desire to try the souffle pancake has overridden my complaints. We quickly order our plates and peacefully waited for 10-15 minutes as good food takes time. I keep watching the waitress placing big bouncy pancakes on other customer’s tables, and finally, it is our turn. The stack of pancakes is so jungly and thick, I wish I can dive my head inside and merge into the softness. The taste of the pancake is not excessively outstanding, but the texture is definitely one of the best in the world. Combining the essence of souffle and pancake, this recipe is soft like a marshmallow but without the chewy and sticky texture. It feels like cutting into a heavenly delightful and tasty cloud of fluff. The souffle pancake is so soft but never mushy or soggy, yet still firm enough to hold the sponginess. It is unquestionably the best every made version of pancakes.
ELK cafe has a very attractive and friendly interior design, but space may be a little bit tight. The flavour of their signature dish souffle pancake is not extraordinary, yet the texture is excellent and surely worth another try. The cute appearance along with the wonderful recipe has clearly explained the reason behind its success of becoming a social media famous food item.