Fuwa Fuwa Pancakes: Are Japanese Soufflé Pancakes Worth the Hype?
I've been seeing a lot of Japanese soufflé pancakes on Instagram lately (that jiggle!) and of course that meant I had to try them out for myself.
For my first pancake experience, I decided to go to Fuwa Fuwa. Why? Because they opened at 10 instead of 11 like Hanabusa Café, and I was hungry... Such is the way the important decisions of a brunch blogger are made!
Once I got there, I grabbed a seat at the window. Fuwa Fuwa -- which literally means fluffy fluffy, apparently -- is a cute, bright space, that's quite small. There was soft Japanese music playing, which was quickly drowned out by the conversations happening all around me. I also got to see a lot of people walking by the window and doing a double-take as they saw the Fuwa Fuwa sign - it seemed like a lot of them were curious about it and would come back another day.
After settling in, I began looking through the menu. All of their options center around their trademark pancakes, and although there are only 6 options, all the toppings looked quite delicious.
Unlike other restaurants, at Fuwa Fuwa you go up to the front to order and pay before receiving your food. Personally I prefer this style, since it meant I didn't have to wait once I knew what I wanted (and didn't have to wait for the bill once I finished). When I went up, the staff was already hard at work preparing the pancakes.
In addition to my pancakes, I decided to get a Kyoto Matcha Latte. I was hoping it would be nice and strong -- bland, milky matcha is one of my biggest café pet peeves -- and thankfully, I wasn't disappointed.
The matcha was nice and strong, and didn't come sweetened (which I also don't like) so it seemed a little more authentic. It was also nice to have something to sip while I waited for my pancakes to be ready. Although the menu had said it would take 20 to 30 minutes, it only took about 10 (I hadn't even gotten halfway through my matcha) for them to appear.
I opted for the Matcha Cream and Red Bean Pancake, which featured matcha cream with a dollop of red bean on the side. The pancakes were just as fluffy as I had hoped (and yes, that jiggle was just as satisfying in person as it looks on Instagram!). Although I had thought it would be nice to have my drink match my meal, I was a little disappointed because the cream didn't have a very strong matcha flavour compared to my latte. I also wished the red bean had been spread on top already, since it was quite thick and hard to spread without crushing the pancakes.
In terms of overall taste, though, I wasn't disappointed. The pancakes were soft and custardy, and tasted sweet and fresh -- a little bit like a softer version of Uncle Tetsu's Cheesecake. The cold cream also formed a nice contrast to the warm pancakes. Although I was worried they wouldn't be filling enough, by the time I finished my meal I was full. I also didn't find it so overwhelmingly sweet that I was sick of it by the end, but instead enjoyed it all the way through.
Overall review of Fuwa Fuwa Pancakes: 3/5
Although I enjoyed my meal at Fuwa Fuwa, I wouldn't feel the need to go back since they only serve pancakes and I prefer having a little more variety. (Plus, for what you get, it's a little pricey.) However, since the pancakes were delicious, I'd still recommend going to Fuwa Fuwa if you were curious about the Japanese pancake trend or just wanted a sweet treat at any time of the day.
Fuwa Fuwa Pancakes at a glance:
- Their menu can be found here
- Good for: couples or small groups (or solo like me!)
- All vegetarian, all sweet options
- Brunch hours:
- Monday - Thursday 11 am - 7:30 pm
- Friday - Saturday 11 am - 10 pm
- Sunday 11 am - 7:30 pm