Fluffy pancakes are a Japanese dessert craze which I can always get behind, and one of my favourite places to demolish these is at the oh-so-Japanese cafe called A Happy Pancake in Ginza.
Hidden on the 7th floor of an unimpressive side street building in Ginza, you won’t stumble upon this dessert experience unless you’re looking for it!
Since the cafe is relatively small with just 32 seats, it’s extremely busy on the weekends and public holidays – you can expect a wait of an hour or more. I’d recommend coming on a weekday after the lunch rush if your schedule allows it – I usually come at this time and find there’s no wait for a table. If Ginza isn’t on your itinerary, A Happy Pancake has cafes in Omotesando (the original cafe), Shibuya, Ikebukero and Kichijoji.
If you’re curious as to how they get the pancakes so fluffy, you can see the whole process through the glass window into the kitchen. In true Japanese fashion, they are very methodical with the whole process. It’s really interesting to watch them whip the eggs, measure the batter and slice the toppings with such precision. I really like how they check the temperature of the pancakes and hot plates constantly to ensure the pancakes are cooked perfectly every time. They are totally fine with you taking pictures (I’m fairly sure that was the idea behind the glass window into the kitchen), so snap away!
A Happy Pancake only uses high quality ingredients in their dishes – Manuka honey from New Zealand, organic eggs from Nara and fresh Hokkaido cream. They don’t use any baking soda or raising agents, and their food is completely free of preservatives. Expect your meal to take at least 20 minutes, since they cook the pancakes to order.
Now for the pancakes – they are truly like golden yellow pillows of fluffiness in your mouth. They aren’t too sweet, which lets the flavour of the egg meringue and toppings shine through. Light and airy, yet filling at the same time, you’ll definitely walk out with a full stomach after a plate of these. You can really tell that they use those premium-quality ingredients in their food. They also have an extensive drinks menu full of hot and cold options to pair with your meal.
I will say though, I have ordered the “happy pancake” which comes with whipped butter and syrup, and while I found it delicious it definitely has a strong egg-y undertone, so I would stick to some of the other items on the menu if you have more of a sweet tooth. I love the chocolate banana or tiramisu flavours, and they also have savoury pancakes if you’d prefer those. They have an English menu for non-Japanese speakers.
All in all, if you’ve never had a “fluffy” pancake before then A Happy Pancake is a place you should pop on your Tokyo food bucket list. It’s the perfect spot for a filling afternoon tea during a day of shopping or sightseeing. Expect to spend around 2000 yen per person for pancakes and a drink. Enjoy!