Mar 1, 2022 - Food and Drink

Insta-review: Japanese souffle pancakes

pancakes and fruit
The custard pancakes at Hanabusa Café. Photo: Monica Eng/Axios

In our ongoing assessment of spots that seem as much about Instagram hype as food, we review Hanabusa Café, the house of jiggly souffle pancakes.

The idea: This two-year-old Loop café serves Japanese ramen, dumplings, and meat and rice bowls, but is most famous for its ultra-cute decor and puffy pancakes.

The wait: We arrived right before the 10am Sunday opening time and got seated right away.

  • When we left 45 minutes later, 10 people were lined up outside.

📸 Insta-rating: The pancake presentations are so pretty they'll provoke easy envy on any social media feed.

  • Extra points for posting a video of your friend pouring matcha syrup on your cakes.

🥞 Taste rating: The cakes emerged airy, lightly sweet and delicious, especially the Earl Grey caramel pancakes ($14) and custard pancake torched like a crème brûlée ($15).

The bottom line: If you get there before opening, it's totally worth it for the food and photos.

Next time: We'll try the taro cream and pork floss pancake sandwich.

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