A couple of weeks ago, author friend Jonelle Patrick and I headed out to Tokyo’s Harajuku district for a special springtime treat.
We walked through Yoyogi Park, where the sakura (cherry blossoms) were blooming–a sign of spring despite the cloudy skies.
As always, the crows were out in force and bold as brass…
We also stopped for lunch at Micasadeco & Cafe, one of Harajuku’s most popular spots. The 27-seat cafe is famous for its ricotta souffle pancakes (sometimes called “jiggly pancakes”), which take 30 minutes to prepare, and are served with a dusting of powdered sugar, whipped cream, and butter–with maple syrup on the side.
The cafe also has a small lunch menu, which features pasta, salads, and “mochi pancakes” in addition to the famous souffle-style stack. That said, unless you arrive at least half an hour before opening, you’re normally going to need to stand in line for at least an hour to get a table–and I don’t know about you, but if I’m waiting that long, I want the famous jiggly pancakes!
I also ordered the seasonal “sakura soda” – in line with my ongoing need to sample all the sakura treats I can while they’re available (since they‘re only around for a couple of weeks each year). I always expect to be disappointed (bad sakura flavoring tastes like a combination of cough syrup, dish soap, and regret), but to my delight, the sakura soda at Micasadeco was delicious!
It’s made with sparkling water, sakura simple syrup, and strawberry coulis, and tastes like a sparkling, floral cherry-strawberry punch. It comes with the syrup on the bottom and the coulis floating on top, and you stir it before drinking.
Stirring turns it a deeper pink, which was cool to see.
Our jiggly pancakes arrived a few minutes after the sodas, steaming hot and fresh from the pan:
An order has three pancakes, each of which is more than an inch thick and a little larger than a hockey puck. That may not sound like a lot of food, but they’re surprisingly filling.
Jonelle and I agreed they were fantastic–in fact, we both enjoyed them enough that we went back a few days ago, for our last lunch outing before she returned to the United States (though she’ll be back this fall, researching her next new book!). If you like pancakes, or simply want to experience the cultural phenomenon that is souffle pancakes in Japan, Micasadeco is an excellent choice. Make sure you go with enough time to stand in line… but the wait is worth it, at least if you like pancakes as much as I do.
Have you had jiggly pancakes, in Japan or elsewhere? What did you think?