MANILA, Philippines – Fluffy, soft pancakes seem to be all the rage now, and we’re not complaining – Japanese souffle pancakes are taking the sweet-crazed world by storm, one jiggle at a time.
Ready for this jelly? Then you’ll be giddy to know that Japan’s Osaka-based dessert cafe Gram Cafe and Pancakes opens its first Manila branch on Sunday, February 9, at the Mega Fashion Hall of SM Megamall, Ortigas Center. (READ: Japan’s Gram Cafe and Pancakes to open first Manila branch)
Born in 2014 at Shinsaibashi, Osaka, Gram rose to global fame with their signature 3-stack souffle pancakes, made exquisitely fluffy, soft, and airy, dusted with sugar and then served with butter, whipped cream, and maple syrup.
That’s not all, though. Gram’s Manila branch is serving up a few other sweet and savory favorites on the menu, and we’ve got the lowdown on their offerings, their prices, and a few first impressions. Do it for the Gram!
Bacon and Scrambled Eggs Pancakes (P425)
Let’s start with a breakfast classic – bacon, scrambled eggs, and 3 pieces of plain pancakes, served with a fresh side salad.
The bacon, as you might notice, isn’t your typical store-bought kind – it’s a hefty slab of smoked pork – thick, fatty, and savory. Its saltiness is best paired with the scrambled eggs, which is cooked Japanese style – fluffy, creamy, and soft, but just a tad bland and lacking in salt. The tomato ketchup on the side might help, though!
The pancakes are your average kind – dense, well-cooked. I would’ve preferred the cakes with a side of maple syrup, though, since my palate was looking for a tinge of sweetness – but you can always order some on the side.
Chili Bean and Sausage Pancakes (P445)
Who would’ve thought that chili con carne and pancakes would ever find each other? Not me, that’s for sure – so I was quite surprised to see this Mexican-inspired combo on Gram’s Philippine menu.
I’m still not so sure how I feel about mixing chili with pancakes, but I must say – Gram’s chili was a savory, spicy delight. It’s chunky – thanks to the beans and ground beef – a tad sweet, and a little spicy. Also, the melted cheese on top provides a nice touch.
The Schüblig sausage was tasty, as expected, and so were the crispy breakfast potatoes on the side.
Mixed Berries French Toast (P415)
The Mixed Berries French Toast of Gram got me excited, I must say. The sight of fresh strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries was enough to get me digging in.
The French toast itself was great: slices of buttery Brioche bread dipped in egg and pan-fried until golden-brown and crispy on the outside. Warm toast mixed with vanilla ice cream and a dollop of whipped cream? Even better. Surprisingly, the whole dish wasn’t overly sweet – the fresh, tart berries helped to keep the balance.
Premium Pancake (P385)
Finally, we’ve made it to the main event – Gram’s fluffy souffle pancakes!
These 3 pieces of texture heaven taste just the way they look – like fluffy clouds; creamy, soft, and airy. They’re served with a generous scoop of solid butter, dusted sugar, and whipped cream and maple syrup on the side. Verdict? I’d definitely order these beauties again.
And it’s not just for the Gram – these pancakes really do jiggle like crazy when you move the plate! These softbois are so delicate, that they tend to fall over in a minute or so.
Gram’s Premium Pancakes are all freshly prepared and cooked upon order, so their waiting time may take a while. Also, to maintain utmost quality, Gram will only be serving 90 pancakes per day – 30 servings per time slot: 11 am, 3 pm, and 6 pm.
Apple and Tea Cream Pancakes (P445)
These fruity, fragrant pancakes are recommended for those that like tea-based and fruit-based flavors in their dessert. Gram’s regular pancakes are served with soft slices of poached apple: cinnamon-y, moist, and reminiscent of a homemade apple pie.
On the side is an interesting addition: Earl Grey Tea Cream, a custard that distinctly tastes like the flowery black tea. On top is a scoop of vanilla ice cream and whipped cream. I loved the apples, and as a fan of Earl Grey, also welcomed the tea cream into my unexpected pancake-apple pie partnership.
Tiramisu Pancakes (P395)
Three pancakes are stacked on top of one another, layered in between generous dollops of mascarpone tiramisu cream. Gram didn’t scrimp on the dark chocolate shavings on top, as well as the chocolate sugar.
This dish is meant for the chocoholic sweet tooth – although I would’ve preferred the mascarpone cream a bit more tart and similar to a cream cheese frosting. It can get very sweet after a few bites, so maybe pair it with a black coffee or a savory item?
Aside from coffee, brewed tea, and juices, here’s what else you can find on Gram’s Manila menu:
- Classic (P300)
- Caramelized Banana (P385)
- Mixed Fruits and Chocolate (P425)
- Coconut Custard (P325)
- Salmon and Avocado (P445)
- Classic French Toast (P415)
- BLT Sandwich (P385)
- Maple syrup (P50)
- Gram Original Butter (P50)
- Whipped cream (P50)
- Chocolate sauce (P50)
- Vanilla sauce (P50)
- Caramel sauce (P80)
- Bacon (P70)
- Sausage (P70)
- Banana (P50)
- Mixed fruit (P60)
- Mixed berries (P60)
- Chocolate ice cream (P80)
- Vanilla ice cream (P80)
Gram Cafe and Pancakes is located on the 3rd floor of SM Mega Fashion Hall, Ortigas Center. For more information, you can visit their Facebook page. – Rappler.com