Gram Cafe and Pancakes' Japanese soufflé pancakes opens at San Francisco's Stonestown

Dion Lim Image
Saturday, April 6, 2019
Jiggly, wiggly souffle pancake craze opens in SF
People lined up hours before Gram Café and Pancakes opened Friday morning at Stonestown Galleria in San Francisco.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The latest foodie sensation has hit San Francisco! Throngs of customers waited eagerly for hours at Stonestown Galleria for the opening of Gram Café and Pancakes. The restaurant is famous for its jiggly, wiggly premium soufflé pancakes, which have taken over Japan at 60 locations.

The pillow-like texture could be the most Instagram-worthy culinary sensation to hit the Bay Area. The soufflé pancakes take 30 minutes to make and are only dished out in batches of 30 servings, three times a day.

The café at Stonestown Galleria is the Japanese chain's first U.S. location, and the demand is fierce! Some patrons lined up at 8 a.m. and didn't make the first round cut. They stuck around for the next batch several hours later.

Donna Lee Lim came to Gram with her two kids, who are on their spring break. When asked if she'll wait, she laughed, "Yes, of course! It's up to my kids!"

Making soufflé pancakes is so complicated, the executive chef flew in from Japan to monitor the cooking process.

"Temperature and time are very important," says the chef.

Dorothy Wong is the owner of the Stonestown location and franchisee owner for the entire state of California. She fell in love with the pancakes after a trip to Osaka three years ago, and knew she had to bring them back to the U.S. She says San Francisco is the perfect place to kick off the craze stateside.

"The diversity here. I just feel like Japanese food, or anything from Japan is about quality and delicacy. So everyone is going to love it," she says.

Other items on the menu include matcha and tiramisu pancakes, along with savory items such as a smoked salmon pancake dish and one with taco chips on top.

"They're worth the wait!" squeals one customer, mouth still full of pancake.

While other restaurants in San Francisco have offered soufflé pancakes on their menus, many credit Gram for starting the trend. An order of three souffle pancakes costs $16.

You can learn more about Gram Café and Pancakes here.