Shiawase no Pancake – officially “A Happy Pancake” in English – is a top rated pancake chain started in Omotesando. Their claim to fame is their souffle style pancakes made with manuka honey imported from New Zealand, Hokkaido butter, and eggs.
The newest branch in Sendai opened about a month ago, yet the line was still quite long.I waited an hour or so to get in. Pancakes take 20 minutes to cook, due to the thickness of the batter. The cooking process is open-window, so you can watch, but the space wasn’t very watch-friendly.
I had a shared table with a couple of other guests at an almost counter-like seat (simply because a huge decoration was placed at the center of the rectangular table). I took time to deliberate between the Earl Grey Tea sauce pancakes and the titular Shiawase no Pancakes….but I thought I should start with the original.
When the pancakes came out, they were beautiful! Thick, large, fluffy pancakes with an equally fluffy cloud of butter sitting on top. The manuka honey was on the side, which I liberally poured over my food. I eagerly cut a piece of one of the pancakes and stabbed it with my fork, then broughr the morsel ever closer to my open mouth….
BUT ALAS, the pancake was not as delicious as it was said to be! Because of the thickness of the cakes, and the batter itself, I suspect the amount of eggs to be too much. I have had multiple souffle pancakes before, and this tasted like all the rest. Eggy, savory, and not really that fluffy. The texture was slightly like castella, the honey butter and caramel-like manuka honey were good (although the honey wasn’t as sweet as I thought it would be), but they were absolutely essential to enjoy the pancakes. They provided the sweetness that the cakes so desperately needed.
I was truly, truly disappointed, because Shiawase no Pancakes has been featured on TV and throughout blogs and still attracts long waits at its multiple joints.
The pancakes are savory. Not sweet. Not a dessert.
Sadly, I can’t say that I ever want to go again, although the Insta would be good.