As clueless as I was, I thought it would be easy to get the first batch of Japanese souffle pancakes at Fuwa Fuwa Pancakes’ Edmonton location in Strathcona, right off Whyte Ave. I started to gallop as I saw the couple in front of me bolting towards the end of the line. The lineup was already around the corner 10 minutes before the store opened on a Thursday night.
Once I got my turn to order, it was quite easy to pass the 25-minute waiting time. Each serving of pancakes is made from batter in a small kitchen that you can see. The baristas also make fruit flavoured lattes and milkshakes behind a counter decorated with cute lucky cats. Plus, do I have to describe the strange feeling of being privileged, knowing that there’s still a line of people waiting hastily for their turn to sit down and giggle at the jiggling pancakes?
The pancakes, oh, do they jiggle. If you are familiar with Japanese pop-culture, you may have seen the pastel coloured soufflé in shoujo anime and get the meaning of “fuwa fuwa” as “fluffy fluffy” in Japanese. If you’re new to this dessert, try to imagine two pancakes with the texture of airy foam stacked and topped with fresh whipped cream and berries on the top. The flavour is of slightly sweetened vanilla cream and they jiggle like jello. As fluffy as it should be, the pancakes taste like firm cottony clouds.
Fuwa Fuwa’s Whyte Ave location features nine styles of Japanese soufflé, including popular flavours like matcha tiramisu, crème brûlée and Nutella banana. I tried the Fuwa Fuwa Signature, with strawberries and blueberries, decorated with a mint leaf. I also ordered their strawberry latte. Note that most of the latte drinks at the cafe are sweet-flavoured milk drinks that don’t contain caffeine.
As the Whyte Ave location opened with full power on July 9, the lineup is most likely to be unavoidable this summer. Is it worth it to spend an hour and a half in line for a table at the cozy restaurant? The reels on Instagram may be enough for your eyes, but the fluffy tastes are hard to imagine and equally hard to forget.
8103 104 St. NW | Whyte Avenue
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