Like popcorn, cafe-served pancakes have become a hit food item in Japan, and it looks like they’re here to stay, judging from the popularity of the numerous pancake establishments in Tokyo, particularly those in the Harajuku and Omotesando areas.
Many of these are overseas eateries that have established a branch in Tokyo, but the Hona Cafe, which one of our reporters recently visited, is actually a Japanese cafe from Fukuoka that has enjoyed such success in its native prefecture that they opened their first shop in Tokyo earlier this month. And apparently, they serve “Hawaiian Ricotta” pancakes using ricotta cheese they make right at the store. You can bet we were anxious to find out how they taste!
Interestingly, the new Hona Cafe branch in Tokyo is located in the Kabuki-cho area of Shinjuku, which is one of Tokyo’s most notable night-life districts.
The new cafe is situated on the first floor of the APA Hotel in Kabukicho, Shinjuku.
When we arrived, we saw that there was not much seating space inside the store, with most of the seats located outside. It should be nice while the weather is good, but it may not be ideal during the winter or when it’s raining.
There were several varieties of Hawaiian Ricotta Pancakes on the menu, ranging from sweet desserts with plenty of cream to hearty, savory creations with ingredients like sausage or avocado. The items were priced between 1,200 yen to 1,700 yen, which isn’t exactly cheap, but then we guess that’s to be expected of a hugely popular cafe.
It wasn’t easy choosing one pancake from the menu, but in the end, we decided to order the “Fruit and Mega-whip” Hawaiian Ricotta Pancake. As the name “Mega-whip” suggests, the pancake was served with a sizeable serving of whipped cream. Plus, you can add your choice of sauce from flavors such as chocolate, caramel and mango, just as you like it.
By the time we finished pouring the different sauces onto our pancakes, we were certainly more than ready to taste the treat … and the incredibly soft, fluffy texture didn’t disappoint! The pancakes were so soft, in fact, that we hardly needed to bite into them; they just seemed to simply melt in our mouth. We actually weren’t quite sure we could distinguish the ricotta cheese element in the pancakes, but we were certain that the cakes were unbelievably fluffy and delectable.
In addition, the generously served whipped cream was not too sweet, and the smooth texture was almost like drinking liquid cream! The fruits and in particular, the pieces of macadamia nuts sprinkled onto the pancakes, added a nice variety of flavor and texture for a genuinely satisfying eating experience.
The cafe may not be in the most fashionable of districts and the pancakes may be slightly on the pricey side, but we thought the Hawaiian Ricotta pancakes should definitely be well worth a try for sweets lovers. Who knows, maybe the Hona Cafe might even become one of the attractions in Shinjuku’s Kabuki-cho area.
Cafe Information Hona Cafe/ ホナ・カフェ Tokyo-to, Shinjuku-ku, Kabuki-cho 1-20-2, APA Hotel Shinjuku Kabuki-cho Tower 1F 東京都新宿区歌舞伎町1-20-2 アパホテル新宿 歌舞伎町タワー1F Open 11 a.m.-11 p.m.
Original article by: P.K. Sanjun
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