Jiggly, wiggly, insanely fluffy Japanese soufflé pancakes will soon be something Vancouverites can get their hands on every day, as Fufú Café is set to open on West Broadway near Granville.
Inspired by tasting the unique treat while traveling in Japan, longtime friends and Vancouver locals Vicki Chen and Sienna Gan wanted to bring soufflé pancakes home, so they have embarked on their first professional culinary venture.
Inside the West Broadway cafe, which seats 20, it's easy to see that Chen and Gan have thought about every detail, from decor to what's on the plate - including the plates themselves, too.
Chen, an interior designer, took the lead for creating the welcoming space, which was inspired by French cafés, and is a lovely meld of elegant and comfortable.
It's also a very Instagram-oriented space, with a selfie mirror across from a floral-framed bench and neon sign; a bathroom selfie station is in the works, too, and the floral installations are by Vancouver florist La Bomba.
Fufú is a counter-serve spot, and at that counter you'll find treats from acclaimed local baker Remi, as well as a coffee, tea, and soft drink program all carefully crafted to be a vital first-stop to stock up while you wait for those made-to-order soufflé pancakes. Coffee is coming from Agro Roasters, and their specialty drinks include fruity sparkling creations in beautiful glassware - bubble tea will hit the menu sometime later, likely by the end of their first month.
When it comes to the pancakes, they take about 20 minutes to griddle up, and they are definitely worth the wait. Kick off with a pastry to tide you over if you're ravenous, sip a drink, and sit back and chat with friends or a date - this is a relaxing, social space.
The pancakes are available with several kinds of toppings, from as simple as their "Classic" offerings, which come in sets of three paired with either maple syrup and butter, or with their salted mascarpone creme - the latter of which is one of Chen and Gan's personal favourites.
The remainder of the options come with a base of a duo of their soufflé pancakes. In the sweet column there's the Matcha Mochi (with a house-made matcha sauce, matcha whipped cream, double chocolate raspberry ice cream from Rocky Point, white chocolate flakes, and matcha powder), which is sure to be a big hit, thanks to green tea's mega popularity and this dish's nice balance of sweet and mild and soft and firm.
There's also the Mixed Fruit option, which comes with fresh fruit pieces, or the Tapioca Pearl Milk Tea, with Earl Grey sauce and tapioca pearls. The Milk Tea option is a lot of fun, but it also is available only after 3 p.m. and in limited quantities.
Savoury options are very brunch-able, and those will kick off towards the end of their first month open as well. Look for a take on an Eggs Benedict, as well as the Japan-meets-Vancouver mash-up of soufflé pancakes with avocado sauce, poached egg, and smoked salmon. They're working with Granville Island Market staple Oyama for meats, to round out your brunch-time eating with sides of sausage and more.
Fufú also plans on working in some weekly special flavours to go with the season and to keep fans on their toes. They'll start working those onto the menu in a couple of weeks after opening, but you can expect flavour combos like Nutella and Caramelized Banana, Tiramisu, or Lemon Creme Brulee.
To get everyone amped about their soufflé pancakes, Fufú will have a Grand Opening special on Sat. Sept. 7, and they'll be giving away Classic soufflé pancakes to the first 50 customers, then offering the Classic plates for 50% off for the remainder of day one (and they'll just be serving up the classics for their first day).
Regular hours will be 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily to start, and you can follow them on Instagram @fufupancakecafe to keep up to date.
Fufú Café is located at 1266 West Broadway in Vancouver.