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First Metro Vancouver location of famous Japanese soufflé pancake chain now open

Showstopper souffle pancakes piled high await...
Premium Pancakes at Gram Cafe. Photo by Lindsay William-Ross/Vancouver Is Awesome

The first of a handful of planned Metro Vancouver locations of a popular Japanese soufflé pancake chain has finally opened their doors. Gram Cafe launched their "soft open" phase inside Richmond's Aberdeen Centre on February 23.

Soufflé pancakes are those impossibly thick and perfectly round fluffy and eggy pancakes that come stacked three high. At Gram, they call these their Premium Pancake, and they're served with an orb of butter, whipped cream, and syrup, but they limit how many they serve each day. Gram makes a limited number of orders of their signature soufflé pancakes available each day, and since they are made to order, you may have to wait a bit if you're among the lucky few.

In addition to those "Premium Pancakes," Gram's extensive menu includes other pancake formats, like stuffed "Premium Smile" pancakes, classic pancakes, pancakes loaded with toppings or stuffed with fillings, breakfast plates, French Toasts, sandwiches, soups, ice creams and desserts, as well as tea and coffee drinks.

Gram explains how their hours and menu will be structured during their first few weeks in business: "Between Feb 23-28 operating hours will be 2:00-6:00pm. We will serve 24 orders of Premium Pancake per day with 8 orders at 3:00pm, 3:30pm, 4:00pm. Cool Premium Pancake To-Go will have limited quantities per day."

The restaurant expects to extend their hours starting Saturday, Feb. 29, and an official grand opening date will be announced down the line. Additionally, they caution that because this is a soft open, their staff is also in training and they appreciate your patience.

gram-cafe-bacon-eggsBacon & Scrambled Egg Pancakes. Photo by Lindsay William-Ross/Vancouver Is Awesome

At an invite-only preview event on Jan. 25, Gram's founder as well as staff from Osaka were on hand at the Richmond location to offer a sneak peek of their Premium Pancakes and other pancake dishes they'll have when the location is ready to open. 

As promised, their Premium Pancakes are a showstopper. They melt in your mouth, and strike a nice balance of salty and sweet, and they are definitely a sight to behold when they land on your table, wiggling and jiggling and looking like they could topple at any moment.

Other offerings, like their traditional pancakes with toppings, make good use of fun flavour profiles, like baked apple with an Earl Grey tea cream and ice cream, or a more savoury set of pancakes with thick and juicy bacon strips and golden, creamy scrambled eggs. 

gram-cafe-fruit-pancakesMixed Fruits & Chocolate pancakes. Photo by Lindsay William-Ross/Vancouver Is Awesome
The Osaka-based chain has four locations planned for Metro Vancouver, including this one in Aberdeen Centre, as well as one in Burnaby at the Amazing Brentwood, and two in Vancouver proper (Robson St and Kerrisdale).

Gram Cafe is located in space 1360 on the ground floor of Aberdeen Centre at 4151 Hazelbridge Way in Richmond.