They’re fluffy and they have that mesmerising jiggle.
By now, I’m sure that you’ve seen those Japanese soufflé pancakes on your social media feeds.
They have gained popularity all over the world, and Brunei is no exception.
So what’s the difference between a soufflé pancake and a ‘regular’ one?
Well, for starters, a soufflé pancake is able to defy the laws of physics! (Okay! I may be exaggerating here!)
The first thing that’ll grab your attention is the pancake’s fluffy and wobbly texture befitting of a cloud.
To achieve this, the super airy batter is cooked in a pan, which leaves it lightly toasted on each side and cloud-like in the centre.
Despite looking wobbly and fragile, the pancake can still hold its structure even if it was stacked up on top of each other.
Cafes can be as creative as they want to be when serving soufflé pancakes. For instance, they could offer a variety of flavours and toppings such as custard, cream, boba pearls, fruits and many more. There are even savoury options! (Frankly speaking, the possibilities are endless.)
Keep this in mind though if you’re planning on having soufflé pancakes: It can take quite some time for cafes to prepare these pancakes!
That said, you may want to skip this if you’re in a rush.
Why does it take so long to prepare, you ask?
The egg white is first chilled and then whipped up to a meringue-like batter, thus making it light and fluffy. As the batter is extremely delicate, it needs to be cooked at a very low temperature,. (This is the time-consuming process!) So do keep in mind … the bigger the soufflé pancakes are, the longer you’ll have to wait!
However, I’m sure that you would not mind waiting, especially if you have that insatiable need to upload something Instagram-worthy! Haha!
The Gram Café & Pancakes chain is regarded as one of the pioneers of the Japanese soufflé pancake and behind the ensuing worldwide craze for it.
There are several cafes in Brunei Darussalam that serve soufflé pancakes on their menu such as Piccolo Cafe, Matcha Mana and Belluno Cafe, to name but a few.
For this article, I’ll only be talking about these 3 cafes in Brunei because their soufflé pancakes are known for their specialty flavours. They were among the first cafes to introduce these soufflé pancakes in Brunei.
1. Piccolo Cafe
Piccolo Cafe was the first to introduce soufflé pancakes in Brunei (if I’m not mistaken).
As I browsed through the menu here, the words ‘onde-onde flavour’ caught my attention.
Allow me to share my experience with you: The soufflé pancake here was super soft and slightly moist but you can request it to be drier depending on your preference. But yes, it was unbelievably soft. Some people described it as having a “cloud-like” texture. It was indeed the softest soufflé pancake out of the 3 places I checked out for this article.
The pancake is pandan flavoured with coconut chantilly and drizzled with ‘gula melaka’. There’s also extra ‘gula melaka’ sauce provided on the side if you want your pancake to be even sweeter! As the pancake batter is infused with pandan juice, it does not taste as eggy as some of the other pancakes that aren’t infused with anything.
The coconut chantilly was sweet and creamy, yet it’s light. It adds that coconut element that onde-onde has. What I like the most about the onde-onde pancake was the “surprise” you get within the pancakes! What do I mean by this? Well, I was pleasantly surprised when I discovered there were chunks of ‘gula melaka’ in random parts of the pancakes.
I could not be happier with the presentation and the overall taste, presentation and texture are really satisfying as well. It is also worth noting that they are the only cafe that has a savory option for these soufflé pancakes.
Piccolo Cafe is located in Bandar Seri Begawan. They serve these pancakes from 8pm onwards (from Mondays to Fridays) and during the weekends, between 2pm and 5pm, and 8pm onwards.
2. Belluno Cafe
Boba is usually associated with drinks, right? Specifically, milk tea.
But when I saw that they were using boba as a pancake topping at Belluno Cafe in Kiarong, I was absolutely fascinated. And to top it off, the flavour of the cream was Jasmine Tea. It’s like pearl milk tea in pancake form! Haha!
The whipped cream is infused with Jasmine Tea and it is thick in consistency. You can definitely taste the tea and it is sweet. Some people have said that it has a bitter taste to it due to the tea, but I did not experience that when I had it. Perhaps they tweaked the recipe for the cream or I guess it could depend on the batch.
The pearls are soft and I like the texture. (Even though it doesn’t have any taste whatsoever!)
The pancake is drizzled with ‘gula melaka’ sauce, which again, reminds me of those popular brown sugar pearl milk tea 🙂
In terms of jiggliness, the pancake served here earns top marks. In fact, some parts are moister than others. Thus, the drier parts had more of a chiffon cake-like texture. Also, because no flavours were added for the pancake, it has a very apparent eggy taste. But the pancake itself is sweet. Surprisingly, it was still nice to eat on its own (even without the cream). Honestly speaking, I did not mind the eggy taste. I really liked it!
This was indeed a unique flavour. There may be others who use boba on their soufflé pancakes, but as far as I’m concerned, Belluno Cafe was definitely the first to do it (in Brunei).
The Jasmine Boba is priced at $8.90, which is reasonably priced in my opinion for the portion.
Belluno Cafe makes soufflé pancakes daily from 9am to 8.30pm, which is great since you are not limited to only certain times of the day.
3. Matcha Mana
Matcha Mana is a Japanese-themed cafe in Bandar Seri Begawan and as the name implies, it specialises in matcha items. At first only drinks were served here, but Matcha Mana has branched out to serving food as well. And not surprising, the Japanese fluffy pancakes can also be found here too!
The one flavour they have that is very Japanesy is yuzu! Yuzu is a Japanese citrus lemon and the flavour is infused into the pancake and there is also yuzu sauce that comes with it. Yuzu is supposed to have a sour/tart taste.
The pancakes come in smaller sizes, but there are a lot of them … six pieces to be exact!
Due to their small size, it is easier to cook them throughout. For the most part, the texture is like a chiffon cake and is not too moist. But it is still fluffy!
There’s a generous amount of crème chantilly at the centre and it’s unsweetened. I guess it is to not nullify the sourness of the yuzu sauce.
The pancakes are presented in a cute fashion and I love that all the three specialty soufflé pancakes that I sampled were presented differently.
Despite being infused with yuzu, I could not really taste it in the pancakes. They did not taste as eggy as I’d imagined. I suppose that’s because of the yuzu infusion like what I had mentioned earlier about the onde-onde pancake.
The yuzu sauce really does have that tarty taste, as it should and this was what I absolutely loved about it. It was indeed different from the other sweet sauces and it did mix well with the unsweetened whipped cream together with the pancakes. This is definitely a Japanese flavuor that I’d recommend anyone to give a try (apart from the popular matcha flavour).
Oh! Another thing that impressed me were the strawberries – they were fresh and not sour at all!
I do not usually eat strawberries because they can, at times, be sour. But with this particular pancake, I was surprised that I had gobbled up ALL of the strawberries 🙂
Matcha Mana makes soufflé pancakes all day and they have quite a number of choices to choose from their menu.
Craving for some fluffy pancakes?
I hope you’ll give these specialty soufflé pancakes a try after reading my article on Neue. I’m sure there will be more cafes in Brunei that’ll be serving soufflé pancakes (with even more adventurous flavours!)
I absolutely fell in love with the fluffiness of these pancakes, and I do look forward to even more pancake adventures! Follow me at @dafoodenthusiast for more food updates.
Disclaimer: All opinions and views shared in this article are my own and according to my own subjective taste. Regardless, I’d still love to hear your feedback. So do drop a comment below or reach out to Neue via Facebook or Instagram.
Oh! And while you’re here, click here to check out some of my past articles that can be found on Neue.