Rise and Shine

Once’s soufflé pancakes are served with honey butter, chancaca syrup and seasonal berries. Photo by Benjamin Hager

 Japanese Soufflé Pancakes Are Selling Like Hot Cakes

They’re light, airy and red hot. Food & Wine magazine has called soufflé pancakes “one of the biggest culinary trends to hit Japan in the last half decade.” And when Japanese chain Flipper brought them to New York City in October, people waited up to four hours in line at the SoHo restaurant to be among the first to try them. In Las Vegas, chef Losa Yi was quietly rolling them out as part of the new weekend brunch menu at Palazzo’s Peruvian-Japanese restaurant Once.

“I brought it here because my mother used to make me that pancake,” says Yi, whose family immigrated to the U.S. from Korea when she was three years old. She’s quick to point out that the sweet, fluffy cakes, which she steams slowly — just as her mother did — are neither new, nor native to Japan. “In Asia they just call it a soufflé pancake, but here in America they call it a Japanese pancake. But they have it in Korea. They have it in China.”

Whatever you call them, they’re unlike any pancakes we’ve had — closer to a dessert soufflé than a flapjack. It can take up to 30 minutes for Yi and her team to build a single order, one layer at a time, allowing them to slowly rise. Your best bet is to order a plate for the table when you’re seated, and enjoy it after some of Once’s more savory brunch options. oncelv.com

(Luxury is owned by the family of Las Vegas Sands Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson. Las Vegas Sands operates Palazzo.)