I have long searched for Japanese pancakes. I've heard so much about them, and every time I see a picture of them, I can't help but drool. When buku (an awesome local restaurant serving upscale global street food) opened a new location 5 minutes away from my house, my wife and I decided to check it out and my eyes were immediately drawn to one thing on the menu: Japanese pancakes. The search was complete, and it was well worth it.
The dish comes with two thick pancakes, shoyu maple syrup, yuzu ice cream, fresh berries, and matcha whipped cream. The pancakes were exactly what I hoped they would be: thick and perfectly cooked. The maple syrup was just sweet enough to add some flavor to the pancakes. The ice cream, berries, and whipped cream added this fantastic blend of sweet, sour, and a surprising note of bitterness. It really helped to make this a complete dish, which was very unexpected going in to it. The mango strips on top were another pleasant flavor note that only added to my joy. This meal was perfect. The flavor notes combined to keep this dish from being too sweet, as pancakes typically are, and none of the notes overwhelmed the other. And don't let this picture fool you: it was difficult to finish this meal, but I had to do it. This was a lot of food for a brunch item, and it was worth every penny.