Bonding over pancakes at Flipper’s Kichijoji, Tokyo
Do you remember Nokia’s famous catchy slogan “Connecting People”? I think it has been successfully adopted by Instagram. For the past couple of years, I have met so many wonderful creative people by randomly browsing through their feeds. This year I decided to connect more with expats living in Tokyo who share similar interests as me. Looking through a hashtag #Tokyo was sufficient to take me to Naomi‘s beautiful page, the London-based expat from Australia who happens to be eating her way around Tokyo at the moment. I was not sure if reaching out directly would have been a good idea. You never know if “hi there, do you want to meet up and adventure/eat together?” will send a vibe of a potential stalker vs. friend-seeking fellow expat. Although I took a leap of faith and thankfully Naomi was equally welcoming to an opportunity to meet up. Since we share the love for food, we thought lunch would be an appropriate way to kick start our acquaintance. The choice fell on Flipper’s, currently the institution for allegedly fluffiest pancakes in Tokyo.
I showed up early feeling quite famished, and decided to grab a quick bite from a neighborhood bakery before Naomi arrived. As I was hurriedly stuffing my face with a last large bite of my delicious crispy curry bun, the sweetest girl patted on my shoulder asking if I was Nano. So here I was, a stalker from Instagram with her mouth stuffed so much I couldn’t utter a word. Couldn’t ask for a better first impression.
We were promptly seated by the counter, ordered pancakes and chatted our hearts out about all things blogging, Instagram and travel. And then the pancakes arrived and we both revealed our camera gear. The light was not quite flattering and the counter seats turned out not to be good for flatlays (#FirstWorldBloggerProblems), but we still made sure we made our presence known by working our two plates from numerous angles to get it just right. I felt incredibly at ease, it’s such a comfort to be with a person who shares your enthusiasm for things.
Anyway, back to pancakes, mine arrived just like the fluffy clouds topped with handful of delicious strawberries, bananas and whipped cream. Although, I had a minor food envy when I saw Naomi’s topping: beautifully glazed banana, chocolate and maple butter cream.
Cutting my fork into the pancake revealed the addictive airy and melt-in-your-mouth texture with a trace of meringue. I wouldn’t call them the fluffiest pancakes in Tokyo, but I can definitely vouch for a delicious taste. Besides sweet toppings, Flipper’s also offers savory pancakes with smoked salmon and a salad. I might need to come back to try it some time.
By the way, if you’d like to make your own fluffy pancake at home, I discovered a blog of the Japanese expat in Australia who posts Japanese recipes including these pancakes. I like her blog because she gives a little cultural background about Japanese food, and reveals some secret ingredients. In short, check at chopstickchronicles.com.
Once we were done indulging, we headed out to explore Kichijoji, which is a melting pot of artistic and hipsterish shops and cafes as well as narrow yokochos with quintessential vibe. I cannot wait to get back, as Inokashira Park is known to be one of the most scenic cherry blossom viewing spots in Tokyo. It is also home to the magical Studio Ghibli Museum which we both hope to get to soon.
Needless to say, having a like-minded travel companion makes such a huge difference. I’m happy I put aside my shyness and reached out, as they say, if you don’t try you will know what could have happened. I look forward to meeting Naomi again soon as we have couple of outings planned already. I also hope to meet more wonderful people and make more friends in 2017.