Tokyo cafe dishes it out savory, sweet and 'kawaii': Rainbow Pancake
Rainbow Pancake could easily be another one of Tokyo's gimmicky, all filler, no killer cafes. But, after a tasty lunch at the pancake eatery in Omotesando, I could easily go back for breakfast and dinner!
The pancake dishes -- from fluffy egg pancakes to chocolate orange pancakes to "BLRT" pancakes -- are delicious and playfully gourmet!
By the way, the "BLRT" is bacon, lettuce, tomato and "renkon," or lotus root, which is a dazzling example of how the cafe incorporates Japanese ingredients within its dishes. Often times, cute cafes in the Harajuku/Omotesando areas go heavy on atmosphere, with the food merely a second thought. However, Rainbow Pancake dishes out a "kawaii" and friendly ambience backed up by a memorable culinary experience.
During a short wait to be seated, the owner welcomed me (in English) to the rainbow-decorated spot. He and the rest of the staff spoke both English and Japanese to me and made me feel welcomed.
What I ordered
•"The Mexican" pancake lunch set •Included: potato salad and coffee jelly
"The Mexican," is two large, fluffy pancakes with cheese in the middle, spicy ground meat, bitter melon or "goya," sprouts and red onions on top, with avocado and tomato. The waitress recommended I do an "add-on" of an egg for ¥150, but I stuck with the original. And, it was just the right amount of food. Price-wise, the lunch set was a great deal and left me full. The American in me wanted the veggies to be less of a garnish, but I ended up enjoying the minimalistic approach to each ingredient.
The cafe seats 18 people with nine, two-seater tables. Space is tight, so you might end up waiting outside. Also expect a wait if you go on the weekend. I ate there on a Monday afternoon (not a holiday), and there was never an empty seat. A larger space on the first floor, for parties and other special events, will require a reservation.
It is about a 7-8 minute walk from Omotesando Station (Subway) or Harajuku Station (Yamanote Line). The cafe is located on the second floor.