Gram Cafe & Pancakes is the hottest pancake house chain all over Japan and now they have a U.S. flagship in San Francisco's Stonestown Galleria!
These pancakes are the lightest, fluffiest, chubbiest sweet or savory delights you have ever experienced. Dorothy Wong, the owner, personally designed the menu for the full-on Asian cuisine experience as well as the more traditional American palate. We started with Dalgona coffee and a Matcha Oat latte, and the Dalgona was as smooth as a chocolate mousse and the latte as beautiful green as fresh grass and with a perfect latte art heart on the top. I loved how it was served to me in a nice china cup and saucer, so fancy! For mains we chose the salmon and avocado pancakes which were served with a salad and and crunchy/tender potato bites. The salmon tasted fresh and high quality and it was garnished with capers, such a classy touch! We also ordered the hot lava salty egg yolk pancakes topped with flossy Pork Sung and this dish was so unique, so sweet and savory and so delicious I was thrilled I had chosen it. It came with a big dollop of house whipped cream that was perfection. Eason, the general manager explained how they carefully whip the cream in-house so it's fresh and fluffy for use in many of their dishes. I ordered a side of sausage and Japanese salad that was dressed with a lovely sesame dressing. When the dessert was served my friend and I could no longer talk to each other as we were so absorbed in each amazing, exquisite bite. We had the Matchamisu which was a tiramisu type of dessert, Japanese style: layers of those insanely fluffy pancakes, Matcha granola, the most amazing Marscapone I've ever had, white chocolate sauce, a big scoop of Matcha ice cream, Matcha Warabi and topped with that incredible whipped cream and Azuki bean. So many flavors, so decadent and satisfying at the same time. We also ordered a side of Matcha ice cream which was served with that fantastic whipped cream! If I keep mentioning the whipped cream it's because it was so fabulous! Where do you find high quality hand whipped cream, and in a mall? Amazing. Interestingly, several of the dishes take 30 minutes to prepare, (like the lava salty egg yolk pancakes). Dorothy explained that it takes that long to make the pancakes and toppings and serve them piping hot and fresh. I really appreciated the attention to quality and detail, real silverware vs. plastic, high quality fresh ingredients with each dish lovingly made in the kitchen for each guest. We were amazed that this level of finesse was available while taking a break from shopping at this terrific mall. There was a good variety of people dining when were were there on Sunday afternoon, groups of stylish teenagers, families with all generations present, Dad's ordering good Sake and kids ordering Lychee Japanese sodas with their meals, and everyone relaxed and happy. The menu is diverse and while there are some very unique Japanese entries there are also some traditional more American style ones as well, so truly something for every palate. The staff was friendly and attentive and the owner Dorothy Wong and General Manager Eason were on hand making sure everything was perfection for every one of their diners. If I ever go to Japan I am definitely going to check out Gram there but until I do I will be very happily dining at our very own Gram SF, a truly delightful Japanese premium pancake house custom tweaked for us here in The City. Thank you Gram SF!