Gram Cafe & Pancakes

Come for the fluffy premium pancakes, but be wary of the rest of the menu.

April 30, 2021

Gram Pancakes opened about a year ago to a lot of hype and long lines. Originally a small pancake chain in Japan, their Chatswood store is their first foray into Australian territory. The staff are not Japanese, but they do make the effort to yell out the customary “irasshaimase” greeting as you enter the store.

During their grand opening they had some teething problems, with groups of customers limited to one order of their signature pancakes (due to long cooking times). After a lot of angry Google reviews, they removed this limitation.

They must have the premium pancakes constantly cooking in the kitchens because they now come out significantly faster than anything else you’ve ordered. Which might be a little bit awkward if you’re eating with other people!

Their specialty premium pancakes do live up to the hype:

"Gram Cafe premium pancakes"
"Gram Cafe premium pancakes"

They’re very soft and fluffy, and I’ve never had anything else like it.

Unfortunately the rest of the menu items I’ve tried at Gram Cafe are not so great. They do have some of the more traditional “flat” pancakes, but none are nearly as good as their premium pancakes.

On my most recent visit, I decided to go for something different, and ordered the matcha french toast. It looks quite nice from this angle:

"Gram Cafe Matcha french toast"
"Gram Cafe Matcha french toast"

And then you look at the other side, and you see the heaping amounts of cream and matcha-flavoured cream:

"Gram Cafe Matcha french toast has too much cream"
"Gram Cafe Matcha french toast has too much cream"

The ratio was quite literally 50:50 cream to toast (and a scoop of ice cream on top). It’s not really the sort of cream you want to eat by the mouthful either, and I say that as someone with a huge sweet tooth. I ended up leaving most of the cream behind, but it’s quite confusing. Do they expect anyone to eat it all?

(I’ll spare you a photo of the aftermath - the leftover cream is enough to be its own meal!).

It’s worse when you order something like the matcha pancake. The pancakes are stacked with equally thick layers of cream in between each pancake. It’s a lot harder to scrape off all that cream then!

It’s quite confusing that the premium pancakes are so good, and everything else seems to fall a bit short in quality. I would guess that the staff have been given very specific instructions and training to nail that signature dish, but maybe that care is missing from the rest of the menu items.

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