In Japan, it’s not hard to find exceptional pancakes. They differ quite a lot from most other types of pancakes because in Japan, the more wobbly the pancake the better. A benefit to that is you can generally eat more because it isn’t quite as dense and the airy texture of the whipped egg whites allow a soufflé-like texture.
So after months of searching, I have decided my go-to pancake place is a restaurant called Bills. You might find that name to be familiar because they had originally opened in Sydney, Australia. The restaurant gained so much popularity in Tokyo that they decided to open several stores all throughout Japan (four in Tokyo, two in Kanagawa, Osaka, and Fukuoka). And boy, am I glad they did.
First off let me tell you a bit about these pancakes. On the menu, they are listed as Ricotta Hotcakes, with Fresh Banana. Off the menu (in my mind), they’re “Great Heavenly Pillows” because that’s exactly what they are. Each bite is light and fluffy and it comes with honeycomb butter that adds that perfect touch of sweetness to a not too sweet batter.
If you want to see the rest of the full menu visit Bills Japan and click a specific location and each one will have a full breakfast, lunch, dinner and drinks menu. Be prepared to be overwhelmed with too many tasty dishes. I have tried almost everything on each menu now. That’s how often I go to Bills. Every time I go to Bills, I order the Ricotta Pancakes for dessert (usually shared with one other person).
According to Time Out, they had even voted Bills one of the top 20 places to get pancakes on their list. They made a point to warn their readers of the long wait that usually comes with going to Bills, but if you find the right timing and the right location, the wait is never longer than 15 minutes. On weekdays, the Ginza Bills has no wait (at least every time I went there – which was a weekday around 18.30). On the weekdays, if you want to go to the Harajuku/ Omotesando branch, an early start is the best time to go (9.00-10.00). By 11.00 the wait can vary from 15-30 minutes. Anything after 11.30 can be quite a long wait until the late afternoon.
Even blurry and off to a distance, these pancakes look mouth-watering (Photo by us)
IF for some reason, you are not in the mood for fluffy goodness of ricotta, there are plenty of other dishes that are incredibly satisfying and downright delicious. Coming from Australia, there are a lot of Australian influences. You can get anything from fresh pressed juices, coffee, Bellinis, wine, etc., as well as baked good, sandwiches, salads, even Wagyu steak!
So come check out Bills in Tokyo if you’re ever visiting. It is worth the trip and especially for the ricotta pancakes! You won’t find anything like it out there.