Update: There are long lines.

Brace yourself for a billion boomerangs of those jiggly, impossibly poofy soufflé pancakes from Japan, as the hugely popular Flipper's opens today in SoHo. The wildly popular pancake chain has 12 restaurants in Japan and several other spots scattered about Asia, but this is its first outpost in North America, and loads of pre-game hype plus a prime West Broadway location all but ensures the place will be mobbed with food tourists for the foreseeable future.

Which, of course, sounds dreadful, but here's the thing. The dining area at the SoHo Flipper's is hugely appealing, a sunny, second-story corner spot flanked on two sides by windows that can be flung open to the streets. Yes, there's a neon sign with a silly slogan, but most of the design involves muted, hand-painted typography, and botanical prints are hung on raw brick walls, all nicely paired with elegant, contemporary furnishings that seat about 50. A semi-open kitchen adds to the energy of the room. It really is a pretty space.

Even more important, as I found out at a press preview party a few days ago, the pancakes themselves are amazing, both the sky-high soufflés (which are the lightest, most melt-in-your-mouth versions of these I've yet tasted) and what they call their "Sweet Pancakes," which are the size and shape of regular flapjacks but share that fluffy DNA of the soufflés. There are also waffles, but these aren't nearly as good.

The pancakes are available in a variety of flavors, thanks to the thick, freshly made cream poured over the pile with abandon. The Maple Butter, the Matcha, the Blueberry Cream Cheese, the Strawberry Custard, all of these were delicious, as were the basic "Flipper's Pancakes" with plain sweet cream. There are savory pancake (and waffle) dishes too, topped with Eggs Benedict fixings, or Fried Chicken, or Smoked Salmon. A few additional items like Truffle French Fries, Kale Salad, and Brussel Sprout Bacon make an appearance as well.

To ease the inevitable wait-times for a table, the downstairs portion of Flipper's is set aside as a takeout counter, selling intriguing-sounding creations like Soufflé Pudding and Pancake Pie, as well as coffee, boba tea, and ice cream. There's a counter down here with a half dozen stools, but while the weather's still so pleasant the smart move might be to take your treats to Tribeca Park just a couple of blocks away.

Flipper's is located at 337 West Broadway, at the corner of Grand Street, and is open daily from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. (flippersus.com)