Taiyaki, the tiny shop on Baxter Street that opened with one thing on the menu (taiyaki, naturally, served with soft serve ice cream), has been drawing insane lines recently with a new offering. Owner Jimmy Chen—who also has shops in Williamsburg, Miami, and Toronto (and is also known for those Unicorn Floats are ubiquitous at events like EZoo), has another new sensation on his hands: improbably fluffy, charmingly jiggly, delightfully eggy Japanese Soufflé Pancakes.
A stack of these costs around $7+, depending on which option you choose. You can get your stack served Classic style, with powdered sugar, butter, whipped cream, and maple syrup, or smothered in a surprisingly sweet Matcha cream. A baby taiyaki, filled with red bean paste, comes with either order. These soufflé pancakes are apparently difficult to come by in these parts, which has led to a lot of buzz and a big line at the Baxter Street location.
Last weekend, when Taiyaki launched the soufflé-pancake program, waits were hovering around 2 hours long. Here's how it works: the pancakes are only served during specific hours: from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Each order takes about 10 minutes to make—made-to-order meringue is involved—so if you're even a little way down the block, the wait is substantial. Definitely plan to wait a couple of hours. On Saturday they stopped allowing newcomers on line at 1:30, and finished serving everyone already waiting at 4 p.m. On Sunday people started showing up at 9:30 in the morning, an hour and a half before the store opens.
The line. (Scott Lynch / Gothamist)
It takes dedication to get one of these beauties, for sure, and if you don't have to be elsewhere on a Friday, that seems like your more sensible option if you want to try one out.
Taiyaki is located at 119 Baxter Street, between Canal and Hester Streets, and sells Soufflé Pancakes only on Friday, Saturdays, and Sundays, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Soft ice cream, fish cones, and Unicorn Floats served until 10 p.m. on weeknights, 11 p.m. on weekends. (taiyakinyc.com)