This morning we headed out to Harajuku to go to Rainbow Pancake for breakfast. After getting off the train and walking in the wrong direction for a couple minutes (I hate walking directions on Google Maps) we found it tucked away between side streets and alleys.
The place didn’t open until 10:00AM. We got in line some 20ft away behind a two women and a child who were already waiting when we walked up around 9:40. I grabbed a menu from inside. It was 95% in Japanese sprinkled with English and a few pictures.
A few minutes later a worker came out and started getting orders! We had no idea what to order or what anything really was. I ordered something that looked like it had salmon and avocado on a pancake. My wife ordered one of the sweet pancakes that had macadamia on it (that was a recommendation she saw online and was able to match it from one of the pictures on the menu).
By 10:00AM our line grew to 15 or so people in the alleyway and another 10 or so people lined up at the door. We *think* they had reservations. After they were sat in the tiny upstairs galley room with tables on one side and a kitchen on the other we moved up the stairs closer to the door.
One of the kitchen workers walked outside where we were waiting. He said something to us in Japanese. We just stared at him. Then he said, “No Japanese?” And we feverishly responded with nods and yeses. He told us that it’d be another 20-30 minute wait then walked back in.
Then a couple minutes later he comes back outside. He asks where we’re from then we talked about our trip here and his trips to the U.S. to NYC, California and Vegas. It was nice to have a conversation with someone who wasn’t a fellow tourist.
We got a table around 10:30. I was the only male customer. The waitress brought us water with infused fruit. She was proud to tell us “lemon, orange, kiwi” in English. My iced coffee and wife’s orange juice arrived shortly after. Then we got our meals.
Mine had two light, fluffy pancakes. They were topped with lettuce, smoked salmon, sliced avocado, cream cheese and onion. At the end of the meal I received a tiny ramekin of this coffee jello. Overall on a flavor scale I’ll give it a 7/10. Presentation 8/10. I kinda feel like a judge for a Food Network show…
Our bill was around ¥2900. Remember in Japan you don’t usually tip too. It was worth the price. The wait was annoying and anything more than what we waited would have been a major turn off. The service was top-notch.
If you’re in Harajuku and the wait isn’t too long, hit up Rainbow Pancake. Send me a picture when you do too!