Belle Epoque – Mei Hao Nian Dai

Due to the proximity to Japan, Taiwan is one of the first places to always get updated with the latest Japanese trends whether it is fashion related or food related. In the 2nd half of 2018, a particular dessert became extremely popular within Taiwan and Hong Kong but only a handful of cafes in Singapore have followed the trend. This trend is the soufflé pancakes which is not all that easy to make. Soufflé pancakes are basically meringue mixed into pancake batter and grilled slowly on a pan to slowly cook the batter. Belle Epoque is one such café which has great soufflé pancakes according to a famous youtuber so we came by to give our verdict.

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The Chinese name of the café is Mei Hao Nian Dai which basically means Years of Good Times. The café is also decorated in an industrial chic style mixed with retro 80s studious style.

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There are various decorative items and furniture placed around the café to establish the retro look.

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There are also some cups and canisters carrying the cafe’s name and logo which are being sold.

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The main counter is where the desserts and drinks are being made while the kitchen for other food items is right at the back of the café.

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Although the soufflé pancakes are one of the main draw of the café, there are also other hot food available like sandwiches, pasta and pizza. The café also provides free WIFI for guests but there is a strict rule that requires every guest to have at least 1 main order.

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We wanted the crème brulee soufflé pancake but was told that they do not make it anymore. Instead, they recommended the pearl milk tea pancake which is one of the more popular item. These were normal pancakes stacked up and covered with a thick and creamy milk cream and pearls. The taste of Taiwanese milk tea is extremely strong in the cream and it totally feels like we were eating a solid version of milk tea. The pancakes were well cooked but nothing special.

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Next we had the strawberry soufflé pancake which was soft and wiggly with light strawberry cream and cut fresh strawberries. The pancakes had a very strong egg taste and were very light and fluffy but generally quite tasteless if not eaten with the cream. The cream and fruit created a good balance and everything was great until one of us bit into parts of uncooked pancake and we could clearly see the raw whites in between the other cooked parts so we were quite disappointed.

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The tiramisu soufflé pancake is also one of the more popular items with an extremely instagrammable look. The top is lightly dusted with cocoa powder and the cream is smeared across the tower of 3 pancakes. Unfortunately, the pancakes were cooked in a rush and was very unstable even before they reached our table. Once the server placed it down, the entire tower collapsed. This picture was managed after we tried to piece it back together ( you can see the jagged hole in the top pancake from our fork) The taste of the cream was much better for this with a chocolatey and mocha taste providing the balance to the pancakes. Like the strawberry ones, we also bit into some raw batter which spoilt our enjoyment of the pancakes.

Overall, if not for the raw bits, the pancakes were pretty good but not the best ones I have tasted. For now, the one I tasted in Malaysia which has cheese incorporated in the batter packed a much better taste compared to the ones here which are too plain with a eggy after taste.

Address: No. 23號, Lane 52, Section 1, Da’an Road, Da’an District, Taipei City, Taiwan 106

Operating hours: 11 am to 10 pm

Nearest station: Zhongxiao Fuxing station

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