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The Original Pancake House in Seoul

American restaurant chain to open first overseas store in Seoul

May 16, 2013 - 20:32 By Korea Herald
A new brunch-friendly place is coming to town this Monday.

The Original Pancake House ― a more than five-decade-old American family chain that started out in Portland, Oregon ― is opening in Seoul.

Known for its pancakes, crepes and other breakfast-centric items, The Original Pancake House boasts around 120 outlets nationwide, according to corporate chef Jon Liss.

This will be the business’ first overseas store, Liss revealed.

The new Seoul store’s owner, Jun Hyun-joon, said he was drawn to The Original Pancake House because of its multi-generational family legacy ― and because of the food, of course.

It was the butter ― which Jun believes makes the pancakes not too heavy but still rich in flavor ― that won him over.

Liss, 58, explained, “We cook only with clarified butter.”

Essentially butter sans milk solids, Liss says clarified butter can be used to cook at a higher temperature than regular butter, making it ideal for spinning out the establishment’s “very thin” and “lacy” potato and soft buttermilk pancakes, both of which will be on the new shop’s menu.
The Original Pancake House’s Dutch Baby, a souffle-like pancake dusted in powdered sugar, is served with whipped butter and lemon. (Kim Myung-sub/The Korea Herald)

In addition to sticking to clarified butter in lieu of oil or regular butter, the official website ( states pancakes are crafted from “old-fashioned sourdough yeast.”

The yeast seems to play a key role in imparting a delightful airy tang to flapjacks like the buttermilk pancakes, which Jun says is one of his favorite dishes.

In addition to potato and buttermilk pancakes, other items like the puffy Dutch Baby, a souffle-like pancake that Liss says “rises four to six inches off the plate,” and the Apple Pancake, which takes up to an hour to make, will be available.

Liss also revealed the Seoul outlet will serve crepes, sourdough flapjacks, chocolate chip, coconut, and pumpkin pancakes.

“Everything is the same,” said Jun, 35, who added that he plans on sticking to the original menu and portions. “I don’t want to reduce the size of the dishes.”

According to Liss, outlets serve different variations of The Original Pancake House’s repertoire and for Seoul, there will be pancakes, crepes and waffles, but items like old fashioned oatmeal and eggs Benedict will not be on the menu.

Liss also added there are no current plans to add new dishes to the line-up for the Seoul store.

Located in Sinsa-dong, near Garosugil, the restaurant can seat up to around 80 and is slated to open on May 20. 
The first overseas outlet of The Original Pancake House is located in Sinsa-dong,Seoul, near Garosugil (Kim Myung-sub/The Korea Herald)

The Original Pancake House

523-20 Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul/ (02) 511-7481

Open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays through Fridays,

open 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturdays through Sundays.

Pancakes, crepes and waffles cost around 9,000 won to 20,000 won

By Jean Oh (