MELBOURNE | Kēki means ‘cake’ in Japanese, and chef Wookjin “Jin” Jang and his friends Hangyul “Han” Oh, and Jacob Jeon love cake. Three years ago they opened Keki Milk Bar as an evening pop-up inside Queen Street café, Workshop Coffee. After outgrowing the space, they decided to relocate in the space formerly home to Basement Café (now CEREE). I visited to grab some photos for What’s On Melbourne.
The trio have brightened up the basement space a bit, which retains its cosy feel with the addition of Japanese touches. Keki is all about soufflé pancakes. Light and fluffy cloud-like creations made using Jin’s whipped egg white batter. Each is topped with a mascarpone cream, designed to maintain its shape while you eat your pancake.
There’s eight choices always on the menu, plus a rotating selection of seasonal creations. Flavours include things like the signature strawberry topped with fresh strawberries; matcha with sweet red bean, and walnut crumb; and my favourite, sticky caramel with cacao nibs and popcorn. If you want to customise your pancake, you can add additional toppings.
Along with soufflé pancakes, Keki also sells a selection of house-made drinks. House made fermented fruit sodas with flavours like passionfruit, and strawberry, are a highlight. There’s also things like iced chocolate, coffee, and tea.
Keki Milk Bar
350 La Trobe Street
Mon – Thu: 3:00pm to 9:30pm
Fri: 3:00pm to 10:00pm
Sat: 11:00am to 10:00pm
Sun: 11:00am to 9:30pm