• Kyodo


The Australian restaurateur behind Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s favorite pancake breakfast has jokingly offered to make the famous ricotta hotcakes at the new prime minister’s residence.

Bill Granger, owner of the Bills restaurant chain, said in a videoconference call this week that he was excited to hear that Suga, who is a regular at the eatery’s Yokohama store, is Japan’s new prime minister.

“I trust someone who enjoys their food, and especially enjoys their pancakes,” Granger said, adding that as a fellow lover of sweets, he felt he had found a “kindred spirit” in Suga.

The prime minister, who told the Nikkei business daily that he sometimes eats Granger’s ricotta hotcakes “three or four days a week,” is known to line up outside the restaurant with other diners, something the chef thinks says a lot about the prime minister’s character.

“He sounds very, very humble and … seems like a very, very real person,” he said.

“Normally … when we get important people coming in we usually have their assistants letting us know and all of that, but he’s never done any of that. He’s never tried to jump the queue.”

Australian restaurateur Bill Granger | COURTESY OF PETRINA TINSLAY / VIA KYODO
Australian restaurateur Bill Granger | COURTESY OF PETRINA TINSLAY / VIA KYODO

However, Granger said that with the added pressures of the prime minister job, Suga may no longer be able to line up for his breakfast treat and the pancakes may instead have to go to him.

“I’ll put my hand up and come and cook pancakes at the prime minister’s residence,” he joked.

Granger said he would be equally happy to make breakfast for the prime minister in Australia when he visits.

The Australian chef said he is unsurprised that Suga enjoys the ricotta pancakes, which are the best-selling item at his chain, which also has locations in the United States and South Korea.

“They’re not overly sweetened and … the ricotta in them is protein that keeps you going,” he said. “They’ve been on the menu for 28 years now, and never changed.”

The first Bills restaurant opened in Sydney in 1993. Last year, Granger designed a special menu for passengers on All Nippon Airways Co.’s new Airbus A380 that is used on the Narita-to-Honolulu route.

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