Japan has taken cream buns to a whole new level: delicate, soft buns with creamy filling that's not cloyingly sweet inside. Surprisingly, the combination of flavors and textures work perfectly together. They call this heavenly dessert “Hattendo Japanese cream buns,” and I finally got to try them at SM Mega Fashion Hall last weekend.
So, what exactly are these amazing cream buns?
Hattendo buns are made out of premium dough from Japan. It's like a unique hybrid of ice cream and bread, and I can't believe these buns came all the way from Hiroshima, Japan!
"Hattendo" (which means unlimited prosperity) is named after a small shrine that stood centuries in Hiroshima. Travelers used to rest at this small temple and prayed for their safety. Mr. Kaoru Morimitsu, the original founder, opened the very first store in 1933.
It comes in 7 yummy flavors; Azuki bean, Whipped Cream, Matcha, Chocolate, Custard, Chestnut and Mango. The last two flavors are seasonal though.
I enjoyed Custard, Whipped Cream, Azuki Bean & Matcha Hattendo Japanese cream buns. I also like the fact that the filling has a mild, subtle sweetness, while the delicate chilled bun complements its creamy goodness. It's amazing how the special Japanese wrapper keeps the moisture and consistency intact, wherein the bun held up really firmly. Simply put, you have to enjoy it before it melts.
That being said, I have three "best" tips for you, guys!
1. Best eaten when chilled. Like really chilled. If you want to add some sweetness, just sprinkle some sugar. For those who seek comfort in constantly checking the calories, please note that each bun has approximately 230-280 calories depending on the flavor.
2. Best paired with a cup of tea, coffee, or my favorite healthy drink ( which is also from Japan) HyC 150. What can I say, I'm a sucker for everything Japanese, and it's painfully obvious that I like anything ridiculously creamy.
3. Best "Omiyage" or "pasalubong" for your loved ones. I suggest you take home a box, because a sad and cold bun is not enough. Seriously.
Take note of the 3 sets of dates upon purchase:
1) Consume Before mm/dd/yyyy by 2:00pm
It is best consumed within 24 hours after purchase to ensure the best quality. To keep the buns chilled while travelling for at least more than 3 hours, you can get small gel ice packs in their packaging. Or, you can buy the cooler bag for only P70. Once thawed, do not refreeze the buns, just keep refrigerated and serve chilled.
2) Production Date
The production date is the manufacturing date. Trivia: Hattendo factory produces 40,000 cream buns daily to cater to 16 stores in Japan alone. There are 3 stores in Korea, 2 stores in the Philippines, and the company is looking forward to opening more stores in the years to come.
3) Expiry Date
The expiry date refers to the frozen state of the bun. As long as the cream buns are kept frozen, the expiry date remains to be true. Again, once thawed, check the consume before date for your reference.
The fact that every bun you enjoy is carefully prepared and molded into perfection by their resident ninjas in Japan, makes it one of a kind. In order to ensure great quality, taste and food safety, everything from baking, preparation of cream (without added alternatives) to wrapping and packaging, are all done by hand inside the Hattendo factory at Hiroshima, Japan. They go through a special freezing process for international shipping. Theyalso thaw buns by batch inside an enclosed cold storage facility 24 hours prior to distribution and selling.
The cost of ingredients, labor and logistics just to get it here in the Philippines, explains why these yummy Japanese chilled cream buns are sold for P118/piece. I know, the price is a little steep but it's pretty fair for the quality, taste and authenticity of this treat. Plus, it's #Hattendolicious, and definitely a must-try!
Hattendo buns are available in the ff. malls;
SM Megamallel 2nd level of Mega Fashion Hall (10am to 10pm daily)
SM Mall of Asia - Ground Floor, Main Mall, North Wing (10am to 10pm daily)
Power Plant Mall - Concourse Level (11am to 10pm weekends only)
Domo arigato Hattendo Philippines for the tasty Japanenese cream buns! Loved 'em to bits!