Japanese bakeshops and pastries are everywhere, really. We talked about Kumori, Uncle Tetsu, and now even the famed Pablo’s is coming to Manila soon. That’s why when we heard about Hattendo’s famous cream buns and saw photos of it everywhere, we were hardly surprised that it had now set up shop on our shores. Hattendo has been around in Japan since 1933, and in Manila since early this year, known mostly for one thing: their chilled cream buns.
Overly-sweet bread ain’t my thing, which is why these things were better than I imagined. I heard whipped cream in a sweet, soft bun, and immediately thought that it would definitely be good, but there might be a risk of these things giving me a toothache. Flavor-wise however, the level of sweetness isn’t turned up to an unbearable notch–instead, I can imagine stuffing one after the other into my gob without realizing I’d polished off a box. The creams don’t really have incredibly distinct flavor, but they are fluffy and whipped to pastry perfection. Adzuki had a nice slightly savory tinge to it, while the Matcha’s floral notes went well with the light sweetness of the cream. Mango had a surprisingly bright, tropical touch to it as well.
If a place has a flagship menu item, it has to be really good or worth the hype. Imagine lining up all the way at Dominique Ansel’s bakery and finding that the original Cronut tasted like all the impostors that tried to cop the recipe. Thankfully, the buns are as soft as advertised.The bread rolls are more pillow-like than you can imagine. After biting into one, you can hardly tell the difference between the texture of the cream filling and its pastry casing.
The only real downside is that these are quite expensive; at PHP 118 per bun you might be inclined to go somewhere else to get your fix. Try it once at least, because you’ll never know–you might develop another bad habit.