Unit 104-1184 Denman St
T: 604 681 3163
Brief Description: With locations at English Bay and Aberdeen Mall, the Japanese craze of Beard Papa’s fresh cream puffs has well and truly hit Vancouver.
If you are the kind of person who doesn’t get too excited for the overly sweet Tim Bit’s or “Cupcakes” cupcakes, perhaps Beard Papa’s cream puffs are more up your alley when that sweet-tooth rears its head. Originating in Japan, Beard Papa’s has become a gastronomical success story with well over 300 stores now located around the world. The fact that 230 of those stores can be found in Japan is evidence of just how much the Japanese have loyaly embraced Beard Papa’s. Admittedly, I even found myself getting wrapped up in the excitment when they opened the store on Denman last year… So, just what is the big deal with these fist-sized treats?
To be honest, I’m not as taken with them as their loyal Japanese fans, but as someone who has a sweet-tooth I can certainly see some draw. Made fresh daily, it apparently takes over 2 hours, from start to finish, to get them to their puffy state of glory. The process begins with a half choux pastry-half pie crust shell, which is soft on the inside but golden, with a slight crunch, on the outside. The finishing touches are put on only once you’ve made your purchased. They take a shell and, right before your eyes, fill it with your desired whipped-cream custard mixture and a dusting of icing sugar. The whipped-cream custard mixture comes in an assortment of different flavours; vanilla bean (my personal favourite), dark chocolate, green tea and strawberry. Basically, it is like an individual profiterole without the chocolate coating. Unless of course, you’d like that and then you’d need to order the chocolate eclair puff…
One thing they have going against them is that they are very difficult to eat without making a complete pig of yourself – the cream custard filling manages to escape every time and you find yourself having to lick big globs of it off the back of your hand. And then you find that that it also managed to get in your hair and smeared on your face…or maybe that’s just me! 🙂
Final Thoughts: The fascination is still slightly lost on me, but they are a nice change from all the usual suspects of icecream/cookies/cupcakes on Denman.