After 18 stores in Japan and several outlets in South Korea, Taiwan and Philippines, Japan's famous chilled cream buns HATTENDO 八天堂 (established in Hiroshima since 1933) have finally arrived in Singapore.
The café at level one of Tanjong Pagar Centre (directly connected to Tanjong Pagar mrt station EW15) officially opened its door on 3rd January 2017 with a capacity of 38 seats, and also includes a counter for takeways.
I wasn't quite sure what to expect as I made my way over after a heavy lunch. My stomach was almost bursting. Will I still enjoy the buns? Just how good can it be?
After taking my first bite, my verdict is: The cream bun "wasn't good" at all..... it was GREAT!!!
Pardon me for that burst of excitement, but the cream buns invoked such an emotion that is now impossible to contain.
Friends and colleagues would know I've been raving about it, and even bought a few for them to try because.... great things must share share. Spread the love.
The buns are affordably priced at $2.50 each and available in 5 flavors, namely Custard, Whipped Cream, Matcha, Azuki, as well as Chocolate.
Gotta eat 'em all!
Not kidding about that, because the handmade buns are not too big in size and are utterly light, so it was easy to finish more than one or two each time.
It might look like any other typical bun, deceptively plain with a light brown crust. But hold it in your hands, you will feel how pillowy soft it is. The fluffy texture is said to be a hybrid of cake and bread.
Please be gentle and refrain from squeezing it too hard lol!
We gingerly teared the buns open to reveal the velvety smooth fresh filling which is a mix of custard and whipped fresh cream from Hokkaido. Amount is generous and ideal in proportion.
My favorite has to be the Azuki that is made with carefully-simmered Hokkaido-grown qualified Azuki sweet beans! The flavor is pleasing and is the only one with some textural contrast.
Matcha comes a close second with its slight tinge of pleasant bitterness from a well-known Fukuoka green tea brand.
Chocolate will appeal to both the young and old.
The signature Custard, as well as Whipped Cream are more delicate in comparison, but nonetheless enjoyable too.
Overall, each of the flavors are distinct yet subtle without being too sweet. It was none at all cloying.
The buns are best eaten when chilled, and still tasted great after I took away a few and had them the next day.
Is happiness edible? My answer is yes as I took bite after bite, and licked every bit of cream off my fingers. So delightful!
The coffee served in the café is an original blend created by Itsuki Coffee, a specialty coffee shop on Miyajima Island in Hiroshima Prefecture.
My cup of hot Café Latte ($4.50 hot / $5 cold) was a perfect match with the chilled cream buns.
Besides cream buns, the café also offers Mason Jar Salad ($7) with added protein option of Salmon ($5) and Chicken ($3). It comes with free-flow of plain, garlic and cheese homemade croutons that you can help yourself to at the dispenser.
HATTENDO Café is certainly a delicious addition to the Tanjong Pagar vicinity. Queues have already been forming and the cream buns are selling out fast.
I wouldn't be surprised if customers buy a few not just for themselves, but also in larger quantities to share with friends, colleagues and family.
My advice is: Quick, quick, go go go for it!!!
HATTENDO Café Singapore 八天堂
Address: 7 Wallich Street, Tanjong Pagar Centre #01-05, Singapore 078884
Contact: To be updated when available
Opening Hours: Weekdays 10am-9pm / Weekend & PH 11am-8pm
Prices are (1) Stated in Singapore dollars (2) Nett - no service charge & GST (3) Correct at point of published date.
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