Foodland’s Ala Moana Center store was closed for renovation for several months now, and just reopened their doors this past Thursday with a new Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, a Beard Papa’s, and an overall fresh, updated look.
Beard Papa’s is a franchise from Japan that specializes in freshly made Cream Puffs. Their Hawaii locations, which have been in the islands for several years now, are operated by Foodland’s Sullivan family. Which explains why many of their shops are located within their stores; the first of which to arrive on our shores being in the Waikiki Food Pantry supermarket. The last of which I’ve visited before this one being at the Koko Marina Foodland.
Beard Papa’s motto is “to only serve the freshest cream puffs”. With that, every one served is made from a choux pastry shell that’s baked fresh on site. They’re very light and airy, with a slighty crisp, browned outter crust, and by nature of a choux pastry, a cavernous interior makes them ready for the filling of your choice. The original vanilla custard filling is prepared fresh, flavored with hand-picked whole vanilla pods from Madagascar. Wow! There’s several other filling flavors to choose such as chocolate, strawberry, Grean Tea, Coffee and Caramel.
In my order today, I went neopolitan with the original vanilla, chocolate and strawberry…
Front to back: Original Vanilla, Chocolate and Strawberry ‘fresh’n natural cream puffs
The fresh-baked choux pastry shells are kept in a bin awaiting service…
The fillings aren’t added until the customer makes the order. Upon making your choice(s), the custard is injected from a pump canister nozzle, as you can partially see in this photo…
So how are they? First of all, after looking at Ono Kine Grindz post about the place, I notice Reid’s order had an abundant dose of powdered sugar on it… hey, where’s mine!? That indeed would’ve added a nice extra kick of sweetness to it. And I didn’t have any powdered sugar in the pantry to add my own.. oh well. Next time I may have to remind them!
Although they claim it’s made with “two European Chocolates”, I didn’t care for the chocolate one too much, as it wasn’t quite sweet enough, and wasn’t as complimentary to the choux pastry as the other two were. Perhaps that powdered sugar on top would have helped here.
The strawberry flavor tasted genuine to the actual fruit, with pulverized bits visually seen in it. It even has a slight tang which makes it that much more convincing, and not so “candy-like”. Pretty good. I bet the Éclair version, with dark chocolate over the top would make this one dynamite.
By far, the original Vanilla is the one to get, and defines what Beard Papa’s is all about. Light and creamy, not too heavy or oversweet, and whatever this madagascar vanilla is, it’s doing a good job here. That cool, creamy custard, combined with the airy and crisp choux shell is a fantastic flavor and texture combination. Just overall yummy.. oishii!
Japanese have a great reputation for quality packaging, and Beard Papa’s is no exception, where they’re off to go in this nifty little carry box…
And each one has their own package wrapper to hold while you eat so the cream filling (which is kind of loose) doesn’t drip on your hands…
They cost $1.65 each for the vanilla and $1.85 for the other flavors, which can add up if you’re planning to buy a few dozen for the office gang. But if you’re just going for a one’z-two’z, not a problem.
Freshness is key here, and with that, they date stamp your order, with a reminder to keep them refrigerated and (preferably) consumed within the day you bought them…
Foodland Ala Moana’s renovated storefront, located street level on the mauka-ewa side of the center near Sears
For more information, visit their Hawaii website at:
Tasty Island rating:
…although next time, don’t forget the powdered sugar!