Beard Papa’s Debut Disappoints

Beard Papa’s finally has opened in Uwajimaya’s food court after numerous delays. Was the cream puff worth the wait?

For a frequent visitor to Japan like me, it was fun to see the familiar yellow signage and the famous Papa face. But my nose immediately knew something was amiss in Seattle. One thing I love as I contend with the crush of the crowds leaving the south exit of Tokyo’s Shibuya station: the smell of the choux cream and the puffs. I know that as I reach the outdoors and turn the corner, I’ll see a line of people patiently waiting their turns to order Beard Papa’s cream pipin’ hot cream puffs.

Will we have such lines here in Seattle? Sadly, I doubt it—unless the local owners get their act together. These puffs are reminiscent of what I’ve had in Japan, but the quality was lacking. The “pipin’ hot” slogan refers to how they fill fresh-baked puffs upon ordering, so that the crunchy pastry doesn’t get soggy. These puffs were not piping hot. Their size was inconsistent; too many were too small. And while Beard Papa’s prides itself on its whipped cream custard, using handpicked vanilla beans, which takes two hours to prepare, this filling wasn’t as rich as I remembered, but instead a bit runny. Lastly, while they run just over a dollar each in Japan (120 yen, I believe, including tax), the price here is $2.15 plus tax. I fear it’s time for the puff police to page Beard Papa’s corporate office in Japan to stir up quality control here in Seattle.

Cross-posted on Examiner.

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4 Responses to “Beard Papa’s Debut Disappoints”

  1. October 1, 2008 at 11:15 am #

    I ate these a couple of times in Seoul, never tried one in Tokyo, but wasn’t ever really into it. The filling was too sugary and too much and the choux was never really “pipin’ hot.” I always wanted to like it. Maybe the seattle ones will be better?

  2. admin
    October 3, 2008 at 12:56 pm #

    I haven’t heard anyone go gaga over them yet. It’s still early, so we should give them time to work things out, but what I ate here in Seattle doesn’t compare what I’ve eaten in Tokyo.

  3. October 17, 2008 at 7:53 pm #

    Yeah, you are totally right, these were lame. I’ve eaten a lot of cream puffs, and you sir are no cream puff. Shell was oddly crispy and thin – ok for an outer layer but it should have a tender part too, and the filling was more like pudding than custard or whipped cream.

    You ever get the chance, get one at the Wisconsin State Fair in Milwaukee any summer. Now that, sir, is a cream puff. People lined up in circles around the Dairy Building.

    Even the ones at Than Brothers that come before your Pho are better.

  4. admin
    October 17, 2008 at 8:05 pm #

    Funny that you compare to Than Brothers!

    This was posted on Examiner, and a head honcho for Beard Papa somehow saw my posting and replied. I need to try to track down this person and pay a visit when I go to Tokyo in a couple of months! (If that’s where this person is located.) Check it out:

    Akira Okura: Dear Mr. Jay Friedman,

    I am Akira from Muginoho International, dba Beard Papa’s. I am really sorry that I disappointed you with improper cream puffs. As the “puff police” from the corporate office, I went to Beard Papa’s at Uwajimaya, Seattle and fixed all the problem. I sincerely apologize that we have sold small and inconsistent cream puffs to any body who experienced such products.

    Right now, all the puffs are crispy and consistent, the custard cream has the best quality. I would be really appreciate, if anyone who had a negative experience at Beard Papa’s at Uwajimaya, Seattle gives the store a chance one more time. You can experience a special flavor cream puff and eclair puff covered with the best Belgian chocolate, besides our original vanilla cream puff with real vanilla bean from Madagascar. Please try real Beard Papa’s cream puffs!!

    Also I apologize that the store accepts only cash right now. However, we will start to accept credit cards soon.

    We will keep improving our qualities and services. If you have any suggestion, please visit http://www.beardpapas.com and post it!! We appreciate your voices!

    Best regards,

    Akira Okura
    Senior Manager
    Muginoho International (dba Beard Papa’s)
    October 15, 4:55 PM

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