Beard Papa’s

30 Dec

On my first visit to China in 2007, the hostel I stayed at was around the corner from this little shop with the strange name of Beard Papa’s. The only reason we went in originally was because my Dad was looking for a cup of coffee (Beijing’s come a long way in three years with coffee!) and we thought they may make one. Delightful aromas of sweet pastry, chocolate, caramel and sugar mixed to make a divine smell, which I’m sure is almost as bad for you and gives you half the calories as eating the actual cream puffs the store is famous for! The chain started in Japan in 1999 and branched out across the world – they now have more than 250 stores in Japan and 300 worldwide.


When we were in Beijing last time we could buy bite-sized choux pastry puffs filled with whipped cream custard in a range of colours and flavours like vanilla, chocolate, coffee, green tea, strawberry, pumpkin and Earl Grey tea. The other day they had a chestnut special one too. I discovered one at the Ginza Mall above Dongzhimen subway station recently and now pass it almost four times a week, inhaling the heavenly smells, which I tell myself suffices for eating one. I did share a green tea one with a friend and it tasted good. But instead of the little bite-sized ones they are bigger, fist-sized ones, which come plain, covered in chocolate, chocolate pastry and a number of others. Back in Shanghai I knew I wanted to try another, so got a vanilla custard with chocolate icing. Despite the girl getting my order wrong twice, and piping coffee into the pastry shell instead of vanilla, it was worth the wait, although the casing was crunchier than I remember and could have been filled a little more.

But I got severe food envy when I saw a friend had ordered the chocolate fondant one – a gooey molten chocolate cake heated up and popped in the pastry. It oozed out and looked amazingly decadent…and got a little over her face, which is a sure sign she enjoyed it! That’s for me next time!


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