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Beard Papa Nishitetsu Fukuoka (Tenjin) Store
Price: 160 yen
I had heard about Beard Papa years ago. There are several locations in the US, but I had never tried it out. I thought I didn't really like cream puffs and definitely am not a sweets addict. I like snacks, but sweets are only occasionally and usually with strong coffee to balance out the sweetness. Even for the Japanese level of sweetness. (In the US, the level of sugar saturation is over the top for me, so I actually feel sick after eating most sweets. )
After passing this little store several times I thought it was finally time to give it a try. There is no seating area for this store location, so I got my cream puff to go rather than standing against a wall to eat in a crowded station area. I got one "Pai-Shu" (the standard) for 160 yen. I was given a tiny ice gel pack and instructed to put my cream puff into a fridge if I didn't eat it within an hour or so. There were two other options, Cookies and cream flavor and “Paris Brest Shell” which is a donut shaped version. Unavailable 'shiro' and ice cream versions of cream puffs were on their menu as well. Supposedly there are several seasonal flavors and there were more options in the bigger Los Angles store I had peeked into before.
I sat down to eat later on.
The outside, or shell of the shu cream (the Japanese name for cream puff, シュークリーム) was crispy and only mildly sweet. The creamy custard filling was not overly sweet but balanced the flavor of the shell. The shell was not at all soggy or spongy like supermarket mini shu cream I had tried in the past. Very nice flavor and texture. The powdered topping sprinkled onto my shirt a little but I barely noticed.
It turns out I like cream puffs, if they're good ones. This one did not leave me wishing I had a black coffee. It's just the right amount of sweetness, for a sweet.
Find a location near you: http://www.beardpapa.jp/shop/