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Fantastic Smell, but Long Line
Price: 97 yen
This place is celebrating their 20th year in Hakata Station!
Every time I go to Hakata Station, I walk through and smell this amazingness around the middle, sort of like floating on a flaky buttery pastry. There's always a line at Mignon, but the trick is, there are two registers and two sort of store fronts.
The one on the left is more for bulk orders of some products, like 100g (3-4 croissants) at a set price. They have Almond croissants and mentai croissants (of course, the Hakata specialty) in addition to apple pies (like a nice version of the kind at McDonalds, not a traditional pie) and sesame balls. On the right side it's possible to order single croissants and get more of a variety, including the specialty chocolate croissants.
So the smell is from the croissants, obviously, but I wasn't in the mood to wait in line or get 3-4 croissants, and the sesame balls caught my eye. These are one of my favorite 'yum cha' treats that I love getting in random Vietnamese markets or wherever I see them. Traditionally in Japan they come with anko inside, where in Hong Kong they have lotus seed paste. I thought I'd get one of these to try, and hey, no line and only 97 yen.
Sesame balls here are on the small side, sweeter, and less oily than what I'm used to. I think they didn't quite get the crispiness of the outside right, but the inside is chewy, almost like mochi. Next time I'm in the mood to wait in line, I'll see what this fuss is about the chocolate croissants. Still without any seating or coffee for sale, I'm guessing this is perfect for something to bring to share with a friend at home while sipping coffee or tea. Too bad I wasn't heading home or to a friend's at that time.