Beard Papa’s, Soho

Posted on September 15, 2010

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This shop is now reported to be closed. For cream puffs nearby, head to Princi on Wardour St.

Choux bun cafe and shop, Food 3/5, Price £1.40/bun, Waiting time <5 mins, Atmosphere 2/5 website

Freshly made choux bun

Beard Papa’s is a decent Choux-bun specialist with a branch conveniently located on Oxford street, as well as all over the world. It originated in Japan, home of Hello Kitty. It’s not surprising that the Japanese have come up with a specialist global chain of sweets. They’re obsessed with sweets. In Tokyo, OLs (office ladies) spend their whole lunchbreaks queuing to buy Baumkuchen at a popular cake shop and the Krispy Kreme Shibuya branch always has an hour wait. There’s TV shows where celebrities buy and eat sweets for an hour. Despite the ubiquitous cutesy cartoon pictures of a bearded man wearing a wooly hat with a pom-pom, Beard Papa’s seem quite serious about making their pastries.

The whole production process is in plain view when you walk into the shop. You can see the choux paste cooking in the oven. When you order, the member of staff takes an empty choux bun from a pile and fills it up with custard from a big tank.

The custard tanks and empty choux buns

The pastry is very crisp, well dried and a bit salty. Personally, I prefer Princi’s softer, moister pastries but I remember a judge on “The Great British Bake-off” (TV show) emphasising the importance of drying out choux pastries. The custard’s available in several flavours including strawberry and green tea, which I didn’t have the guts to try. The vanilla was, well, vanilla. The coffee is supposed to be decent too. Anyway, at £1.40 each, who can complain?

Beard Papa's menu

There’s a more appreciative mini review on the famous food blog Dos Hermanos

Beard Papa's on Urbanspoon

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