Beard Papa's Cream Puffs

Foodland’s Ala Moana Center store was closed for renovation for several months now, and just reopened their doors this past Thursday with a new Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, a Beard Papa’s, and an overall fresh, updated look.

Beard Papa’s is a franchise from Japan that specializes in freshly made Cream Puffs. Their Hawaii locations, which have been in the islands for several years now, are operated by Foodland’s Sullivan family. Which explains why many of their shops are located within their stores; the first of which to arrive on our shores being in the Waikiki Food Pantry supermarket. The last of which I’ve visited before this one being at the Koko Marina Foodland.

Beard Papa’s motto is “to only serve the freshest cream puffs”. With that, every one served is made from a choux pastry shell that’s baked fresh on site. They’re very light and airy, with a slighty crisp, browned outter crust, and by nature of a choux pastry, a cavernous interior makes them ready for the filling of your choice. The original vanilla custard filling is prepared fresh, flavored with hand-picked whole vanilla pods from Madagascar. Wow! There’s several other filling flavors to choose such as chocolate, strawberry, Grean Tea, Coffee and Caramel.

In my order today, I went neopolitan with the original vanilla, chocolate and strawberry…

Front to back: Original Vanilla, Chocolate and Strawberry ‘fresh’n natural cream puffs

The fresh-baked choux pastry shells are kept in a bin awaiting service…

The fillings aren’t added until the customer makes the order. Upon making your choice(s), the custard is injected from a pump canister nozzle, as you can partially see in this photo…

So how are they? First of all, after looking at Ono Kine Grindz post about the place, I notice Reid’s order had an abundant dose of powdered sugar on it… hey, where’s mine!? That indeed would’ve added a nice extra kick of sweetness to it. And I didn’t have any powdered sugar in the pantry to add my own.. oh well. Next time I may have to remind them!

Although they claim it’s made with “two European Chocolates”, I didn’t care for the chocolate one too much, as it wasn’t quite sweet enough, and wasn’t as complimentary to the choux pastry as the other two were. Perhaps that powdered sugar on top would have helped here.

The strawberry flavor tasted genuine to the actual fruit, with pulverized bits visually seen in it. It even has a slight tang which makes it that much more convincing, and not so “candy-like”. Pretty good. I bet the Éclair version, with dark chocolate over the top would make this one dynamite.

By far, the original Vanilla is the one to get, and defines what Beard Papa’s is all about. Light and creamy, not too heavy or oversweet, and whatever this madagascar vanilla is, it’s doing a good job here. That cool, creamy custard, combined with the airy and crisp choux shell is a fantastic flavor and texture combination. Just overall yummy.. oishii!

Japanese have a great reputation for quality packaging, and Beard Papa’s is no exception, where they’re off to go in this nifty little carry box…

And each one has their own package wrapper to hold while you eat so the cream filling (which is kind of loose) doesn’t drip on your hands…

They cost $1.65 each for the vanilla and $1.85 for the other flavors, which can add up if you’re planning to buy a few dozen for the office gang. But if you’re just going for a one’z-two’z, not a problem.

Freshness is key here, and with that, they date stamp your order, with a reminder to keep them refrigerated and (preferably) consumed within the day you bought them…

Foodland Ala Moana’s renovated storefront, located street level on the mauka-ewa side of the center near Sears

For more information, visit their Hawaii website at:

Tasty Island rating:

Supah’ Ono!

…although next time, don’t forget the powdered sugar!


13 thoughts on “Beard Papa's Cream Puffs

  1. Reid at Onokinegrindz went to Shirokiya to pick up his Beard Papa cream puffs that were prepared by teams brought in from Japan. I think that Shirokiya brought them in on 3 occassions.

    I have a friend that worked with the people that brought them to Honolulu who told me that the Japanese product, especially the fillings, were so superior to the locally made puffs that there’s no comparison. I’ve tasted the local product, its okay. I hope that Shirokiya brings back the Japanese team so I can try the “real” cream puff.

  2. Pomai,

    The cream puffs made by the Japanese folks over at Beard Papa were much better than these served at the local Beard Papa outlets. The cream filling was much lighter with a more subtle vanilla bean flavor.

    In Hawaii, the choux pastry shell is not as “crisp” leading me to believe that the dough is being “overworked”. The fillings are quite thick and flavorless — meaning the quality of the preparation is not up to the original Beard Papa’s standard.

    I have tried the Beard Papa’s in LA and the outlets in Tokyo and Singapore. The branches in Tokyo have, by far, the best product.

  3. I agree with Reid, the Japan version of Beard Papa is way better than the ones being served up in Hawaii. On a last trip home, I was disappointed with how heavy the fillings were and how soggy the puffs were.

  4. I can’t speak to the authenticity of local Beard Papa’s, as that’s all I’ve ever tasted. I am glad that the new Foodland is finally here. The old one was tired and long overdue for a makeover.

  5. As I recall, the filling in Japan is closer to a dense whipped cream; in the San Francisco shops, it’s a little more gloopy and pudding-like. Other than that, the they’re pretty good. The shells are always fresh, and they do use powdered sugar (they look kind of naked without it!). Chocolate is my least favorite. Vanilla is tops, followed by pumpkin, green tea and milk tea.

  6. The only problem I have with Beard Papa is that they have little staying power. The longer you take to eat them, the worst they taste. Frankly, even an hour in the box is too long. Get ’em in the store and eat them right away.

  7. Pomai,

    Just had Beard Papa cream puffs here in London (advertised as the only shop in Europe) and the cream puffs were a million times better than what we get in Hawaii. In fact, I’d have to say that the puffs were almost as good as the ones in Japan. They also have a new type of puff called the “cookie puff” that is a lot “crispier” on the outside. Onolicious for sure!

  8. CP, I agree. These type of pastries should be eaten as soon as possible. After say 2 hours, they already become a bit soggy and “tired”. If you have good timing, you’d get your order as soon as a fresh batch of choux pastries come out of their oven. When I ordered mine, they were sitting in the bin for I don’t know how long, yet they were still crispy and warm, so that’s good.

    Reid and Aaron, I’m pretty satisfied with the ones at our local franchise. But then again, that’s without knowing what those you folks had the opportunity to try are like so I could compare them. What I DO know is that for $1.50 each, they better not forget my powdered sugar next time! lol

    I think the BP headquarters from Japan still puts on special demonstrations at Shirokiya Ala Moana, regardless of their established franchise operations here. If they ever do again, I’ll make it a point to get some there to compare!

  9. Beard Papas are getting a lot of attention here in Southern Cali. The co-workers and I frequent the one in West LA. Can’t wait for a location to open up in San Diego. The puffs get soggy if you hold them for more than a day.

  10. When I was in town last week, I went to Kuhio Food Pantry (to hunt down more One Ton Chips!) and saw the Beard Papa there had a special savory sandwich — kahlua pork with pineapple slaw. Unfortunately, I was there just before they were closing, so I wasn’t able to try it, and didn’t make it back before I left. I didn’t notice if the Ala Moana Foodland shop offered it.

    When I was in LA last June I noticed the BP shop in Little Tokyo offered tuna and chicken salad sandwiches; the SF Bay Area stores have no sandwich options.

    As they’re not that sweet themselves (at least not until you sprinkle on powdered sugar), I think the choux puffs would pair well with a savory filing. The kahlua pork sounded like it might have been good. Sorry I missed it.

  11. I like cream puff but too many Beard Papa is not needed that why one location is shut down. Many also in Calif. closed. Down size is better for business less overhead.

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