Showing posts with label Japanese buns. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Japanese buns. Show all posts

Hattendo (Toronto) for delivery

Note: Prices in post are based on regular menu prices and may be higher when using delivery services

In 1933, amidst a major earthquake and tsunami that left over 1,500 people dead and 7,000 homes destroyed, Kaoru Morimistsu decided to open Hattendo in Minatomachi, Hiroshima with the hopes of bringing some joy to the population, in an otherwise devastating time.

It’s not the over-the-top type of joy like a loaded funnel cake or deep-fried Mars bar. Instead, their signature cream buns ($3.69 each) are delicate sweets. Think of their joy as a gentle reminder to take time out for yourself and a sly wink that it’s okay to have a small treat.

The original custard version is the lightest of the bunch and tastes barely sweetened. Surely this can’t even be bad for you when the solid bun seemingly turns into pillowy air that disappears in several bites.

One step sweeter is the azuki bean cream bun where the fluffy cream is laced with finely blended red bean, so you get a hint of the flavours. It’s nothing like the rich thick paste you find in other azuki products, the milky cream is still the star.

I expected the matcha cream bun to the powerful with its vibrant green hue, but in Hattendo fashion, the green tea flavours were restrained. The filling did have a slight bitter finish, but so mild that if I didn’t know I was eating I wouldn’t have pegged it as being a matcha bun - there wasn’t that traditional grassiness that you get from the product. True matcha fans may be disappointed.

For a real indulgence, the chocolate cream bun will taste the most decadent, with the filling having a rich chocolate mousse feeling being denser and creamier than everything else. As the heaviest of the buns, you’ll want to leave this for last if you’re having multiple buns, which isn’t a difficult task as these palm sized buns seem to disappear so quickly!

Our household enjoyed the hazelnut cream bun ($4.19) the most – one of the specialty flavours for the warmer weather. A winning combination of luscious sweet cream and earthy nutty hazelnut, it had a surprisingly strong taste for something that looked so light. I also enjoyed the little bits of nut sprinkled throughout the filling that added a nice texture against all the soft elements.

You can enjoy a full meal from Hattendo since they serve two savoury products as well. The tamago burger ($5) takes their cream bun and fills it was a finely chopped egg salad. Interestingly, the bun’s whole flavour and texture changes and becomes denser, sort of like a brioche hamburger bun that smells more like milk than butter. It’s tasty, but the egg salad could use a pinch more seasoning considering the thicker bun.

The egg salad sando ($6) is more balanced since the crustless white milky bread is so light. It’s absolutely delicious with the delicate minced egg salad sandwiching a lovely soft boil egg. If you like egg sandwiches, you must try the sando.

The jury’s out on the matcha annin tofu ($4.95), while I thoroughly enjoyed the dessert’s silky texture, the combination of almond tofu with matcha is an acquired taste. I did, however, love the reusable glass container it’s served in. If you’re a Maison Riviera petit pot yoghurt fan, you’ll want to check these out – and bonus, the lid is already included.

It's almost as if the ghost of Kaoru was channeled in June 2019 when Hattendo expanded into North America opening in Toronto. Somehow, they knew people outside of Japan would need some joy as well. With the COVID fatigue setting in, I needed a pick-me-up. And since Hattendo also delivers, it’s a sweet smile you can send to yourself or loved ones.

Overall mark - 7 out of 10
Disclaimer: The buns were complimentary. Rest assured, as noted in my mission statement, I will always provide an honest opinion.

How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: Multiple locations
 Delivery: store delivery and Uber
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Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never order again
  • 6 - decent for delivery and takeout, but there's better
  • 7 - this is good, for delivery and takeout
  • 8 - great for delivery and takeout, it's almost like you're in a restaurant
  • 9 -  wow, it's like I'm eating at a restaurant
  • 10 - I'd happily order this for delivery or takeout instead of dining in any day!