May’n has become someone like a connoisseur of good food, having tried the many delicacies around Asia. Curiosity overcame our senses and casually, We asked May’n for recommendation to delicious food in Japan.
We got a list of items from her and here is one of it.
Hattendo 八天堂 – Melon Pan“It’s from the famous Hatendo, the super popular melon pan! Inside the melon pan is rich cream.”
Started in Hiroshima in 1933. The bakery’s first store open as a Japanese Confectionary Shop during the great depression, with the goal of cheering up the people. With Western pastries only introduced in the 1960s.
And an explosion of the number of products down the road and created a lapse in quality control. It is then that the third generation president took HATTENDO back to its root quoting the website:
The “happiness for the customers” and “happiness for everyone working at HATTENDO.” He cut the number of products from 100 to just a single product which expressed the ideals of HATTENDO.
Each product must be considered carefully and made with complete dedication to quality. That is the HATTENDO of today.
Working in this way, it is hard to produce a sufficient quantity of our products, but every product is made with all our heart for our customers’ happiness.
Takamasa Morimitsu has made it HATTENDO’s mission to deliver great taste, safe food and happiness to our customers. This is what is most valuable to us.
And that one product somehow is pastry with cream, stuffed in them. This one hit wonder is a very long-lived one, enough to expand the HATTENDO company from a chain of stores in Hiroshima to a super popular brand that can be found around the world.
What did May’n recommended?
May’n mentioned to us that their melon bun is like the most interesting and delicious she has tasted before.
Melon Bun also known as Melon Pan is a type of sweet bun with a thin layer of crisp giving them an appearance like a melon and thus the name. Traditionally, Melon Buns have no fillings but in recent times, different flavours have been developed for the more variety. The Melon bun is also famously featured in many anime as the food of choice for the main characters, most notable of whom is Shana from Shakugan no Shana(2005).
Based on the recommendation of May’n, we went to shopping in Nagoya to get some. And for good measure, we tried the ones in Hattendo Cafe Singapore, where the item was only recently introduced.
The Melon Bun in Japan
The Melon bun purchased in Japan has a thin crust, left untouched it looked fairly similar to the other bun on sale at the outlet. With its shiny surface and the unpretentious fluffiness, you would not have guessed that the skin would crack upon trying to manhandle it, pulling it apart in a cramp hotel room of a Japanese hostel.
Biting into the pastry, you can easily feel the full spectrum of texture from crisp to cream in the middle. It is no wonder that the original melon bun has become such a popular product of the Hattendo Company.
The Melon Bun in Singapore
Compared to the Japanese version of the Melon bun, the one presented by Hattendo Cafe in Singapore is more traditional. Looks aside, this version has a thicker crispier crust extending into the insides before touching the familiar creamy custard cream.
This feeling is unlike others!
Pro-tip: The current custard puff by K*C is shit… don’t ever buy that.
In Japan, each bun will cost 200 yen for the Cream Bun and 300 yen for the Melon bun. For the Hattendo Cafe in Singapore, each Cream bun is S$2.50, Melon bun at S$3, and on top of everything, they also have coffee, tea, Salads and fries if you fancy.
If you like, you can even see the masters at work within the cafe in Singapore.
The Japanese Melon bun is definitely something you should try when given a chance, and it’s pretty easy to find even. However once out of Japan, while the Cream buns might be authentic, the melon bun on the other hand… changed.
Regardless of the differences, the star here is the cream, once you have a serving of that, addiction might be a real thing.
Our verdict: Go try it in Japan, if you can visit the main store in Hiroshima that would really be a treat!
Cafe Address and Information
At almost every major train stations in Japan.
Hattendo Main Store:
Address: 1 Chome-5-20 Minatomachi, Mihara-shi, Hiroshima-ken 723-0017
Operating time: 9 am till sold out (which is usually around noon)
Closed on Wednesday
Hattendo Cafe Singapore:
Address: 7 Wallich Street Tanjong Pagar Centre #01-05 Singapore 078884
Monday to Saturday: 10:00～21:00
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