Saturday 7 November 2009

Beard Papa, Soho (London)

I had never before seen a grown man thrust his entire head into a pastry. Then came the day The Peanut Gallery discovered Beard Papa. Since then, I swear I am sometimes woken up at 4am as Peanut fitfully shakes his head from side to side in his sleep, burrow frowed, muttering "Beard Papa, Beard Papa....".

Beard Papa is a Japanese bakery which specialises in cream puffs. It started out in Osaka in 1997, and like all good Japanese fads, has spread around the world. Specifically, in our case, it is conveniently positioned at the scraggly end of Oxford Street in London.

Its cream puffs are billowing clouds of creamy-custardy heaven.  They look a bit like giant profiteroles with custard cream overflowing from the edges. Decadent and delicious, they are the perfect dirty little secret.

The custard cream is more creamy than eggy - lightened by fresh cream and made delectable by vanilla bean. All this whipped up creamy goodness is encrusted in a puffy layer of choux pastry. Scrumptious.

There are ever changing flavours of the day, like green tea and chocolate. But I'm a traditionalist when it comes to custard cream (and creme brulee) so nothing will ever surpass the rapture of the original vanilla puff. Oh, they sell other things too. But when you can see your cream puff being freshly made, and a never ending stream of cream is squirted in before your eyes, there really is no other option.

Cream puffs are £1.30 (plus an extra 10p for the flirtatious flavour of the day). A tad hefty for a puff, but totally worth it if you want to come over to my place and see a grown man diving head first into one.

Beard Papa, 143 Oxford Street, Soho, London W1D 2JB

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