Hattendo brings its ridiculously delicate cream buns to Toronto.
Toronto foodies craving the next tasty Japanese trend: you’re in for a treat. With shops in Singapore, Australia, the Philippines, Taiwan and China, Hattendo is already a food craze in Asia. Although the brand dates all the way back to 1933, the new location in Baldwin Village is its very first shop in North America.
The story of Hattendo starts three generations ago with the founding of a little confectionery shop in the city of Mihara in Hiroshima Prefecture. Now, Hattendo has become a famous brand in Japan that is synonymous with one thing: an original treat called the cream bun. These cream-filled buns are inspired by Japanese cream puffs, a traditional Japanese confectionery similar to French profiteroles. Hattendo’s innovation is to replace the traditional pastry shell with a pillowy-soft bun, which marries beautifully with the light, unctuous filling.
Everything is made fresh in-house with the greatest attention to detail. The flour is imported from Japan and the cream filling is chilled before being injected into the buns to ensure the perfect combination of temperatures. The result is a super-delicate texture, with a brioche-like bun that is as light as air and a filling that is so perfectly light and smooth that it looks like it’s been photoshopped. The taste is no illusion, though. The filling is lightly sweet and marvellously creamy. There’s plenty of it, too—you don’t have to worry about getting a mouthful of bun with no cream! Every bite is perfect. My favourite flavours were matcha and whipped cream. The shop also offers chocolate, red bean and custard.
Hattendo also makes a melon bun with a crispy, flaky pastry shell studded with almond slivers. The flaky crunch is a nice contrast to the velvety melon filling. Because these buns require an extra step to make, there is a limited amount available each day. All Hattendo’s buns are made the day they are sold—and they have been selling out fast. Franchise co-owner Wilson recommends coming in before 4 pm on the weekend to be sure you can still grab some buns.
For now, the location is focusing on its core menu, but there are plans to expand, with new treats coming in the future and maybe even a collaboration with local brands—something Hattendo is known for in Japan.
13 Baldwin St., Toronto
OPEN: Daily 11 am–8 pm