Rated as one of Japan’s favourite pastry/dessert brands, Croquant Chou Zakuzaku started off small… like really small.
Originating in Hokkaido, Japan, they started in 2014 selling their puffs in the department store’s food court. A year later, the first ever Croquant Chou Zakuzaku store was opened in Harajuku’s Takeshita Street. The interior of their store was one of a kind, with hanging diamonds to represent the almond crunch found on their puffs. Fast forward 4 years and after expanding out into a few countries, they finally landed on our shores.
The Singapore outlet was official opened on the 30th of November 2019 at ION Orchard, #B4-33. With all the rich history behind the brand, it generated lots of buzz in the Singapore food community. We went to check them out for ourselves to see if all the hype was worth it.
Our initial impression of the Croquant Chou Zakuzaku Puffs was mixed. It looked like a Youtiao that had been in the fryer for a too long: Chao da and unappetising. The texture of the puff was also tough, with bits of almond nuts all around it.
Now, here’s where the magic started happening. The first bite just blew our minds. The pastry was crunchy and chewy, courtesy of the almond nuts. The custard filling oozed with smooth and creamy goodness. There was a slight eggy taste in the cream, but that did not spoil anything. It was a good 5 minutes of heaven in our mouths.
Now, we went to try Croquant Chou Zakuzaku after we came across a few articles, and we respectfully disagree what they have to say:
Clearly, Croquant Chou was aiming for a different experience with their puff, going for a hard crunchy exterior instead of the usual “Pillowy, creamy puff”. This is definitely not the usual cream puff that you are used to, and it shouldn’t be.
Daniel Food Diary
Original Source: https://danielfooddiary.com/2019/10/01/zakuzakusg/
The “fun” only occurs when their business is good. Instead, we got puffs that were pre-baked and left on display. There was no baking on the spot, although we wished we could have seen it in action.
Croquant Chou Zakuzaku is good, a cool, new experience that’s tasty at the same time. Just don’t buy too much into the hype and expect a sky high experience. At $2.80 per stick, it does feel a tad bit overpriced. But given the location of the the store, it’s very much expected to be in that range. Overall, Croquant Chou Zakuzaku gets a Brutal Approved rating in our review!
The Japanese sweet food wave doesn’t seem to be stopping, check out our Fluff Stack’s Souffle Pancake review too!