Remember the 3-hour long queues that snaked in front of BAKE’s flagship store at Orchard ION? It’s hard to imagine that that was back in 2016. Now that it’s been almost 2 years since Bake Cheese Tarts was introduced to our sunny island, we reckon it’s only about time we are introduced to her sister companies too.
Just like BAKE’s cheese tarts, the food items served at these sister companies also contains custard cream made with premium Hokkaido milk. So if you ever thought that BAKE is amazing enough, wait till you meet her 4 sisters…
Zaku zaku means ‘crunchy’ in Japanese, and as much of a mouthful the name ‘Croquant Chou Zakuzaku’ is, so are their custard cream-filled croquants. These almond-flavoured choux pastries are filled to the brim with fluffy and smooth custard cream made from the finest Hokkaido milk.
The long queues that form in front of the flagship store along the vibrant street of Harajuku everyday comes with no surprise. Croquant Chou Zakuzaku’s freshly-baked croquants are piped with custard cream and packaged on the spot upon order. Once each batch of croquants are taken out from the oven, they are almost always snatched up immediately. For maximum crunch, it is also recommended to consume the croquants straight away, which explains the constant groups of people munching on delicious croquants right outside the shop.
Other than the classic croquants, Croquant Chou Zakuzaku also serves milk-flavoured ice-cream that is sprinkled with the same almond-flavoured egg white crunch as on their choux pastries.
Croquant Chou Zakuzaku has 3 stores in Japan, as well as a handful scattered across major cities in Taiwan and China. Perhaps it’s time to branch out to Singapore as well?
- Harajuku, Tokyo: Harajuku: 1-7-1 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0001 CUTE CUBE HARAJUKU 1F
- Ikebukuro, Tokyo: 1-1-25 Nishi-Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo 171-8512 Tobu Department Store Ikebukuro branch Main building B1F
- Fukuoka: Fukuoka prefecture Fukuoka city Chuo-ku Tenjin 2-chome Tenjin underground shopping area 7th Avenue
- 110 Nobusu Noi Shimomatsu Road, Taipei City
- Taichung City West Tun District Taiwan Odori three steps 301 number B1
- 813 Taiwan Takao City Left Campination Hakoi 2nd Road 777 No. B1
- Nanjing: Jiangsu Province Nanjing City Xuanwu District No. 18 Zhongshan Road Deodoro Branch B1 – 102
- Xiamen: Fujian Province Xiamen City Zhongshan Road No. 121 Nakayama Road
- Shanghai: Shanghai Municipal Pure Eastern New Zealand Great Yokohama No. 8 IFC Market LG 2 – A – 1
- Shanghai: Shanghai Xuhui District Hajikhi Beach Line 1111 Noumi Rosei B1 – 42
- Hangzhou: Zhejiang Province Hangzhou City Yan An Road No. 278 Lake BinGet Ya in77 – C Ward A012 – 2
- Wuhan: Hubei Province Wuhan City Jiangdao Zhongshan Daido 818 No. C119 (Jiang Hang Road Happy Service Station)
Croquant Chou Zakuzaku also has a spinoff brand named Z Croquant Chou Zakuzaku. The difference between the two are that ones with the added Z serves smaller, bite-sized croquants in a more playful, family-friendly environment. Kids and the elderly and all those in between can enjoy these crunch chou pastries with original Hokkaido milk custard cream or special seasonal flavoured-custard, just like the murasaki-imo (or purple sweet potato) custard cream that was introduced for a limited time in September 2017!
Since the croquants at Z Croquant Chou Zakuzaku are smaller in size, so are their prices.
- 1 piece / ¥180
- 5 pieces / ¥880
- Soft serve milk ice-cream: ¥450
- 1-15 Kushihisa Sumida-ku, Tokyo 101-0045 Tokyo Solamachi 2nd Floor, 5th Floor
- 370-3521 Gunma prefecture Takasaki city Takakato-cho 1400 Aeon Mall Takasaki 1st Floor
- 880-0834 Miyazaki, Miyazaki Prefecture Shintoshima-cho 862-1 Eguchi Ion Mall Miyazaki 1st Floor
- 336-0967 Saitama Prefecture Saitama-shi Green Area Ward garden 5-50-1 Aeon Mall Urawa Miyofa 1st floor
Known for its distinct apple-red colour branding, Ringo specialises in freshly-baked, dome-shaped custard apple pies from a recipe that took thirty years to perfect. The brand prides itself for using only the finest raw ingredients from Hokkaido, including the butter used in its pie dough, milk in its custard cream and apples.
Each Ringo apple pie has a whopping 144 layers of pie dough for maximum crisp which is why it is encouraged to consume the apple pies immediately after purchase. Unlike other apple pies, Ringo uses large cubes of apples in order to retain the texture and sweetness of the fresh fruit.
- 1 piece / ¥ 399
- 4 pieces / ¥ 1512
From the moment you step into the store, be prepared to be overwhelmed by the lovely aroma of apples and freshly-baked pastries. Just like stepping into a factory, the rustic decor and open concept of each Ringo store allows customers to view the entire process of how their apple pies are made.
There are currently 7 Ringo branches around Japan as well as 1 in Taiwan.
- Ikebukuro: 1-28-2 Nishi-Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo JR Ikebukuro Station 1F
- Kawasaki: Kanagawa prefecture Kawasaki city Kawasaki-ku, Sandko 1-3-1 Wing Kawasaki 1F
- Fukuoka: Fukuoka Fukuoka city Chuo-ku Tenjin 2-chome Tenjin Underground shopping street West 4th Avenue
- Osaka: Osaka prefecture Osaka-shi Kita-ku Umeda 3-1-3 Leukua B1F
- Okayama: Okayama prefecture Okayama city Kita-ku Station Motomachi first-town underground (section 41)
- Oita: Oita-shi Oita-shi, Oita 1-40 (Direct Join JR Oita Station)
- Tokyo: Tokyo Midtown Hibiya Underground 1st Floor B105 1-2 Yurakucho Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo
The butter sandwich cookies by Press Butter Sand needs no introduction. These square-shaped cookies were one of the top requested food items on Airfrov last year and it is clear to see why. It’s hard to resist a dollop of fresh butter cream with caramel sandwiched between two thick cookies that is baked in small batches to the highest standards.
Press Butter Sand embraces modern Japanese minimalism with its simple yet chic interior decor and packaging design. While they serve freshly-baked cookies, there is also a ready-packed option much to the benefit of us in Singapore who can easily make a request for a traveller to bring it back from Japan!
1 box of 10 cookies: ¥1,500. Get it here!
Press Butter Sand has 3 branches, all of which are situated in Tokyo.
- 1-9-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 1F in JR Tokyo Station
- 1-28-2 Minami-Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo JR Ikebukuro station premises, outside the central ticket gate, central passage
- Tokyo Sky Tree Town Sola Machi Tower Yard 2F
Dou reinvents the dorayaki by infusing a modern western confectionary twist on Japan’s all-time favourite snack. Unlike the classic Japanese dorayaki that comes as a pancake with azuki filling, Dou’s pancakes has a fluffier texture, much like flattened sponge cakes. The fluffy texture is achieved by whisking the egg yolks and egg whites separately and using a unique steaming method.
Folded in between each spongey pancake is light and smooth cream made with fresh milk from Hokkaido, chewy mochi made with premium glutinous rice cake mixed with syrup and complemented by the natural sweetness of azuki beans.
Aside from the original azuki, Dou also serves dorayaki with matcha or strawberry.
- Matcha: 1 piece / ¥270
- Strawberry: 1 piece / ¥324
- Buy 5 pieces to get ¥50 off
At the moment, Dou stores are only found in Japan.
- 1-1-21 Nishi-Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo 170-0014 Tobu Ikebukuro Station B1F
- 3-38-1 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo Luminee Shinjuku store basement 1st floor
- Kanagawa Prefecture Kawasaki-shi, Kawasaki-ku, 26-1, Shinamoto-cho, Atre Kawasaki 3rd floor
- Saitama Prefecture Saitama City Urawa-ku Urawa-ku Takasago 1-16- 12 Atre Urawa West Area 2nd Floor
So which of these 4 sister companies of BAKE do you want to see in Singapore the most? Tell us in the comments section below!