Now making their presence felt in the Philippines is a new product that will change the way you eat bread. The product comes with different fillings but the outside appearance all look the same except for the colors of the Japanese writings in the wrapping.
The Hattendo Japanese Chilled Creams Buns were sort of weird at first touch because I was totally surprised it was cold, or as they say "chilled." I'm not really used to having cold buns for snacks, but I gave it a try. Why not? I asked myself. This was my first time to try something like this but definitely liked the product at my very first bite.
It was actually on display at an event that I attended on August 27, 2015 so the curiosity within me stepped in to inquire about the product from always want to try something new. Thus I immediately approached the lady who was attending to the Hattendo booth. There I found out from her that it was free for tasting, and she asked me to get one that I like. I asked for a recommendation on which flavor was the best and she gave me three choices. I chose the Custard flavor, and gladly can say I enjoyed it up to the last bite.
I found myself coming back to ask for more because I wanted to try out the other flavors like Matcha, Azuki Bean and many others, and luckily got to eat my second piece of Hattendo Japanese chilled cream bun that day, of which eventually they approached me and said that they will give me a few more in exchange of a blog review. They probably realized I liked it so much so they're giving me a great chance to splurge on the product. I agreed because that's great news that will also give me the opportunity to share it with my wife and kids.
However, I had to leave the event earlier because of another event obligation. This prompted them to prepare the Hattendo buns immediately so I could take it with me already. I was carrying with me one box of the buns and was excited to share them with my family later that night when I get home from the other event happening in Manila.
It was quite late already when I got home from the event in Manila mainly because of our terrible traffic situation everywhere in the metro so when I got home my kids were all fast asleep already. Therefore, I just placed the buns into the fridge for tomorrow's consumption.
The following morning of August 28, 2015, when my kids woke up, I eagerly told them about the Hattendo buns, and they were excited to try them out too.
But then my kids saw a particular sticker at the bottom of the wrapper indicating the Best Before date. I was surprised it was that very same day.
My kids, being very conscious of expirations refused to eat them because of the fact that it was clearly indicated that it's no longer advisable for consumption. So to be fair with the people who gave me the buns, I asked if they could give me a new batch instead so I could continue with the review.
What I could only tell for now is that I enjoyed the two buns that I ate, but I wanted to share the same experience with my kids and wanted to ask for their comments also.
I immediately sent a message to one of the people who gave me the buns:
"Hi ______.. pakitanong naman sa Marketing ng Hattendo kung paano gagawin doon sa binigay niya kahapon kasi may nakalagay na Consume Before August 28, 2015 ... Ayaw kainin ng mga kids ko kasi expired na daw... lol... Palitan na lang kamo niya para ma-feature ko sa blog ng maayos. Yung mga kids ko dapat kukunan ko habang kumakain...kaso nakita nila yung consume before sa ilalim ng bun."
and she replied with the message:
"Actually ok pa yung hattendo if kept sa chiller for at least 1-2 days. And if possible do not put the buns in the freezer kasi magiging dry yung bread."
It was followed with these information:
"1) The Best Consume Before Date
In this format: mm/dd/yyyy by 2:00 pm
To ensure the BEST quality of #Hattendolicious buns, Please consume by the day after purchasing our products. Once thawed, please do not refreeze the buns, just keep refrigerated and serve chilled.
2) The Production Date
The production date is the manufacturing date.
Trivia: Hattendo factory produces 40,000 cream buns daily to cater to 16 stores in Japan alone. There are 3 stores in Korea. And 2 stores in the Philippines
3) The Expiry Date
The expiry date refers to the frozen state of the bun. As long as the cream buns are kept frozen, the expiry date remains to be true. Again, once thawed, we put the consume before date for your reference."
So what do you think "Best Before" really means. Was it still safe to eat? Were my kids wrong in refusing to eat the products? Did my wife and I make the wrong decision of throwing away the buns?
So this made me believe that they were insisting that the buns were still good. I assumed it meant the Hattendo peeps were not willing to replace them with a new batch.
But my kids would not agree that it was still OK to eat the buns. My wife was also discouraging everyone since I was carrying the buns with me for half of the day, and was not in a chiller. They gave emphasis that there's a reason why they put Best Before marks, and that it should be followed, and not ignored or taken for granted.
Thus, the only review I got was out from the experience of eating two pieces of the buns with two flavors, Custard and Whipped Cream. The rest of the fillings I was not able to try out so I'm sorry to put this review to a disappointment. I was actually hesitant to write about it but they required me to write a blog article about it inspite of my not so good experience.
I really would have loved to try out the rest of the flavors as I am sure they are equally tasty so if Hattendo is reading this, please send me an new batch of your chilled cream buns so my experience will be finally complete.
Below is a video invite I took of the Marketing Manager promoting Hattendo Japanese Chilled Cream Buns. The video was taken the same day (August 27, 2015) of the event where they had a booth. I posted this video September 1, 2015 as my effort to thank her for the opportunity that was lost because the buns were highly recommended to be only best on the same day it was given.