Mr Bean is a retailer originating from Singapore that serves ice cream, drinks, pastries, and other delicious goodies made from soya bean. It has 54 listed locations in Singapore and landed its first overseas development in Tokyo at the busy Shibuya train station. I wasn’t expecting to eat anything at the train station but Mr Bean drew my attention. So here’s a quick look.
Coming off the JR Yamanote line to switch trains, I couldn’t help but pass by this bright green, happy and welcoming store. Their mascot, if I can call it that, is super kawaii. There was a line up to order but like anything in Japan, they move quickly. The menu has hot, cold, and crushed-ice soya milk in a variety of flavors. They also sell tofu pudding and glutinous rice balls (sesame or peanut) in tofu pudding. And of course, there is ice cream. This video, in Japanese, describes the store and its products. They even say Mr Bean plans to open 3 stores in Japan in 2010. I don’t think that happened yet.
I ordered a green tea soya ice cream in a cone for ¥180. I expected something surprising from the taste, and wow was it ever noticeable. There was a strong soya flavor so if you don’t like soya, I don’t recommend getting it. But if you enjoy soya you will love this treat. It’s really refreshing, the texture is smooth, and the best part is it wasn’t overly sweet like those loukoumades I got from Greektown. It will not satisfy your sweet tooth because it’s not the sweetest thing. Yet that’s why I loved it! The green tea flavor was obvious too so I was a happy camper.
This is irrelevant to Mr Bean, but a reminder that there is no eating or drinking allowed in trains. Since this shop was inside a train station, you’d have to make a little pit stop to finish your treat before boarding. Also, I learned that eating or drinking while walking around is not something the locals do because they think it’s silly. Meaning it would be best to stay put and eat your treat before moving on.
Some final thoughts, who knew there could be a lack of guilt for indulging in sweets? Soya and green tea tastes like a healthy combination to me. Their ice cream products absolutely did not take away the delicious taste of the ingredients used either. If you ever have any reason to go to Shibuya (and I’m assuming the same goes for Singapore with their 9 locations, in which case I would order Chendol Soya Milk to get that Singaporean flavor), you must give Mr Bean a try. It’s something different. And I would love to go back to sample the other items. Enjoy!