Japan Flavor Report: Haro Pork Bun at Akihabara's Gundam Café

New snack available starting this week

To veteran Gundam fans' delight and/or horror, mascot mecha Haro has been turned into a pork bun (aka nikuman). The appropriately green "Haro-man" went on sale yesterday at Gundam Café, so I swung by Akihabara for a bite. 


200 yen is about US $2.54. These are also available at the Diver City location.

But check it out, even though the cafe opens at 8:30 in the morning on a Saturday, the take-out window (where the Haro-man are being sold) doesn't pop till 10. What is a hungry Gundam-loving girl to do? Check out the rest of the menu, that's what!



On the left is what I ate, on the right is the promo photo.

The menu includes an array of curries, hamburger steak, and even pasta (the choices expand even further for dinner ), but the first thing I put in my stomach today was the red hot "Char Zaku Curry." As much as I love Char, I can't really say I recommend it! They go to great lengths to make it legitimately spicy, but the flavor kind of loses out. That said, the veggie insignia is awesome. The  best part of this curry, though, might actually be the official product description: "Curry that is (more than?!?!) three times spicier than normal. A red curry that will make your tongue numb."


Having Char's curry be so tongue-bewilderingly hot could almost be considered a brilliant marketing move, because to combat it you actually need to order ice cream:




There are other flavors (for example Char's is blood orange) but I felt the creamy mango-apricot of the Gundam type would be the best counter-attack.


Can't call it breakfast without coffee:



The "Jaburo" coffee is so-named because as Gundam fans know, the Earth Federation base is in Brazil. The cafe planners apparently went to South America and found coffee beans so amazing they wanted to bring them to all Gundam fans. Not gonna complain, it was tasty enough! 


At this point breakfast was over, but I still had time to kill. Not really enough time to properly call the next meal lunch, but I couldn't wait. It was finally time for...THE HARO-MAN!



Haro in nikuman form is 8 centimeters across. A friend of mine was extremely surprised that it was a pork bun and not melon bread, when I showed him the first picture.


Featuring big chunks of pork and six types of vegetables (including cabbage and onions), the oyster-sauced guts are definitely a step above your normal (or even limited time fancy) convenience store fare. I also appreciate how closely the product resembles the PR photo. Would eat this again!


Finally, no trip to Gundam Café is complete without a 1/144 size Gunpla-yaki. Since it was my first time trying this most unstandard of standard offerings, I went with the safe bet of red bean paste filling:



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