BRUG Bakery has several locations on Oahu. This blog post covers the spot at Pearlridge Uptown on Moanalua Road in Aiea, Hawaii.
BRUG was founded in Hokkaido, Japan, in 1977. After opening stores throughout Japan, it made its way to Hawaii in 2013. The first American storefront was at Ala Moana, and the Pearlridge spot is USA spot #2.
Very assertive fresh bread aromas come from BRUG. It all but hooks you in.
I tried their Iced Mocha ($4.50). A bunch of chocolate syrup at the bottom, then their cold brew after that. It gets mixed with the boba straw, then half and half is added (but there are other milk options if you prefer something else).
A lovely, balanced drink here, where I got each of the chocolate, coffee, and milk flavors.
There are a bunch of baked goods (savory or sweet) that you can choose from. Take a tray, wax paper, and some tongs, and fill the tray with whatever you wish.
The Spicy Sausage Roll ($2.85) was a take on pigs in a blanket. Arabiki (Japanese pork sausage) wrapped in a fluffy roll. I enjoyed the spice in the sausage itself. There was some sriracha on there, although it may have gotten slightly lost with the other components. But mainly because of how long this item is, I consider it a great starter choice.
I also loved the Apple Cinnamon Custard Danish ($3.50), a flaky pastry with custard in in the middle and topped with cinnamon apples and a dash of powdered sugar. Think of a personal custard apple pie hybrid. Perfectly cooked cinnamon apples. Great layers of pastry hold everything nicely. While I thought there was a generous helping of apples, I wanted just a bit more custard inside.
The Neko Pan ($2.95) is a big-time customer favorite. Since neko is the Japanese word for cat, this sweet bun is fittingly in a cat shape (with drawn-on face to match), and filled with strawberry buttercream filling. The filling looks like a separated red strawberry jam and pink buttercream hybrid, as opposed to one texture and color, but tastes wonderful.
Finally, the Hookaido Milk Clover ($2.75) is a dinner roll enriched with milk. For me, this is a lovely dinner roll, very straightforward, that you'd serve at just about any time of the day. It has a mix of denseness and fluff, but a well-executed roll here overall.
At least in Hawaii, you can also get mochi waffles at BRUG, with several espresso/coffee choices. I now see why this place has been going strong for over 40 years. 8.5/10
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