Monday, February 17, 2014

Tirol Royal Queen チロル ロイヤルクィーン

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I've heard great things about Tirol's premium strawberry chocolates and this is one of two I am going to review.

Royal Queen sounds very deluxe, even the packaging looks decadent.

The outside is covered in milk chocolate with embossing on the top. Underneath it is pink chocolate, which adds a pretty touch.


The chocolate itself is many layers, strawberry pink chocolate on the bottom, followed by a layer of crunchy strawberry bits that remind me of popping candy and which have a sour taste, then a lighter pink strawberry mousse, and finally the milk chocolate.



The unexpected crunch of the strawberry bits are what elevates this chocolate to royalty status. It's something different and when eaten together with the chocolate and mousse gives the taste of strawberries dipped in chocolate. There is just enough tartness to imitate the real thing.

I really enjoyed this one, no fake strawberry flavour, it really is the Queen of strawberry chocolates.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Tirol Chocolat Au Confiture チロル いちごコンフィチュール

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This is the second in my line up of premium strawberry Tirol. I was intrigued by the name - what does "chocolat au confiture" even mean?

Well luckily for me Google had the answer - confiture means confection or jam, and chocolat is the French word for chocolate. 

Tirol have created a chocolate featuring strawberry jam in the middle. Obviously the French word for it sounds much more exotic. 



The outside layer is white chocolate with a thick milk base followed by a large layer of strawberry jelly dead centre. 

Biting into this is like eating a cloud, it's so soft, the base is like a whipped mousse and the jelly in the middle is soft and tasty. The white chocolate outer layer is softer than normal, more like a ganache.

My only negative is that it is very very sweet and that might put some people off. In no way is it a fake strawberry flavour, the tartness in the jelly makes sure of that, but with the white chocolate and the strawberry jam, this was just tooth achingly sweet and I needed water after eating one.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Tirol Bireley's Orange チロル ビャーリーズオレンジ

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Bireley's Orange is a popular juice in Japan and you can find it in almost every supermarket. To me it tastes more like orange concentrate than freshly squeezed juice, it's sweet, so popular with kids and husbands alike. My husband says this is his favorite drink.


Just like the wrapping, the chocolate is light orange and smells like an orange scented eraser.

The chocolate is soft and sweet and gives out a hint of orange by itself but it's the soft orange jelly in the centre that explodes with orange essence that has my brain shouting "orange C".


The jelly has a cool wet texture that when eaten becomes almost juice-like. It is hard to explain but I think a lot of science went into making this Bireley's Tirol.

A very creative effort by Tirol, very realistic and a great reminder of the beverage.

Tirol Sakura Mochi チロル桜もち

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It's nearly time for girls day to rock around again and here I am still catching up on last years Tirol! They have been kept in the fridge though, so no harm done. A big shout out to my friend S for sending these to me! 

Sakura Mochi is a variety of "wagashi" or Japanese confectionery consisting of a sweet pink rice cake that is filled with smooth red bean and wrapped in a Sakura leaf. Because of the leaf it smells strongly like Sakura (cherry blossom) and may also have some essence in the rice as well as colour to give it the pink hue.

I must admit I go crazy for Sakura Mochi, mochi sweets are one of my favorite. 

Tirol releasing Sakura mochi in a chocolate form just has to be a winner!

The chocolate smells very strongly of Sakura and has a light pink hue on top and a milk brown base. This is a premium Tirol so it's a little bit bigger than average size Tirol.


The middle has a thick layer of mochi-like jelly which is chewy and has a very sweet flavour, and a strong perfume. The chocolate tastes like vanilla, and the milk chocolate adds another layer. 

Overall it was a really good take on what an actual Sakura mochi is like but the red bean was missing. I can overlook that though and say that this was a really nice treat. Maybe if you didn't get a chance to try it last year you will sometime this year?


Meiji Curl Stick Indo Curry カール カレー味

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My son, hubby and I just love curry senbei so when I saw this pack ofcurry flavored curl at Daiso for 100¥ ($1.00) I just had to grab them.

The lid opens by pulling the tab back, and it emitted a strong scent of curry spice. The sticks are long and yellow in colour, very crunchy to bite into and very tasty. 



The flavour is very authentic, it is not just a bland curry "flavoring", you can tell that individual spices have been used. 

As always with good snacks, this curry curl was devoured very quickly and I lamented not buying more.

I definitely recommend these to you if you see them in store.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Kinako Mochi Chocoball きなこもちチョコボール

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Kinako is one of my favorite flavours so I was delighted to see this release when we were in Japan last year. I bought about 5 boxes of them and just discovered I had one box left and thought I better review it!

These Chocoball have a thick layer of kinako flavored white chocolate around the outside of an oval shaped mass of kinako mochi. The thick chocolate is divine when chewing together with the mochi in the centre.

It's a small packet and I had to share with my 2 year old son and husband as they both love kinako too, so it didn't go far! Now you can see why I needed 5 boxes... These were about 88 yen in the supermarket (just under $1.00) and very good value. Great as a treat for kids too as it has a small opening and a game on the lid.

If rate these as one of my favorite kinako treats and definitely my favorite Chocoball so far!



Monday, December 9, 2013

Asahi Balanceup Salty Vanilla アサヒ クリーム玄米ブラン 塩バニラ

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Don't ask me why but Balanceup is a favourite snack of mine. I think it's because it is not only filling but it is made with real bran and always comes in interesting flavours. It is meant to be more of a convenience food, for example, to replace cereal in the morning or a snack at morning tea time if you're busy and don't have time to grab a proper meal.

The snack consists of two layers of bran crackers sandwiching a thick layer of flavoured cream, in this case salty vanilla cream is in the centre. The bran crackers are quite thick too (about 2mm) so they give a decent crunch when bitten into.



These crackers have a pleasant smell when the packet is opened and the outside of the bran has a sweetness to it, and lots of bits of bran inside the cracker make for a very crunchy experience.
The vanilla cream in the middle is sweet and has a slight hint of maple flavour followed by another hit of vanilla and finally some saltiness at the end so it seems like having sweet then savoury.
I'm not sure why the vanilla cream tastes like maple but I have noticed it before in other flavours so maybe it's coming from the crackers when it gets mixed with the cream.

The flavours are not strong but they are not weak either. This was quite enjoyable and I ate the whole bag in one sitting (4 crackers!). The bag is made up of 2 individually wrapped bags of 2 crackers each so it's great for portion control and also the crackers won't go stale if you don't eat them all at once.






Sunday, December 8, 2013

Tirol Chocolat Au Orange チロル ショコラ オランジェ

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I have a million Tirol reviews coming up! When I was in Japan this year I bought so many limited edition packs in Daiso and brought them home with me...but I haven't gotten around to reviewing them yet! Soon!

This Tirol was sent to me by a blog reader in Japan (thank you S!), and it's a flavour I did not see in my travels but is one of those classic flavours that just works. Chocolate and Orange.

Chocolat Au Orange as you can tell by the packaging is dark chocolate melded with orange. This is also a premium size Tirol so it's larger than the usual size.

I'm not usually a fan of dark chocolate, I prefer sweet milky chocolate over the bitterness that dark chocolate usually brings, and this Tirol smelled strongly of dark cocoa so I wasn't sure I would like it.
However, when I bit into it the chocolate was smooth and soft and the middle layer consisted of a sweet, mochi-like orange jelly that just melted in my mouth. The sweetness of the orange jelly contrasted well with the dark chocolate (which by the way wasn't bitter) and by the end of eating this chocolate I wanted MORE! Luckily S was kind enough to send me 3 pieces!

 

Chocolat Au Orange Tirol is not overly sweet, it is just right, a very stylish chocolat that you would expect to be in a fancy chocolate store. Tirol has made this really well, and I hope that you get to try this one, or they make it again some time in the future!


Saturday, December 7, 2013

Tohato Green Tea Caramel Corn トハト 抹茶キャラメルコーン ��

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I've had this packet in the pantry for a couple of months now but it was only today I decided to bring them out as my 2 year old son was wanting something different to munch on and he loves matcha flavor anything. 

I didn't realize at the time I bought them that these were bigger than usual, the packet states they are "でっかい" which means "very big".

They are really big and unfortunately have a shape and colour like doggy doo-doo.



Although the flavor is matcha (green tea) it is overpowered by the strong, very sickly sweet caramel flavor, and not only that there is some kind of raw sugar coating on the outside which means after one piece I am screaming for some water.

I do like Caramel Corn usually but I am disappointed with these because of the sweetness, it is too much, especially for a mega size corn.

The only plus is that my son and I held up the pieces to our face to make happy and sad faces, and my son thought it was big enough to be talked into like a telephone. :)

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Sakura Marshmallow by Ishimura 石村萬盛堂 桜マシュマロ

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I received two packets of these Sakura Marshmallows right before I went on my trip to Japan so I am a little bit late blogging about them, well more than a bit late, a LOT late. I was lucky enough to see the Sakura (cherry blossom) blooming in Sapporo, right before I left to return to Perth. I also ate a lot of Sakura Mochi while I was staying in Japan and the taste is very unusual, but I do like it.

The brand is "Gateau de Paris Patisserie" made by Ishimura and I can't seem to find it on their website, but scouting around the internet it looks like it might have only been a limited release for White Day (the ladies version of Valentine's Day in Japan).

I loved the colour on the packaging, even though the packs are small it looks premium and would be a lovely gift. Hubby and I both tried this together and when we opened the package we could immediately smell the Sakura scent wafting up to our noses.

 

 

The marshmallows were very light pink, soft and rounded on top with a flat bottom. The marshmallow was soft and springy and when we bit into it it was like eating a cloud. Very "fuwa fuwa". The inside of the marshmallow had a big ball of white chocolate ganache which was a delight to eat. I'm not sure why but we both thought that the white chocolate had a distinct flavour of coconut, which we both really liked. It was soft and rich and really complemented the outer mashmallow wonderfully. With this the sakura flavour of the marshmallow wasn't very strong, but the scent was quite powerful so when biting into the marshmallow we got the strong taste of the white chocolate ganache, the fluffiness of the marshmallow and the scent of sakura, all combining to make a very memorable experience.

We had these with a cup of nice Japanese green tea, but you could have them alone. I would really like to have these again sometime, they were so nice! I definitely recommend them if you come across them :)