Showing posts with label Kabaya. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kabaya. Show all posts

Monday, May 27, 2013

Kabaya Hello Kitty Pretzel Chocolate カバヤ ハローキティー プレッツェル 『チョコ味』

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I once was a huge Hello Kitty fan. Well that is an understatement, I was obsessed. The first time I went to Japan in 2004 I spent probably a thousand dollars or more at Sanrioland in Tokyo buying Hello Kitty character goods. In fact I shipped 17 parcels of Hello Kitty stuff home! Can you believe it? I still have most of those parcels sitting in our shed, the contents in pristine condition. My kitchen cupboards are mostly full of Hello Kitty cups, saucers, plates, bowls and glasses which I hardly ever use but can't bear to part with. My husband has learned not to say anything...he after all comes from the land of Otaku!

So when I opened the box from Oyatsu Cafe and found this box of Hello Kitty Pretzel in there, I immediately felt a fondness for the product, even though as a reviewer, it is my job to be unbiased. This is a stick snack, similar to Pocky, made out of a long thin biscuit with a milk chocolate coating.

It's obviously marketed towards Hello Kitty fans and fans of "kawaii" (cute) with all the hearts and cupcakes on the pack.

Inside the box contains one clear pack of chocolate sticks. They are about a third smaller than the size of a Pocky. The stick smelled like chocolate and strawberry surprisingly, and when I bit into it there was an audible crunch and the biscuit itself had a faint taste of strawberries. I thought I must be dreaming so I asked my husband to taste it too. He confirmed that yes, the pretzel stick tastes like strawberries. The chocolate coating on the outside is so thin as to be non-existent. It really doesn't add much to the flavour unless you eat the whole pack at once and even then it's vague at best.

 

I wondered why they called this pretzel snack "chocolate flavour" when in fact the dominant flavour is strawberry, and the fact that the pretzel stick tastes like strawberry is not mentioned anywhere on the pack so I'm wondering if it's meant to be a surprise, or just some wacky aspect of the snack.

The chocolate coating on the pretzel was a disappointment, it was too thin to even taste it properly. I really wanted to like this snack because Hello Kitty is on the front but it just didn't live up to what I expect from a pretzel stick. In saying that though, I think these would be ok for kids, especially if you want to limit how much chocolate they are having and the size of the snack.


Saturday, May 25, 2013

Sakupan Choco Monaka カバヤ さくぱんチョコモナカ 『いちごミルク』

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*My apologies to Oyatsu Cafe in getting this review up. Their parcel of goodies arrived just before I left for a 3 week holiday to Japan. Now that I'm back the reviews will start to flow again.



This is the first edition of a series of reviews I will do on snacks sent to me by Oyatsu Cafe (as previously blogged about). The first item that I really wanted to try was this chocolate monaka made by Kabaya. This monaka seems to be based on the same premise as the Saku Saku Panda biscuits, because they use the same character but the whole head makes up the shape of the monaka.

For those of you unfamiliar with monaka it's basically a wafer cookie on the outside and a type of sweet like red bean or custard in the middle, and resembles a kind of sandwich but is a sweet. It's quite popular in Japan to have a red bean (anko) monaka or icecream monaka. (Google monaka in "images" to see some examples).

This monaka however is one-sided. The wafer is on the bottom and the air-in chocolate (very similar to a mousse) is on the top. Unfortunately my monaka melted on the way to me so the face of the panda was distorted.

 

The flavour written on the wrapper of this product is "strawberry milk" however the air-in chocolate was milk chocolate and strawberry flavours, represented by the brown and pink areas.

The wafer part of this monaka made a satisfying crunch when bitten into and the chocolate was soft and fluffy. The flavour was very strong on both the chocolate and strawberry. My husband also had a couple of bites of this and unfortunately it was over too soon. We would have liked more!

It's a delightful treat, and very cute too. It's easy to eat and comes on a tray inside the package so you can eat it over the top of the tray without making a mess.

I think this snack would appeal to people of all ages from children to adults. Even if you aren't into "cute", the flavours are there and it's a snack that's quite different to anything we can get in Australia.

The Kabaya website states they have two more flavours of this monaka - Chocolate and Strawberry. In all I was very pleased with this snack and would definitely like to try the other two flavours.


Thank you to Oyatsu Cafe for providing this product for review. You can buy this chocolate monaka at their store for $1.99 by following this link.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Kabaya Juicy Cider カバヤ ジュー C サイダー味

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I picked up this tube of Juicy thinking it was Ramune flavour, because usually Ramune candy is this same blue colour, but when I got home I realised it's Cider. Never mind, because I like cider anyway.

When I opened the lid it smelled very similar to ramune anyway...very much like lemonade. Usually "cider" means apple, because it comes from "apple cider", but this doesn't smell like apple.

Each tablet is white and has blue and green specks. At first the taste is like soda water with a hint of lemonade, and then it gets sweet. The specks in the tablet are crunchy but don't seem to have much taste. There is a very vague apple flavour, like I'm almost imagining it to be there. The tablet has a slight fizzy effect but I can't work out if it's from the specks or the tablet itself.


These are kind of weird...they don't really taste like cider. More like a distant relative of cider. I think the person who made this was really thinking of Ramune at the time. I can't really say I'm a fan. They leave a funny aftertaste in my mouth too...

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Kabaya Juicy Grape カバヤ ジュー C グレープ

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I was wandering around Nippon Food Supplies and wondering what to get as a small snack that would satisfy when I came up on this pack of Juicy by Kabaya. I love anything grape flavour and it was only 80 cents, so that pretty much sealed the deal for me.

When you open the pack it is basically filled with little round discs, similar in texture to a hard sherbert (like the ramune candy) and it has a very light lilac colour with a K imprinted on to one side and a random cute picture imprinted on the other. I'm guessing the K is for Kabaya. The smell is strong and smells just like grape candy that we all know and love from childhood.

I didn't count at the time but I estimate there to be about 20 tablets in one pack. The candy tablet has a strong taste of grape from the moment I put it into my mouth and it dissolves in the same way as the ramune candy, and it also has a tartness to it like sherbert, which I love.


They dissolve rather quickly, and can also be chewed even quicker. I'm sure kids could chew through a pack of these in ten minutes or less. However, I have to watch how much I consume so I still have about 5 tablets left. The outside is pretty cute too which I'm sure appeals to Kawaii lovers of all generations.

I'm pretty happy with these candies, I love the flavour and the texture and would definitely buy some again.



Brand: Kabaya
Calories per box: 94
Website: http://www.kabaya.co.jp/

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Kabaya Apple & Mango Gumi カバヤアップル&マンゴーグミ

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This is the last bag of sweets from a carepack from a friend in Tokyo, M.


It's a bag of individually wrapped gumi candy. There were 13 in the pack, 7 apple and 6 mango.


The pack smelled wonderful inside, so fruity and fresh. The gumi are so soft and smooth and have a texture of being almost wet.


They are really like eating jelly, much softer than any other gumi I've had. The mango did not have a strong flavour, it was much weaker than I expected, though in the middle the familiar mango flavour was present. The apple tasted like a nice juicy red apple, it was sweet but also had a sourness at the end.

These gumi were really enjoyable, the flavours were nice but not profound. I enjoyed serving these up to guests and Yasu really like the mango even though he's never been a fan of the fruit itself.


Brand: Kabaya
Calories per bag: 216
Buy it now at Daiso

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Kabaya Guimauve Strawberry ギモーヴ ストロベリー

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Guimauve is the French word for Marshmallow. Marshmallow comes from the plant of the same name and is used in candy and in hot drinks, eaten by itself plain or toasted. As the marshmallow powder is quite difficult to obtain, most manufacturers use gelatin to get marshmallow to that sticky, chewy consistency that we love.

Kabaya have come up with their own take on Guimauve by creating it using Gummi. It is shaped into squares, the French way, and it doesn't have the powdery outside like most marshmallows that come in big bags, instead it has a smooth matte finish.




It smells sweet and floraly, but even without eating it there is a tartness that wafts up my nose. Biting into it is not the same as biting into a marshmallow, it has a little bit more resistance. When it is squeezed, it flumps down in half, unlike a marshmallow that bounces back. The inside after being bitten, resembles something like a marshmallow mixed with a sponge.


The difference with this Guimauve is that the strawberry flavour takes a back seat to the tartness, and it tastes more like a strawberry sherbet than I expected. The flavour is even more pronounced when you suck it instead of chew it.

I'm not a fan of sour candy, I don't hate this, but I don't exactly love it either. It's a little bit hard for me to get my head around this candy. I keep coming back for more but only because it's weird. Who ever heard of a marshmallow made out of gummi? Somehow the texture works. It's just the flavour that is not my thing.

This is not blow-your-head-off super sour, but it has enough there to make you think it's sherbet. I would only buy it if sour candy is your thing.





Brand: Kabaya
Calories per pack: 116
Website: http://www.kabaya.co.jp
Buy it now at napaJapan

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Kabaya Rilakkuma Butter Pretzels カバヤリラックマプレッツェルバター味

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Here's one for the cool Japanese character fans (like me). Rilakkuma or リラックマ in Japanese is a bear who loves relaxing. Rila comes from "relax", and kuma is the word for bear in Japanese. This character and many other cute characters are the product of a company called San-X (who are also responsible for Tare Panda, Mamegoma, Kogepan, and Afroken amongst others). How do I know this? Well, I have been a fan for many years, and this website is one of my favourites. I can just see the anti-cute lovers rolling their eyes right about now.

Anyway, Rilakkuma has become a favourite with Japan-lovers, Otaku, and of course, children. Kabaya has had much success teaming their products up with the Rilakkuma character and especially around Valentine's day these type of character gifts are very popular. They also have a Rilakkuma Kit Kat, and chocolate biscuits.

The box itself is very cute and has many images of the characters on all sides. On one side is bookmark that you can cut out and use. I suppose if you got creative you could cut out all the images and paste them onto a card or whatever activity you wanted to use them for.


The pretzels themselves are the regular butter flavour. They come in a sealed foil pack with 32 grams of pretzels (approximately 30 sticks). The packaging is also the image of cute!

The pretzel sticks smell like buttery popcorn and taste like a nice fresh breadstick with butter. The butter has some sweetness to it, and it really is quite nice.

These are a good snack to carry around with you because the pack is flat enough to not take up too much room. I can imagine lots of kids and OL's snacking on these on the way to and from home/school/work.

I'm giving these a thumbs up. Cute and light, what more could you want? :)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Kabaya Apple Tart Stick Pretzel りんごタルトスティック

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You can buy these now at napaJapan!

Sorry for the long time between posts...they don't call this time of year the "silly season" for no reason!

But here I am, back again, with another interesting Japanese snack.

A great snack for the season, this is a box of pretzel sticks made with Fuji Apples, in the theme of a French apple tart. The picture on the box is mouthwateringly yummy-looking.

At first I thought these were a reverse pocky but with apple in the middle, then I realised they are more like a Pretz, a pretzel stick with flavouring.

The box has two separately wrapped packets inside, each holding 17 sticks. Unwrapping the bag, a beautiful smell of apple and cinnamon escapes, and I'm thinking how delicious it's going to be.


The pretzels themselves are a light brown colour with cinnamon and spices on the outside. The pretzel is crunchy and because of the rich butter inside tastes exactly like a pie crust. The sticks are full of flavour. The apple, while not a filling in the middle, is added in puree form to the mixture of the stick, so you get a slight Fuji apple flavour when you crunch down on it. It's more pie crust than pie filling, you do get a sense of the apple, but it is ever-so-slight, not really the main attraction here.

I really like sucking on the outside, the spices taste lovely. Actually, I found by sucking on the outside of the pretzel you do get more of a sense of the apple flavour than crunching down on it, though I don't know why.

You know these go really great with some icecream or a big cold glass of milk! Scooping up some icrecream on the end of one of these sticks just tastes so divine, and makes it that much more authentic.

I'd get these again, they are something different, indulgent and good quality.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Kabaya Karipori Watermelon & Lemon Soda カバヤすいカリポリすいかソーダとレモンソーダ味

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When I bought this, I was under the impression that it was something akin to Pocky, as in a pretzel stick with chocolate and the flavours were watermelon and lemon. How wrong was I.

It's actually stick candy with those flavours but no chocolate, just candy. Still, I'm challenging myself with this menu so here goes.

I was surprised to find that there were 6 individual packets inside, 3 each of watermelon soda and lemon soda. Each pack has 2 sticks inside.


Each stick is about 10cm long and half a centimetre in diameter. The sticks have a glossy finish.

The watermelon flavoured candy stick is pink with black dots throughout. The lemon one also has a few pips included and this is because it's a kind of watermelon theme. Both packets look like watermelon, they both have the pips, but the lemon one is yellow. There is a play on words going on as this is called "sui-karipori" and a watermelon is "suika".

Both sticks smell similar to their fruity counterparts. When broken in half the sticks deliver a loud crunch noise, hence the name, "karipori".


At first the candy feels like sucking on plastic, but then I get a sense of "fizziness". The candy dissolves in my mouth but I much more prefer crunching on it which enhances the fizz.

The watermelon flavour is pretty good, but with all the fizz ends up having a weird chemical taste at the end. The lemon really tastes like sour lemons, down to the sour part, and I found the fizz was less intense, and the flavour was sweeter at the end.

I like the lemon flavour more because I hate candy that tastes weird like chemicals.
It's not something I would usually buy, and I probably wouldn't buy it again, but only because this sort of thing is not my cup of tea. I like the idea and I'm sure kids would love this. If I had kids I would probably buy it for them.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Kabaya Saku Saku Panda Caramel Milk さくさくぱんだキャラメルミルク

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I didn't know this snack existed until I saw it on Japanese Snack Reviews. I then came across it myself at napaJapan and bought a pack along with the Halloween Crunky.

I'm pretty sure this is a Halloween version as the box is orange, the generic colour of Halloween. Something interesting I noticed now that I didn't notice is that there is a kinchaku (small drawstring bag) included in the box.

The inner packaging is a foil bag with only 50% of the space taken up by the contents. There are various cartoons and character images on the bag, another way to entertain the kiddliwinks eating them.

I was pretty surprised to find only 6 panda biscuits in the bag. They all had different faces, smiley through sad. Actually the front of the biscuit is a chocolate panda, and the back is more biscuit. The chocolate side is definitely cuter. I thought the biscuit side looks quite ghoulish. Or is that their purpose?

The chocolate coating is white chocolate, and brown tinted white chocolate for the eyes and ears. The scent is overwhelmingly caramel. It's very strong.

The biscuit itself tastes like a plain sweet biscuit with coconut oil. The chocolate is caramel flavour, with a hint of vanilla. The chocolate is quite soft and melts easily. I preferred them straight out of the fridge, they are harder, and seem to have more substance.

I'm sure these are a great way for portion control, the sweet taste of the chocolate, tooth-achingly so, would make sure I ate even less than 6 of these.

The kinchaku bag included is, I suppose, for all those treats you will receive on your treating mission. It is a rather cute bag with sakusakupanda on it, and it's actually quite big, and the material, although plastic, is very sturdy.

A great gift for Halloween either in Japan or elsewhere, and a great little snack for the kids, not so much for me as its way too sweet, but I would buy this again as a gift.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Kabaya Pudding Chocolates カバヤ なめらかプリンチョコ

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Pudding or プリン is a very popular dessert in Japan and is usually what they refer to as Creme Caramel. I am quite a fan of it myself, so I didn't hesitate in grabbing this box of purin chocolates in Yamanaka recently for ¥118.

On the box it says that these are better eaten straight from the fridge, I can see why as I had them in the cupboard and they melted quite easily, even just being on the table.

They are small and round, about 2.5 cm in diameter. There are 8 individually wrapped chocolates in the box, which is so-so value, I guess these are more aimed at kids, who have smaller mouths and to them, 8 small pieces would seem a lot.

The top is milk chocolate but is a little bit darker than the average milk chocolate colour. The bottom is a yellow coloured white chocolate which smells like caramel.

Biting into the chocolate, the outside stays firm and the middle is a light yellow mousse with lots of caramel flavour. The milk chocolate has a distinct chocolate flavour and the yellow chocolate has a caramel and slight coconut oil flavour. Combined with the caramel mousse inside, they all blend in well together.

I can't really say this is an accurate pudding flavour. The body of a creme caramel is custard, and this chocolate lacked any custard flavour at all. It seemed to focus mainly on the caramel flavour, usually a small part of the actual pudding, but no less apparent.

I am sure kids would enjoy this for the flavour and appearance just as much. I would buy these again, as they were a lighthearted and fun way to enjoy chocolate, and a nice change from the usual flavours around.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Cacao Time Blueberry & Yoghurt Chocolate

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I picked this box up at a Japanese supermarket in the city for $2.69. It was on special, $1.30 off.

It looked interesting, and I like both flavours.

The brand is Careme which is a sub-brand of Kabaya. The box weighs 38 grams and has 7 pieces inside, individually wrapped. There is alot of space in there and not much content.

Each square is 2.3 x 2.3 cm. It doesn't really have straight lines either.

I expected the chocolate to look like the box, pink on top, white on the bottom, but I got a surprise when I opened the wrap to find it was light purple on top and yellow on the bottom. And yes, the box is well and truly before the due date in september.

It smells okay. There is a floral tang coming from the top and a milky scent from the bottom.

It's not easy to break in half either, even when I cut it with a sharp knife, it crumbled and didn't slice easily.

The insides are meant to be blueberry sauce and yoghurt cream. However there was no sauce, just a very very thin layer of blueberry jam, and white powdery yoghurt.

The taste is not that impressive either. The first bite does not reveal a whole lot of flavour. Then there is a slight blueberry tang, followed by the yoghurt powder, which tastes more like icecream, then a tang on the end, followed by a milky white chocolate flavour.

It's not really sweet, I think its tangy more than anything, but definitely a let down.

The chocolates may have melted on the way over from Japan to the store, but that would be no reason why the taste should change. And I don't see why the colour would either, not to that effect.

I wouldn't buy this again. And it seems as if Careme are not making this anymore as It's not to be found on their website. Maybe it bombed.

The Kabaya chocolate website can be found here.