Thursday, January 21, 2010

Cheetos x Tirol Coffee Nougat チートすxチロルコーヒヌガー味コーンスナック


This was released as the same time as the Kinako Cheetos x Tirol and is the same kind of thing except with a coffee nougat covering instead of kinako.

The thing that struck me when I opened the packet is it looks like someone did a doo-doo in the bag. Not only is it the right colour, but looks similar in shape too. Did I just gross you out? Do Japanese people not think of these things? Sorry.

Luckily they don't smell too bad, mostly a strong coffee scent. Once again the Cheetos are just plain, not cheese flavour and they are nice and crunchy.

The chocolate nougat coating is quite thin, so the Cheetos peeks through in certain places. I'm not really sure why it's called coffee nougat as there is no real nougat in essence. They probably just made a fancy name to up the interest, but really it is just coffee chocolate on a cheetos.

The coffee flavour is not strong enough, or the chocolate is not thick enough, so after the first bite the chocolate is gone and the plain pretzel is all you can taste. I'm abit disappointed about this one, the Kinako version was definitely much better.

This is not going to satisfy coffee lovers or nougat lovers. Better to buy the Kinako version.

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


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? :)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Ginger Ale Kit Kat ジンジャーエールキットカット


Ginger Ale, or Ginger Beer as us Aussies refer to it as, is one of my favourite drinks. I've always loved the strong taste of ginger combined with the pop and fizz of the soda.

I'm actually really surprised that Nestle Japan chose it as a Kit Kat flavour. Out of all the possible flavours that Japan loves, I never considered this to be one. I know they sell Canada Dry in Japan, so it's not totally foreign to Japanese people, and they have also done Ramune (lemonade) flavour in the past, so a beverage Kit Kat is not so weird, I guess.

This Kit Kat is really something else. I mean, it's not what I expected. When I opened the packet I got a really strong smell of ginger and then a smell of sweetness like when you open a bottle of soda. Sweet fizz, I guess you could say.

The chocolate is very soft, again, I've noticed this lately with the Kit Kat's I have been buying. They all seem to have a mousse-like chocolate coating that is thick, soft, and melts very easily.

The chocolate has a bite, and has a taste at the beginning that reminds me of a Cola flavour Chup-a-chup. Then, in the middle of the wafers is a hot ginger tang, that tastes cool on my tongue. Chewing the Kit Kat abit more, a pudding-like flavour emerges. It reminds me abit like egg nog, in that it has some nutmeg and it seems very much like an egg custard. The cola flavour emerges again, then the cool hot ginger tang, and then ends on a nutmeg, egg nog-like flavour again.

I don't really get much sense of ginger ale. To me it was very much like weak cola (yes I know it sounds weird) with some ginger notes, and a big serving of eggnog or pudding on the side.

Despite the way it tastes, I actually quite like it, because it's quite different. I don't suppose they tried to make it taste like egg nog and cola, but it doesn't matter because I love both. I think if they made singular versions of each it would be great.

The hotness of the ginger is left behind on the back of my throat and tongue, just a slight burning sensation, after I ate two fingers. So there is an element much the same as Ginger Ale, but it's more in the after-taste than the immediate taste.

I would recommend this to you if you like trying flavours that are abit out there. I wouldn't go out of my way to buy this again, but I will eat the rest of the pack.

You can buy this now at napaJapan Candy & Bento store.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Meiji Porte Hokkaido Creamy Whip Filling ポルテこだわり北海道クリーム


This was another gift from a friend in Japan, and it's something I have never seen before. The fact that it's got Hokkaido cream inside excites me because I love Hokkaido everything. Especially dairy.

Porte are small, individually wrapped biscuits for want of a better word. It has a dense chocolate biscuit base and a creamy white whipped marshmallow on top, covered in a thin layer of chocolate and coated in cocoa powder.

Heaven in a box.

Biting in I get the bitterness of the cocoa powder followed by the crunch of the biscuit base and the soft creamy marshmallow. The flavour is absolutely divine and is like eating a cloud, that's how soft it is. There is a beautiful vanilla icecream like flavour in the whip.

Yumm. Who could stop at one? Not me. There is nothing more I can say about these except they are totemo oishii, divine, beautiful, delicious and excellence. Pure excellence.

Whoever dreamed these up needs a raise!

Of course these are recommended!! Go!! Buy!! :)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Kanro Pure Gummy Sour Plum カンロピュレグミ梅


I've never really been a gummy person, up until recently. I'm more of a jube person. A friend of mine sent me these in a care package and I was abit taken aback. A) because it's "ume" flavour, Japanese sour plum, something I'm not too keen on, and B) the package says "gummy" but it looks more like a jube.

Only one way to find out though. And I'd hesitated enough, so I decided to give them a whirl today. The packet is something I would expect from Japan. Bright pink and compact. Very cute. The gummy (I want to say jube here) is also very cute- light pink and in the shape of a heart.

Ooohhh is that sour. But not as sour as Shigekix, and after a few seconds the sour sugar melts off and leaves me with a flat jube-like candy that is soft enough to chew. The candy underneath still has some sourness but there is also sweetness.

I feel these are closer to what Aussies would call a jube, so I can say I DO like these! They are not as soft and rubbery as gummy I have previously experienced. I really like the texture.

These are quite addictive. The sour punch at the beginning is really good, and then it dies down abit and becomes a regular soft candy. Yum! These might just have turned me into an "ume" liker instead of a hater, too.

I would love to see a grape version of Pure gummy!

Yes, I wholeheartedly recommend these to you. Thorougly enjoyable and addictive. You might need to get a couple of packs at one time... P.S - Yasu didn't get any because I at the WHOLE LOT! :)

Friday, January 8, 2010

Miso Kit Kat みそ味キットカット


I've been on a bit of a health kick lately, since the new year, and one of the products I've warmed to is Miso. It's not a flavour that is popular in our house. Yasu has never liked it, and I've never really been a fan, until now.

I found quite a few recipes where miso, combined with sugar and mirin, make eating miso alot more pleasurable.

So when I found Miso Kit Kat I knew that I had to try it!

This Kit Kat is a premium release, and comes in a box of 12 individually wrapped minis. The chocolate coating on the outside is a light golden coloured white chocolate.

The smell of the outside of the Kit Kat is a very diluted miso scent. The white chocolate coating is buttery, has hints of sweetness and a balance of salt. There is some miso flavour between the wafers, but only a hint. It is not really as full flavoured as I hoped it would be.

This ends up tasting like the Shoyu kit kat, abit maple flavoured. I don't know why that happens. This flavour had the potential to be so good, especially as it's such an iconic Japanese flavour.

It was definitely a let-down. Don't get me wrong, it tastes nice, sweet, and salty, but more like a maple syrup bar than a miso one. In fact if I had not know it was Miso, I would never have guessed.

I would probably say, don't waste your money on this one. If you want to try it just once, you can buy the mini bars individually from napaJapan.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Wasabi Kit Kat わさびキットカット


I've been wondering for quite some time when Nestle would release a Wasabi Kit Kat. I mean when most people think of Japan they think of Sushi and then... Wasabi. So, Nestle, thanks but sheesh you really took your time! (This is actually a regional specialty of Kanto and Shizuoka so it's not available everywhere unfortunately.)

I'm not a big lover of Wasabi, I never eat it with my sushi, and I don't use it on anything else except in a mayo mixture for steak. It's purely out of curiousity that I wanted to try a Wasabi Kit Kat.

The Kit Kat itself is white chocolate but with a light green hue, I guess as close to the real Wasabi colour as is possible. It doesn't really smell like anything but sweet white chocolate.

The texture of the white chocolate is the same as in the sweet potato Kit Kat's, very soft, crumbly and almost like a mousse whip.

Biting into the stick there is the familiar burn on my tongue and at the back of my throat. It seems to be coming from the cream inside the wafers, and I get a cool feeling in my nose like menthol, just like the real thing.

I like this Kit Kat because it's true to the Wasabi experience but also true to the Kit Kat experience. As in, it's got the hot elements that Wasabi has without being too strong, with a sweet kickback from the white chocolate.

I thought this was a winner and lived up to my expectations, if not more. I actually didn't think the Wasabi would be as strong as this, so there you go. I thought Yasu would also like this as he loves Wasabi but he told me he hated it and he thought it was strange. So maybe this one's only for Japan Lovers?

Who knows, but it's definitely worth a try if you come across it!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Kracie Neruneru Nerune Strawberry Make-at-home candy ねるねるねるね自分で作れるキャンディー苺味


Such is the way of reviewing Japanese snacks is that I don't really adventure out into the totally weird and wacky products unless by force (thanks napaJapan!).

It's not something I would ever buy for myself and I didn't really know this product existed.

Nevertheless, I'm willing to give it a go, just because when I googled it, I found other people had tried it and survived, so it gives me hope it's not too bad. ;)

The name of the candy "neruneru nerune" is quite cute and is the sound of stirring in Japanese, which is quite apt because the candy has three stages, two of which involve stirring.

Inside the packet is a white plastic tray with two pockets, one big circle and a smaller circle. There is a triangle indent on the side which breaks off and is filled with water to stir into the mix in packet 1, which becomes a thick blue glob.

Next in goes packet 2, a small amount of white crystal that instantly turns the mix pink and makes it plump up so that it looks very similar to strawberry mousse. Packet 3 is filled with coloured sprinkles and that goes in the opposite round pocket.

When all the mixing is done, you grab the plastic spoon that was included and take a big scoop of the mousse-like whip candy and dip into the sprinkles then into your mouth.

An interesting concept for kids and my husband, though I wasn't too thrilled about the flavour. It's very much like sherbet, in fact if I didn't know better I would say it is sherbet. There is a slight hint of strawberry flavour but mostly a sour sherbet hit. If you eat it without the sprinkles it will be a full-on sherbet hit. If you dip it in the sprinkles there will be the sherbet hit with a sweetness.

I'm not a fan of sticky, wobbly, gooey textures, but this was ok with me. The sherbet is really good, although not quite the strawberry I was expecting. The idea of this is what sticks the wrong way with me in that it all consists of powder and water, so basically it's just chemicals mixed with water and eaten. Not really something I would want to give to my kids if you know what I mean?

Yasu really enjoyed this, in fact he had nearly the whole thing himself, and I could see that kids would probably really enjoy the mixing and making and dipping in as well. Although the packet states it is "calcium enriched", it's not really something I would give children often because the ratio of calcium to chemical would not be very even would it?

A fun treat, if not so often, I would recommend to you. My sticking point might not be yours, and the taste is quite good if you like sherbet. :)