Thursday, April 28, 2016

Pepsi Sakura ペプシ桜


There was much hype surrounding the release of the limited edition Sakura flavour Pepsi both in Japan and overseas. 

Friends expressed their eagerness to try it and then when they did they said it was awful and more like a cough medicine than cherry blossom. 

I knew I had to try this. Not only do I love Sakura but I love trying seasonal and weird products that Japan releases. 

So, I ordered it from napaJapan and it arrived last week. I was trying to find a good time to try it, but once my 5 year old son found out I had Sakura Pepsi I never heard the end of it!

To get him off my back I decided that he, my husband and I would try it all together. Tonight.

The bottle is very pretty - Pink Sakura on a black background. When the bottle was opened a light, floral scent wafted out.

I was nervous about trying it, I was sure I would be disappointed if what my friends said was true.

I poured three glasses and we all took a sip. Mr 5 loved it straight away and he sculled it!

My husband exclaimed that it was like cough medicine, but he liked it. He could taste cherry and he got a floral scent and taste.

When I took a sip I thought it was very light and not at all what I expected. I found the Sakura flavour not too strong but pleasantly there. I only got a hint of cherry, though I kept tasting musk like the pink musk lollies! 

This Sakura Pepsi was very sophisticated. It had a lot of depth. There was the cherry blossom flavour, followed by musk and then right at the end a light taste of cola. I liked tasting all the layers, and because it was fizzy I felt I could drink this instead of a an alcoholic drink! 

I really loved this Pepsi and I want more! It was so beautifully executed by Pepsi both in design and flavour. 

I thoroughly recommend you try it before it disappears off the shelves. Sakura season is nearly over, it has reached Hokkaido now and the blossoms will fade soon.

Next: Spring Edition Sakura Red Bull. Will it be as good as Sakura Pepsi or better?

Koikeya Rich Consommé コイケヤ リッチ コンソメ ポテトチップス


Consommé is not a flavour that is used very much when it comes to Western snacks, but it seems to be popular in Japan. So I wasn't surprised to see potato chips come out in consommé flavour.

What is consommé exactly? According to google it is "a clear soup made from richly flavoured stock or bullion."

Koikeya is a brand that is new to me but it appears to be a cheaper snack company. This is a 60 gram pack which is quite big but has a lot of air inside and the chips don't even reach half way to the top of the bag. 

When I opened the bag the smell that immediately greets my nose is one of beef stock. It's not really that pleasant.
It's like smelling a stock cube directly.

The chips are golden and have a powder coating that is slightly orange. They are crunchy, but the powder is quite strong and very rich. There is a taste of stock and also a sweetness. There is a slow burn that starts with the first chip and builds up after eating more. I can't find anything in the ingredients other than onion powder for the heat. They also are very salty.

Overall, I found these to be ok. I felt they were too rich for me but husband and son both loved them. 

Definitely try them if you get a chance though, and see for yourself! I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments. 

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Cheetos Minions Banana チートス ミニオンズ バナナ味


My 4 year old has been going through a phase where he loves the minions. He saw the Minions movie and collected the toys from McDonalds. 

Everywhere we look here in Australia there is minions merchandise, so it's hard not to get caught up in the fever. 

So when I saw these Cheetos online, my interest was piqued enough to buy a pack. Cheetos usually come in cheese or other savory flavours. I wondered how banana would taste.

Opening the bag I could see light yellow Cheetos with brown specks. An aroma like a cinnamon candle wafted out. Then I read the top of the bag and it said it is "cinnamon scented banana flavour".

The Cheetos taste buttery at first and then sweet. Then there is a big hit of cinnamon and a very vague taste of banana. Even though this is 'banana flavour', the banana has really been overlooked. This should be called 'cinnamon donut' as it tastes more like that, and the smell reminds me of a car air freshener or a cheap scented candle.

My 4 year old was underwhelmed and told me he didn't want anymore after having only two Cheetos. I had three for this review, my husband had one piece and said he didn't like it. Now we have a mostly full bag going to waste...

A shame really, as it could have been really good. But I guess they better just stick to savory flavours and leave the sweets to a candy maker.

Too marks for trying though.... :)

Monday, March 14, 2016

Tirol Tsum Tsum Honey Lemon チロル はちみつレモンチョコ・ツムツム


If you're not familiar with the Japanese game Tsum Tsum made by the creators of the chat program LINE, then you should be because it's everywhere!

I was introduced to the game mid-2015 by some Asian friends who had been playing for ages, and I quickly became hooked. 

The characters are all from Disney and are very cute. It's simple to play, you just have to link up lines of the same character to erase them from the screen to earn coins within 60 seconds. If you add friends on LINE you can send each other hearts (lives), and try to beat their score.

It's only natural with the game being so popular that Tsum Tsum related products would soon follow, and now collaborations with Japanese snack makers. The first one of which I have seen is Tirol - one of my favourite snacks.

This bag is covered in popular Tsum Tsum characters and contains 7 individually wrapped chocolates. The wrapper is represented by different characters but the chocolate remains the same - Honey Lemon.

It is a very simple concept; a biscuit covered in flavoured white chocolate. The chocolate has a light yellow colour, and smells like a mixture of soap and honey. 

The biscuit is quite firm but crunchy and biting into it I immediately get a feeling of nostalgia. The honey lemon cough drops from my childhood, these are exactly the same flavour! I'm not sure whether that is a good thing though, it is chocolate after all. It's a weird combination. I can't quite get used to it. I do like the strong hit of honey though. 

I can see this is probably aimed at kids or to bring up a feeling of childishness, the flavour is something most people are familiar with. 

My 4 year old son loved them and had great fun choosing which character to eat next. Our bag had an uneven amount of characters, but the one Mickey Mouse was saved until last by my son because he's so special. 

I would recommend these simply because the concept is simple and fun for all :)

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Cheetos Salty Prawn チートスえび塩味


These were in a box of snacks that I bought from napaJapan. It was the last bag of snacks and I pulled it out one Saturday afternoon while we were watching Japanese baseball on TV. 

My son heard the rustle of the pack and came running as he loves savory snacks.

We opened it together and when we put our face in the bag to smell we both immediately withdrew because the smell of prawns was so strong and overwhelming. My husband refused to have any at all based on the smell alone but later relented and had one. His first words were "it's too salty!"

My son had a few and then didn't want anymore which is totally unlike him. So I was left with basically the whole bag of these salty prawn Cheetos, which I have to admit were extremely salty, and even though the smell of prawn was strong, the taste wasn't. There was some sweetness in the Cheetos which downplayed the prawn flavour, but combined with such a great amount of salt, I was soon reaching for a glass of water. 

Two out of three people who love prawn flavoured anything rejected these, so this will give you a good indication of what these Cheetos are about. I thought they were ok but the salt content worried me. They conveniently left off the amount of salt in the nutritional table on the back of the packet. 

After I had eaten a few of these my lips started to burn and tingle which is usually a sign that a product contains MSG. I wouldn't eat them again and you should try them at your own risk. 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Aero Green Tea Latte えーロー 抹茶ラテ


I bought this from Japan when they were having a "green tea fair" so all snacks on a particular aisle had powdered green tea as a main ingredient.

The pack has 22 individually wrapped pieces. There is a thin layer of semi-dark chocolate covering the green tea bubbles. Biting in is a satisfying snap as my teeth cut through the bubbles. The green tea is there but very subtle, annoyingly it takes a back seat to chocolate. I was disappointed by this but Mr 3 loves it and keeps asking for more!

Nestlé Crunch Green Tea Latte ネスレクランチ抹茶ラテ


I bought this at the same time as the Aero previously reviewed. 

I've only ever had Crunch in the original chocolate version so it was exciting to see a green tea version!

There was a mild scent of green tea from the outside and biting into it a satisfying crunch into the rice bubbles. In this case the rice bubbles added a creamy flavour to the tea and it was nice but sweet. 
I liked these but found they were a bit too sweet, thankfully they were such small pieces. Again, Mr 3 loved these and over time are the whole bag for me! Haha!

Meiji Matcha Azuki Chocolate 明治抹茶小豆チョコレート


When I saw these at napaJapan I knew I had to buy them. Two of my most Favourite Japanese flavours! How could I resist? 

The box is quite small, but it is attractive. A black background with pink and green and images of chocolate covered azuki. 

The chocolates are contained in a small foil bag which keeps them fresh. There were around 20 small beans, they reminded me of peas. 

(Please note: discoloration is from the chocolate melting in transit)

My 4 year old son loves matcha but not so much azuki, so I was surprised when he ate 3 of them and came back for more. My husband and I both loved them too. It was the perfect pairing. Just the right amount of chocolate to bean, and a traditional pairing, so how could anything go wrong.

This felt like dessert and satisfied a craving for Japanese sweets. I know that I will go back to buy more of these!

Glico Pocky Midi Butter Custard ポッキーバター華やぐぽってりカスタード


The name of this Pocky basically translates to "Brilliantly fat butter custard". The fat is probably referring to the thick layer of chocolate over the pretzel stick.

This packet of Pocky contains 3 bags of 4 short and stubby sticks each. Unfortunately mine melted in transit because here in Australia they arrived at the tail end of summer which is still quite hot.

The chocolate on the Pocky stick is a light yellow colour and it smells sweet and salty. 

The taste is quite light, there is a tiny hint of custard. There is some sweetness and again, the salt. But for me, these were disappointing as I thought the custard should have been stronger. The flavour was too vague here, and not what I expected.

Not recommended if you want a hit of custard flavour, but if you like sweet and salty chocolate on a stick then you'll probably like this. 

PS - at the top of the box it states that these would taste good while drinking Royal Milk Tea, so if you try it let me know. Maybe the pairing of tea brings out the custard flavour?!

You can buy these at napaJapan 

Monday, April 6, 2015

Calbee Potato Chips x Kentucky Fried Chicken ポテトチップス ✖️ケンタッキ ーフライドチキン


I bought this bag of potato chips from NapaJapan. I saw these released last year but didn't buy a pack and kicked myself for missing out. So this year as soon as they were released I bought a pack.

It's a rather large bag but the contents are not that big and it actually only weighs 83g. 

On opening the bag there is a smell like chicken flavoured potato chips. The appearance is the same as a normal potato chip but there are black specs which seem to be spices.

I have two big KFC fans in my house so as soon as I opened this bag they were fighting over it (husband and son). My son was trying to stop his dad from having too many as he thought he might eat them all! 

The taste is at first like chicken but the aftertaste is spicy like a KFC Wicked Wing. I can taste the similarity of KFC chicken to this potato chip although the potato chip is a different texture. The more chips you eat the hotter the spice gets. 

My son who is 4, loved these and had a bowl to himself despite the hot spice.

I thought these chips were a good gimmick but in no way replace the real thing.
These also come with a voucher for 30 yen (30 cents) off at a KFC store in Japan.

If you like KFC it's worth trying these just for the experience and wacky factor :)