March 15th, 2020

Does My Bomb Look Big In This?

Food News - TokyoTreat

With Australia rapidly moving toward the instruction to stay in your homes, you might be planning how to keep you and yours amused through our long internment. TokyoTreat have eats and entertainment rolled up into one monthly subscription box that is brimming with Japanese treats. I road-tested their March Premium Box (US$35 including shipping) ahead of the Covid-19 health crisis and can confirm you’ve got a full two weeks of entertainment, if you’re able to ration out the treats to one (or two) each day.

The bright orange box arrived at my workplace about a week after ordering. It was too tempting not to crack into it right at my desk. With great restraint, I managed to keep my snack consumption to a bag of Mike Plum Popcorn

It's a quirky fruity Japanese sour plum twist, that had me wanting to try more.

I waited to fully unveil the colourful collection of savoury snacks and treats until I spirited it back to my lounge room.

If, like me, you’re always envied Japan’s wider range of KitKat flavours, you’ll enjoy the bag of mini Yuzu Matcha KitKats.

They have a persistent floral citrus flavour against slightly bitter matcha white chocolate, that makes them an intriguing treat.

One advantage of this way of eating Japanese treats is the labelling. While heading into an Japanese grocer and choosing treats can be a bit like Asian snack lotto what with minimal English labelling, your TokyoTreat box comes with an illustrated mini magazine guide to what you’re eating.

In some instances, like the Melon Pandaro (buttery cookies that taste like honeydew melon), that’s not all that necessary, while in others, like the rainbow Salty Seaweed Puffs, it is.

The latter are made from puffed rice and have a lightly salty savoury flavour with a hint of seaweed umami.

The packaging is half the fun – see if you can guess what’s inside without using the cheat sheet. With gold foil and panda bears, this stylish packet was watagashi or Japanese cotton candy, and it was fluffy and fun to eat.

One negative about the premium box including a weighty 500ml Coca Cola Strawberry was that some of my biscuit-based treats arrived broken. With strawberries being Japan’s favourite fruit, this fruity cola is a Japanese exclusive that you can’t buy here. I can’t say I enjoyed it was way too sweet and reminded me of fluoride at the dentist.

Counted among the heavy bottle breakages was my favourite TokyoTreat inclusion – the Sugar Rusk Umaibō – that arrived snapped into two pieces. Despite the name, this light and crunchy corn snack isn’t overly sweet. I really wanted a second one.

Koala’s March are bite sized cookies shaped like Australia’s favourite bear. The crisp, thin and slightly bitter cocoa biscuit exteriors are filled with semi-soft, creamy white chocolate, in a cocoa and milk combination that’s perfect right before bed.

For a breakfast time treat, Cocoa Bolo remind me of slightly crisper Coco Pops so would be equally good with a glass of milk.

In even cuter packaging, the Pokemon Hinamatsuri Snack Pack are Pikachu-shaped chocolate corn snacks. These ones are lighter and less crunchy, but basically work the same turf with slightly less success.

Sometimes translation meant your first mouthful was a surprise. Peach Caramel Corn turned out to be airy corn puffs flavoured with a puree made from seasonal Japanese peaches, rather than candied popcorn.

That said, nothing in the box is too odd to enjoy. The TokyoTreat team have definitely selected their items with an eye to the kind of snacks non-Japanese buyers might like to eat.

I also wasn’t expecting there to be such a good balance between sweet and savoury snacks, which pleased my regular dining companion no end. He was most taken with Mochi Taro – deep fried crunchy rice crisps.

This was just small selection of the items I found in my Tokyo Treat March Premium Box. You can sign up to receive their April box HERE. I hope it helps to make social distancing a bit more fun for those playing along at home!