Last December my friend gave me a bag of Japanese sweets as part of our work Secret Santa and well, don’t judge me, but I finally finished them 5 months later in the middle of May… They just looked too good to eat right away and when I did start eating them I took my time savouring them! By mid June however I was left with a Japanese sweetie craving so I took off to the internet!
I was surprised by just how many sites I found that were selling monthly Japanese sweet boxes. Most seemed to ship straight from Japan but there were a fair few that shipped from the UK as well. After a good amount of searching, I decided to buy from Sushi Candy because I felt it was the best value for money. Taking an average from 10 sites, a box containing around 21 snacks cost approximately £30.30 while my box from Sushi Candy only cost me £21.16 and included 40 snacks!
Now I wasn’t in any rush to get them so I was completely fine with the shipping from Japan and waiting 10-15 business days as stipulated on the Sushi Candy site. I ordered on the 20th of June and the box arrived on the 30th, so in the end I only had to wait 8 business days (presuming the weekend in between wasn’t classed as 2 business days). At that point I had experienced a great deal and delivery that took no time at all; I was already happy without even opening the box! Of course the inside is what matters right? Well I wasn’t disappointed. Lets take a look!
Upon opening the box I was greeted with a helpful contents sheet; complete with little images and descriptions. I only had a quick look at first since I didn’t want to ruin the surprise of what was inside. I then had so much fun pulling everything out and having a good look to see what I had to look forward to! There was quite a nice mix of sweet and savoury snacks: 27 sweet snacks, which could be further broken down to 19 candy type snacks and 8 biscuit type snacks, and then 13 savoury snacks. I was happy with the look of everything I had received but of course there were certain ones that particularly caught my attention. Which ones you ask? Well…
For the sweet snacks, I was interested in the little Pandaro biscuit packets; mostly because PANDAS but also one was melon flavoured which I have never had in a biscuit. The Pukupuku tai caught my eye because it was a taiyaki shape and looked tasty while the Sakuranbo and Aoringo mochi candy pair drew me in with their cute packaging and because I had no clue what they were! A few of the biscuits interested me because I couldn’t see what they looked like; the Fujiya Home Pie, Four Seasons Tartlet, the Bourbon Roanne and while I could see it through the packaging the Fugashi (brown log looking thing) didn’t really tell me anything from its appearance! Then of course we have the wonderful Kit Kat that was obviously going to be of interest, and it was raspberry too. Yum! Lastly we come to the DIY kit! I was so excited to see this because I’d never done one before!
I’m afraid that I’m a lot less interested in savory snacks than sweet ones but these did catch my attention. However, both the Genmai Komaru rice crackers and the Noshiume san Taro snack unfortunately caught my attention for the wrong reasons; they both sounded horrible! The Umaibou snacks caught my eye for the right reasons though; I loved the bright, fun packaging and I had had one before so I was looking forward to trying new flavours. How did that turn out for me? Let’s see…
The Four Seasons Tartlet was a bit lackluster when I opened and tasted it. It resembled a tart in appearance but the centre was solid and it just tasted like a buttery biscuit, with perhaps a hint of lemon. It by no means tasted bad, I was just expecting something more exciting.
Conversely, the Fujiya Home Pie pleasantly surprised me! It looked appetising enough but it tasted far better than I thought it would; it legitimately tasted like the crust of a gorgeous homemade pie and ended up putting me in the mood for some actual pie! The packaging also has the phrase ippai tabe yo (eat lots) which I thought was an adorable packaging addition like it’s some cute granny baking pies for her family.
Anyone a fan of the Rainbow Drop sweets? Well the Fugashi was like eating a massive rainbow drop! It was fluffy and soft and just disintigrated in the mouth. The subtle taste reminded me of chocolate but I don’t think it actually was chocolate.
The Bourbon Roanne came with two biscuits in the packet which was a nice surprise. Each one was made of 2 thin layers of wafer with a soft matcha cream filling which came through nicely while eating them.
I got a surprise with the Pandaro biscuits because for some reason I was expecting lots of mini biscuits instead of 1 big biscuit! Both types looked exactly the same except for the melon Pandaro having a slight green hue. The regular Pandaro had a nice, typical buttery taste while the melon Pandaro unsurprisingly had a light melon flavour. It was unusual for me but yummy!
The Pukupuku Tai had a wafer taiyaki shaped case with a chocolate filling akin to aero bubble chocolate. It was light and yummy to eat.
Now for the raspberry Kit Kat which was undoubtedly one of my favourites. It had the usual textures and layers expected from a Kit Kat, with a lovely sweet taste, but also gave you a sharp little hit from the raspberry. It was gorgeous and I need to find a supply of them!
The Sakuranbo and Aoiringo mochi sweets were chewier than I was expecting them to be. They are unsurprisingly made from mochi but have a tougher texture than regular mochi. The cherry and apple flavours were subtle and tasted good overall but I must admit I was expecting something a bit more from them.
Those of you with good observation may realise that our next sweet wasn’t mentioned anywhere in my snacks of interest! I just enjoyed these sweets so much that I thought they deserved a mention even though I never thought much of them initially. These Cho Lemon C Ramune sweets dissolved in the mouth and had a wonderful sharp lemon flavour to them. This might not be to everyones taste but I love lemon and ‘screw your face up’ sharp flavours.
Finally we come to the last of the sweet snacks: the DIY kit! As you can see from the images there were three sachets, a tray and spoon included. A corner of the tray snapped off to fill with water which you were then to add to sachet 1. This gave a dark purple paste mixture which you then added to sachet 2 which turned everything lilac and foamy! You could then open sachet 3 which had rock candy pieces to eat with the foamy candy. As for the taste, it was very sweet with a candy grape flavour and of course foamy texture. The whole thing was really simple to do but it was a bit of amusement for a few minutes. I did enjoy seeing the colour and texture change and of course eating it!
Move on to my limited selection of savoury snacks, we come to the set of Umaibou. As would be expected, the shape and puffy crisp texture were the same for all four. Flavour wise, starting from the top left photo we have prawn mayonnaise, takoyaki, salami and then pork cutlet. The prawn mayonnasie and salami both had a slight taste with the salami also having a bit of a nip. The takoyaki did actually taste like takoyaki but unfortunately it was much more oily than the others and got less pleasant to eat after the taste had gone away. My favourite though was definitely the pork cutlet, it had a lovely sweet pork sauce flavour with a slight nip.
Last and unfortunately for once least, we have the Genmai Komaru rice crackers and the Noshiume san Taro snack. These are just not my thing at all. Being honest, the Noshiume san Taro did have a nice sweet plum taste for a few seconds after the strong fish taste but I definitely wouldn’t choose to eat another one. However the rice crackers were just all around bad in my opinion. They tasted just as they looked, bland with a hint of burned. There is a slight sweet glaze taste but really not enough to do anything positive for it.
Okay, so after all that if you’ve reached this point and you’re still reading then thank you! I didn’t quite realise how many ‘snacks of interest’ I had lined up until I started writing about them! After critiquing so many snacks though I think it’s only fair to have a top 3, and for me the list goes:
- Kit Kat Raspberry
- Cho Lemon C Ramune
- Bourbon Roanne
I did enjoy the majority of the 40 snacks I received and will definitely be ordering again in the future. The box changes every month and they also offer the option for you to subscribe to 3 months or 6 months to save money. Personally, considering how long it takes me to finish them off, I’ll probably just opt for ordering every now and again! There are options for smaller boxes though if anyone would prefer it but at $15.99 for the 20 box and $19.99 for the 30 box; the 40 box for $26.99 is definitely the best value for money.