Street food, snacks and junk food from Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Japan, Korea, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand and Philippines, including Green Tea Kit Kat, Self Freezing Coke, MOS Burger and McDonalds.
All the weird stuff you've never heard about, but always wanted to try!
I gotta say I LOVE tiny things!!! They just look so awesome and cute, and no more so than when they are super detailed and accurate replicas of the usually much bigger things they represent. No one is better at making amazing, incredibly tiny things than the Japanese. Their bizarre obsession with detail to the most minute level is perfect for the extra-small industry and as a result you can find almost everything in perfect miniature replication in Japan, eg: cars, robots, buildings and of course food!
Now despite it's incredible accuracy in appearance, this is not actually a meat burger but rather is a tiny burger shaped cookie. The various component parts consist of the two "toasted sesame seed buns" which are essentially the cookie part, a dollop of thick chocolate which represents the "meat" and a third item representing the "cheese" slice which as far as I could tell after ripping apart multiple "burger" and licking off the cheese slice, seemed to be just butter or something made with a lot of butter. Every Burger is in fact available in two versions, one with cheese and one without!
In Japanese these are known as "Eburi Bagaa" and they are made by the famous chocolate and cooke company Bourbon which was founded in 1924. As with almost all Japanese snack products this wonderful invention arrives in very attractive packaging, either a red or white box, with a small tray inside holding 8 of the cute little burgers and with a weird cow mascot printed on the inside of the lid.
So as always the most important question is "how did they taste?" and the answer is they were absolutely delicious, completely fantastic!!! Both me and Arne agreed that these were among our top Japanese snacks ever (of which there are many many great ones). The combination of the incredible cuteness, the accuracy of detail and the scrumptious flavour combined with the fact that the "buns" actually tasted remarkably like real toasted sesame buns just blew us away. This is a product I would advise anybody to buy and try immediately if they have a chance. It's so much fun eating what exactly resemble super teeny-tiny little burgers and they really do taste good too!
To see our full review and our reactions including Arne completing the world's Ultimate Burger Challenge, check out our video here:
Ok, this is definitely one of the weirdest concepts for a Kit Kat that we have reviewed. One of the many specialty Kit Kats that are released in Japan regularly, this one was a joint venture between Japanese soft drink producer Ito-En and Nestle. For a little background, Ito-En is Japan's 4th largest soft drink producer in Japan (behind Coca Cola, Suntory and Kirin) and specialises in tea production, distribution and sales.
This product however has nothing to do with tea, as is clear from the name, instead it is based on one of Ito-En's famous Vegetable & Fruit Juices called Jyujitsu Yasai which I think basically means Ju Jitsu Vegetables... The Kit Kat contains extracts from apple, carrot, grape, lemon, celery, green pepper, asparagus, Chinese cabbage, kale and a bunch of other veggies in ever decreasing amounts. However, all of this is a bit deceiving as the predominant smell and flavour by far is apple, with carrot kicking in as a secondary flavour.
This Kit Kat has a white chocolate base and as you can see above, the Kit Kat is a mildly terrifying shade of yellowy-orange and it is also a similar yellow orange colour inside. As is typical for many Japanese specialty Kit Kats, it comes in super cute and high quality individual packages inside the main box (which in turn usually comes from a huge box...). Japanese spend A LOT of time on their packaging and making it super awesome! Not necessarily the most environmentally friendly thing but certainly makes for a pleasing experience when eating it.
Now down to the main question: "what did it taste like?". Well here's the surprise... it was actually pretty good! I mean it's definitely an odd flavour and there is a bit of a strange almost glycerine aftertaste, but overall the dominant apple taste makes it very fragrant and pleasant tasting and the secondary carrot flavour following through is not bad either. Most of the other likely to be gross flavours (at least when mixed with chocolate) like celery, green pepper and asparagus, are not really present to a level where they can be detected on the palate.
To see our full opinions and feedback on this extremely wacky, but somehow successful product check out our review below:
By the way, you may have noticed that I confused Jyujitsu Yasai to be an actual person, whoops...
Mitsuya Cider created in 1884 is one of Japan's oldest sodas, preceded by a few years by the famous Ramune Marble Soda which was created in 1876. The name "cider" is quite misleading, as the Japanese use of the word cider is something very different from it's traditional origins of alcoholic beverage made from apples. Instead cider in Japan refers to a non-alcoholic fizzy drink which tastes something like a cross between Sprite and Ginger Ale.
The brand Mitsuya Cider is currently owned and produced by Asahi and comes in a selection of flavours including grape, white peach, tangerine and lemon. "White Cider" is also released from time to time with it's own flavour variations including melon.
Something very interesting is that there is also a Mitsuya Cider candy which is carbonated! This is achieved by combining the melted candy mix with pressurised carbon dioxide (under around 600 pounds of pressure per square inch) which causes tiny pressure bubbles to be trapped inside the candy. We haven't tried this product yet, but I'm dying to review it!
I have to say that at the time when Arne and myself reviewed this drink we did not know anything about the history of Mitsuya Cider and rather unusually for myself, did not research it either, so we just evaluated it as an unknown drink and probably unfairly categorised it as a Ramune copycat drink in terms of flavour. In any case, have a look at the review and see for yourself:
There is an old saying across many places in the world and especially in America that "bigger is better", but the reality is that this is just often not true! Sapporo Mini Beer is a perfect example of this, where one of Japan's most delicious and refreshing lagers is condensed into a tiny little can perfect to give you instant ice cold refreshment at lunch or whilst on the go somewhere (or perhaps if you want to tell your friends that you drank 10 cans of beer without getting drunk...).
For a quick history lesson, Sapporo Breweries was established in 1876 and has been producing Sapporo Lager since that time, though both the brewery and the beer have been through considerable changes since that time. The current Sapporo Black Label Beer was launched in 1977 and is also known as Sapporo Bottled Draft Beer, because it is bottled in it's freshly brewed state. A replica of their original style of beer is produced under the Kaitakushi label and is sadly only available at the Kaitakushi Sapporo brewery.
In general the Japanese make excellent quality lagers and Sapporo, which is one of my personal favourites is no exception! And in addition to great beer, they are also famous for producing some great adverts such as this one featuring mega-famous Japanese actor Toshiro Morifune (三船 敏郎) which literally says "Guys! Just shut up and drink Sapporo Beer!"
As well as this incredibly popular television advert from two years ago, which is a sort of epic short film in itself showing the history and developing culture of Japan from through the brewing of a giant glass of Sapporo beer that starts in 1876 when the brewery was established and finishes in the present day.
Well after all that excitement and history of Sapporo Beer I know that the question which must be on everyone's minds is "but how did Spencer Douglass and Arne Venema react to this mini gem of a beer?". Well to find the answer to that, you'll have to watch our Crazy from Kong review below and make sure to take note of our awesome matching Aphex Twin shirts!