Taste-testing Tokyo Treat’s new box of goodies

I’m supposed to be on a diet right now, but when Tokyo Treat, purveyors of fine subscription boxes full of Japanese snacks (not a sponsor) reached out and asked if I’d like to taste-test their latest Premium box… well, I wasn’t about to turn down that opportunity. Particularly because despite being a massive weeb for more years than I’d care to count at this point, I’ve never actually tried quite a few of the most popular traditional Japanese snack foods.

With that in mind, then, I starved myself until lunchtime, then cracked open the box and gave everything in there a sniff and a nibble. You can witness the results of said sniffage and nibblage in the following video. Or you can read on for some further thoughts!

The first thing I chose to try was the bottle of White Peach Fanta. I figured that would probably be tasty, and as such it would be useful to have on hand just in case anything in the box presented some sort of “get this taste out of my mouth right now” emergency.

Turns out Peach Fanta tastes like peach. Who’d have thought it? It’s actually a relatively subtle flavour that doesn’t linger past its welcome, and the fact it’s a full sugar drink rather than an artificially sweetened one means that it doesn’t have an unpleasant aftertaste. That does make it quite calorific, though; the 410ml bottle is 197 calories in total, so maybe drink water for the rest of the day unless you want to end up like my fat ass.

Probably the biggest surprise for me was a crunchy snack known as “onion taro” — corn puffs that claimed to be “packed with onion soup flavour”. I was anticipating a serious gag reflex on these as I really don’t like onion, but they smelled and tasted more like salty beef Monster Munch than anything else — really very tasty, and a very pleasant snack.

Tokyo Treat Heartful Blueberry Pocky

The blueberry Pocky was tasty and had an interesting flavour profile; the taste evolves quite noticeably as you eat it. It starts off tasting a bit like a yogurt-coated snack, then there’s a touch of sweetness and finally a real tanginess to finish off. Definitely much more interesting than a regular chocolate Pocky stick.

The “constellation chocolate cookie” was pretty good, but relatively unremarkable compared to everything else. It was a fairly generic biscuit coated with quite a thick coating of some pleasantly creamy chocolate. Not offensive by any means, but not especially exciting, either. As chocolate biscuits go, it was a pretty good one — the rich chocolate was doing a lot of the heavy lifting — but there was much more interesting stuff in the box.

The Texas Corn Okonomiyaki flavour corn puffs were a little disappointing. They actually tasted a little more like I was expecting the onion taro to taste, but not so much as to put me off eating them. If anything, the flavour of the corn itself overpowered the actual flavouring. A decent snack, but nowhere near as good as the onion taro snacks.

The box also included a small bag of Yakisoba Shop Taro, which is essentially flavoured dry, uncooked noodles. If you’ve never come across these before, they’re quite a popular snack in certain parts of Asia; pop along to your local Asian supermarket and you’ll likely find numerous flavours of them available for sale. “Uncooked noodles” might sound like a hard sell, but give ’em a go — you might be surprised.

The Don Don Yaki snacks were pretty tasty; they had a very pleasant soy sauce flavour to them with a hint of sweetness. The flavour isn’t overpowering at all, which makes them a nice snack to pick at while you’re doing something else, such as reading Rice Digital.

Porikky claimed to be a pretzel snack that replicates the flavour of tasty German potatoes, but they tasted more like Mini Cheddars to me. Initially disappointing but subsequently quite addictive thanks to their saltiness, these are ones you’ll probably want to portion out carefully to make sure you don’t devour a whole packet in a matter of seconds!

Next up, we had the two umaibo in the the box. Umaibo, for the unfamiliar, are a crispy corn snack, but they’re often sweet rather than savoury — in this case, for example, there’s an apple pie flavour one which goes heavy on the cinnamon and sugar, and a chocolate covered one that tastes like a chocolate wafer bar, but which is several orders of magnitude lighter.

Tokyo Treat Demon Slayer Crunky Chocolate

Then we had official Demon Slayer Crunky Chocolate, which was basically just a Hershey’s Cookies and Cream bar, but not quite as good. There was a bit more emphasis on the “cream” side of things; it could have done with a bit more chocolate to make it truly tasty. Certainly not bad, but one of those things that wasn’t especially “interesting”.

The Sparrow Egg Crackers, meanwhile, were delicious. Essentially peanuts with a crunchy soy sauce-flavoured coating, these have a lovely flavour profile thanks to the way the coating and the peanut interact with one another.

Sour Paper Candy Grape turned out to be something akin to a fruit rollup with the sort of fizzy sugar you get on Haribo Tangfastics all over it. I wasn’t in love with the grape flavour, but I’m not a huge fan of grape flavour in general — I found that the fizzy, sour finish actually elevated the flavour well above my initial expectations, though.

The white chocolate and fermented butter mini koala cookies sounded initially offputting — add the word “fermented” to anything and it will probably give most people pause — but they’re actually just little animal cracker-style biscuits filled with a bit of white chocolate, and featuring a rather butterscotchy finish. Again, a pleasant surprise; much nicer than their description made them sound!

Tokyo Treat Karamucho Kumamoto Chili Tomato

The Karamucho Kumamoto tomato and chili crisps were nice enough, but not particularly distinctive when compared to the crisps we have over here; they tasted very much like Walkers’ tomato ketchup flavoured crisps, with a slight, very slight chilli kick afterwards. A good snack, for sure, but not an especially adventurous one. Nice big bag, though.

Star of the box is the Mont Blanc flavour Kit Kat. If you’ve not come across Japanese Kit Kats before, they’re a little different from the ones we have over here; while they’re still essentially wafers coated in chocolate, they come in a variety of weird and wonderful flavours, with said flavours typically coming and going as the seasons pass. The flavour of Mont Blanc — a chestnut-based dessert popular in Japan — is associated with the autumn, so it stands to reason that Kit Kats for this period would attempt to adopt that flavour.

I wasn’t sure what to expect because there’s supposedly a tiny bit of rum in them, but I actually found them rather tasty; the flavour profile begins with some pleasant white chocolate, but this is followed with the more savoury, nutty chestnut elements. I didn’t notice the rum at all except through a very slight bitterness; it’s certainly not something you’ll have a problem with even if you’re not normally a fan of boozy chocolates.

Tokyo Treat KitKat Mont Blanc

The final element I tried — largely because it involved getting up and doing something rather than just eating stuff — was the “DIY candy kit”, which promised a strawberry ice cream-inspired experience. Indeed, the kit comes with three tiny wafer cones — which will inevitably be soggy and chewy rather than crunchy by the time you get them — and a sachet of powder. Add a couple of teaspoons of water to the powder and it becomes goop that you can spoon into the cones and then eat.

It doesn’t taste like strawberry ice cream at all, but it is a tasty, very sweet and fizzy snack reminiscent of strawberry sherbet. It’s not a lot of effort to “make”, either — literally all you need to do is plonk the water on the powder — so it’s a fun, tasty novelty.

All in all, I enjoyed the November 2021 Premium Box from Tokyo Treat a great deal. While some elements were definitely more interesting and tasty than others — the onion taro, blueberry Pocky and Kit Kats were probably my personal highlights — there was nothing in there that was outright offensive to the palate, which is good.

I mean, it makes sense, really; as amusing as weird and disgusting flavours can be, ultimately Tokyo Treat wants to keep you coming back for more rather than putting you off, so it’s in their interests to fill the box with delicious treats! And they’ve certainly done that.

So if you’re in the mood for something a little different to snack on, get yourself over to Tokyo Treat to find out more and sign yourself up for some goodies! And thanks to Tokyo Treat for letting us try their latest box — the leftovers after the taste test will certainly keep snacking interesting for a few days!

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Pete Davison
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