Japan Crate Mini, Volume 20

February’s Japan Crate theme was Comfort Food.  I received 2 savory and 3 sweet items which are known to be either popular or exclusive in Japan.

 

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What’s inside:

Cheetos BBQ – Man, do I love me some Cheetos. I was excited to get this Japan exclusive flavor. As for it tasting like BBQ? Let’s just say this isn’t anything like how we interpret it in the US. The flavor was sweet/savory, and I also got a hint of ginger in it. It’s good, but I wished they were coated more with the seasoning like the regular cheesy and hot Cheetos.

Fue Fue Ramune Grape – I believe I received something similar to this in a past box. This life saver looking candy can be placed between your lips and emits a whistling sound when you blow through them. The small box with the package contained a small toy (there was a top inside).

Garibori Spicy Garlic Ramen – Have you ever eaten instant ramen straight out of its package? I honestly never gave it a second thought. The crunch and spicy kick that this had was surprising. Good stuff! It can also be cooked in hot water, but I figured it wouldn’t taste as good.

Mashuro – I often get skeptical when I see marshmallows that are different from their plain, white predecessors. My initial thought is that they wouldn’t taste anything like them. Thankfully this one did, the result being that it was the first item from the box that I finished.

Puku Puku Tai Strawberry – I have received the chocolate version of this in a past box. Why I haven’t gone out of my way to look for these tasty cream filled fish shaped wafers is beyond me.

 

The mini crate is 1 of 3 subscriptions available. Check out Japan Crate’s website for more information. If you choose to subscribe, you can get $5 off either your first Original or Premium box by using code MSA5 (code courtesy of My Subscription Addiction).

Japan Crate Mini, Volume 18

December’s mini crate came with 4 sweet items and 1 savory item.

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What’s inside:

Animal Lesson Choco – This is like a version of my favorite Hello Panda chocolate filled biscuits. Instead of panda faces, there are different animals printed on them. These tasted OK, but it’s pretty hard to top HP.

Harvest Biscuit Matcha Flavor – Oh man, I loved these! There are 8 individual packets, each containing 4 crispy biscuits. The flavor is slightly sweet, and the matcha is subtle. I’m going to try and make these last until the end of the month.

Sakuranbo No Uta – This spherical hard candy has a creamy cherry flavor. Think of cherry pie a la mode or topped with whipped cream.

Umai Wa Vegetable Salad Flavor – This snack comes from the same makers of those Umaibo sticks that have been featured in past crates. It’s supposed to be reminiscent of a garden salad, but I think it’s not entirely possible to do so in chip form. Either way, this still tasted pretty good.

Yakimo Yokan – I first heard about this sweet potato gelatin dessert from an anime I once watched. Apparently it comes in different forms and colors. I wasn’t sure what to expect with this, but after the first bite, I was surprised. The texture is denser than actual gelatin. And it does taste like roasted sweet potato. I may have to seek out more like this the next time I find myself at an Asian grocery store.

 

Interested in checking out Japan Crate? Visit their site and use code MSA5 to receive $5 off either your first Original or Premium crate (code courtesy of My Subscription Addiction).

Tea Under the Tree With Crown & Crumpet

A few weeks ago, a few friends and I headed to downtown SF to take part in a holiday tea event. Although it was pouring rain outside the whole time, we still had a blast. Crown & Crumpet in collaboration with the Sir Francis Drake Hotel is holding a holiday tea service for both adults and children throughout the month of December. The area where the event was held is wonderfully decorated, and the large Christmas tree in the middle was the site of many photo-ops.

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Our party of 3 started off with cider and sparkling wine (just me), and later each ordered a tea of our choice. I had my usual favorite (Strawberry Fields) while the others tried the holiday teas. The hostess gave us some party crackers to open before indulging in our selection of tea time treats. The crackers contained mini trinkets, a joke card, and a paper crown which the hostess insisted we wore during our session.

 

Before leaving, we each received a specially made ornament as a memento of the event. I’m glad I was able to partake in it this year and hope to do so in the next. The holiday tea runs through December 30th. More information can be found on the Crown & Crumpet website.

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Japan Crate Mini, Volume 17

The theme for this crate was Japan Throwbacks. I received 3 snack items and 2 candy items in this one, and some of the brands I had tried in past crates.

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What’s inside:

Brazilian Orange Pocky – This was release during promotion of the Rio Olympics earlier this year. I enjoyed the orange white chocolate flavor, and surprisingly haven’t finished the box yet. Some things are worth savoring!

Chew-Ing Straw, Green Apple – These sour straws reminded me of when I would purchase Sour Power during elementary school. These were not as sour, but the flavor was spot on.

Saku Saku Panda Cookie Pack – I believe this is the 3rd time I’ve gotten these awesome chocolate topped cookies, but there’s definitely no complaints from me about it. I just wish there were more of them.

Sportsubu – This chewy candy contains electrolytes to help replenish active bodies. Think of it as chewable Gatorade. These have a lemon-lime flavor. I should have brought them with me during my marathon a few weeks ago.

Umai Sugar Rusk – Rusk is a twice baked baguette that was often served with tea or coffee in Europe prior to its arrival in Japan. This version was made with corn puffs. It’s crunchy, sweet, buttery, and pretty darn addicting.

The Mini subscription contains 5 different types of snacks and candy, but if you’re looking for more, you might want to check out their Original or Premium subscriptions. Visit their site and use code MSA5 to receive $5 off your first one for either sub (code courtesy of My Subscription Addiction).

Japan Crate Mini, Volume 14

August’s Mini crate is freakin’ sweet! No really, all 5 items in the box were sweet. Fine by me. Let’s check it out.

 

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What’s inside:

Moguchuu Chewing Candy, Strawberry – According to the pamphlet’s description, it’s difficult to find trash bins around Japan. And since disposing of chewing gum is frowned upon, that’s the reason why large varieties of chewy candy are sold. Chewing on this gives the impression that one is chewing gum. Basically, this is another version of the Hi-Chew candy we most often find here in the US. Good flavor, however, the texture isn’t as soft as those.

Natsukashi Ramune – The bottle containing this quick dissolving candy is reminiscent of those that store the popular Ramune soda. The candy itself tastes like it too.

 

Puchi Konpeito – This is the Japanese version of rock candy. The star-shaped pieces come in a variety of colors and flavors. Purple = grape, blue = cider, yellow = pineapple, and sadly the orange didn’t have a flavor. It tasted like the white one, which was plain/unflavored sugar.

Sittori Matcha – I’ve tried the chocolate version of this from a past box and loved it. Didn’t think any less of this one. This crunchy puffed snack was covered in a matcha glaze. Very easy to have finished this in one go, but I managed to savor it.

Usuyaki CookieUsuyaki is Japanese for “thin”. Thin, crispy biscuits sandwich a chocolate cream filling. It only came in a pack of 2, but I could have easily have gone through a bunch more. I really have no shame when it comes to cookies or chocolate!

 

 

This box had a nice variety of sweet goodies. I’m hoping that they’ll include at least one savory one in Volume 15. I got love for both!

RCubed Eats: SDCC and Afterward

I’m a bit sad that my gastronomic adventure through SD last month wasn’t as great compared to last year. Again, I blame it on the constant moving. But I did manage to discover a few new places and check off a few from my to-eat list.

After picking up our Conan tickets on Thursday, some of my group was in need of sustenance. From Spreckels Theatre, we headed to Werewolf to grab breakfast. Although it’s mainly a bar, they have a pretty good breakfast menu which is available until 1 pm daily. My eyes immediately locked in on their Pork Belly Benedict, which included poached eggs and thick slices of maple glazed pork belly atop house made potato cakes. I’ve had a good amount of eggs Benedict, but this one by far has been the most indulgent.

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The Monday after SDCC weekend, a friend and I had lunch at Lucha Libre. I’ve gone here quite a few times and have yet to be disappointed. My favorites include their Surfin’ California burrito (featured on the show Man vs. Food) and their Champion’s fries. I would have kicked myself if I didn’t get carne asada fries at least once during my trip. The craving for them doesn’t really occur for me unless I’m in the area. I’ve tried a few versions of it up here in the Bay Area, but seriously, no contest.

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Champion’s Fries with steak

 

2 food cravings were fulfilled on my last full day in SD. In the morning, I checked out the new location of Breakfast Republic at Liberty Station. I initially wanted to try something new, but couldn’t resist ordering their breakfast mac n cheese again with their Jurassic Pork bacon. The latter is a thicker cut and lightly glazed bacon, which I highly recommend adding to any of their dishes that has it as an upgrade or as a side. This kept me full throughout most of the day. Another friend ordered their Steak ‘N’ Eggs. The skirt steak was perfectly cooked, and the chimichurri sauce on top of it was amazing. I would definitely consider ordering that next time if I’m hungry enough to stomach it (I just had a bite). If you’re ever here, it’s located right next to the Liberty Public Market, so you can give yourself an excuse to walk off that meal.

 

 

I had a pretty late dinner that night, but it was totally worth it. The poke hype has been increasing in San Diego within the past few months. With new establishments popping up every so often, I needed try at least one of them out. I heard about Pokirrito through word of mouth and a post that a friend had made about it. The website doesn’t do justice with their menu. In fact, the Mauna Lani burrito that I ordered isn’t even on it. From what I can recall, this one had fresh salmon, avocado, tamago, cucumber, carrot, lettuce, lotus chips (which added a nice crunch), and crab. They also offer a few sauces you can get on the side to dip your burrito in or top it with. I chose their Golden Ratio Pokirrito sauce. Fancy! I was only able to get through half of it (I finished the rest the following morning), but trust me when I say it was pheNOMenal.

 

 

One of my SD friends has gotten heavily into cold brew coffee. Last time I was in town, he had me try the Colada from Holsem and I was immediately hooked. This has cream of coconut, cane sugar, and is topped with toasted coconut. Who would have thought coffee would ever take me to paradise? They have a few other versions of flavored cold brew on the menu that I hope to try on a future visit.

 

 

My Summer food adventure in SD was a nice way to tune out the stress that I had during SDCC. It was surely comforting, and I look forward to trying out more good eats down here.

Japan Crate Mini, Volume 12

Volume 12 had a nice variety of sweet and savory items and 1 candy item.

What’s inside:

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Choco Shinamikonja Imashita – The name means “to be soaked in chocolate”. These wafer-like, pillow shaped crackers were very chocolaty. I love anything chocolate, so I finished this first.

 

Corn Potage Puffs – Based off of a popular sweet corn soup in Japan, these puffs taste just like it, except crispy. I’m not always fond of sweet corn, but I’ll admit these were good.

 

Nagai Sour Gummy – This long gummy rope was orange flavored. As for being sour, I didn’t really notice it. Regardless of that, it was still darn tasty.

 

Super Heart Chiple – Heart shaped chips? Adorable! These were a yakiniku (meaning “grilled meat”) barbecue flavor. It tasted just like what you’d have at a Japanese bbq restaurant, except without having to cook it yourself or reek of smoke after eating.

 

Tonkotsu Sauce Umaibo – I’ve received this puff stick snack in a previous crate, so I knew I’d like this. It really did taste just like the sauce that’s served with tonkotsu, which is a deep fried pork chop commonly served in Japanese cuisine. Yum.

 

Once again everything in this box was great. It actually didn’t take as long for me to go through everything since all the items tasted good. Have any Japanese snack recommendations while I wait on the next Japan Crate? Feel free to let me know.