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Kopitiam Lychee Bandung: Kopitiam is everything I want in a restaurant – it's unfussy, always introduces me to new flavors, is dependably delicious, and a great value. And I love their drinks, which are always served in pouches. Their current seasonal drink consists of lychee and rose syrup, with a generous helping of whole pieces of lychee fruit. I'd normally find it a little too sweet, but with the extremely hot weather in NYC, it was the perfect thirst quencher. Its floral notes are present but not overly dom... (read more) 3.5/5.0

recommended drinks nyc malaysian kopitiam lychee bandung 3.5
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Manna House Bakery Scallion and Ham Roll: I was on my way to Golden Steamer when I passed Manna House Bakery ~2 doors down on Mott St that had a small queue of older Asian customers. Locals don't normally wait in line, especially in places as impatient as Chinatown, so I decided to stop in and check out their selection. The cash-only bakery is very narrow, yet has an impressive selection of traditional Chinese pastries like pineapple bun, sponge cake, egg tarts, and more, all thankfully labeled both in Chinese and English. I left ... (read more) 3.5/5.0

recommended chinatown nyc mannahousebakery scallion ham roll 3.5
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Irvins Salted Egg Salmon Skin: One thing I often point to as an untapped market in the US is seafood-based snacks, which are normally quite popular in many Asian cultures. So I was very excited to try these salmon skin crisps, which have a delightful salty sweet flavor. The crispy fried skins are coated with a savory coating consisting of salted duck egg yolk and spices like curry leaves and bird's eye chili. The fish skin melts in your mouth and has a rounded, rich aftertaste from the egg yolk. I think this is really... (read more) 4.0/5.0

recommended irvins salted egg salmon skin 4.0
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KitKat Peach KitKats: I was gifted this bag of Japanese peach KitKats from a friend, purchased originally from Berkeley Bowl (the best grocery store in the country!!). The mini KitKats are individually wrapped, and the normally chocolate coating is a pale pink color. I expected this to be really sweet, but it’s surprisingly well balanced, with a tangy and tart ripe peach candy flavor. The rest of the KitKat is the familiar wafer crisps of the iconic candy bar. Definitely worth a try! 4.0/5.0

recommended candy japanese kitkat peach kitkats 4.0
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Screamers Dole Whip: Screamers is a soft serve treats stand at Stevenson Wharf in Richmond, BC (a 30 min drive south from Downtown Vancouver). Their signature offering is a "screamer" drink they describe as a combination of ice cream and slurpee – it comes in a variety of classic fruity Crush soda flavors. Their other speciality is soft serve dole whip, a tropical treat combining pineapple and vanilla soft serve. The kiddie size (pictured) is more than enough for an adult and barely costs $3. The texture is i... (read more) 4.5/5.0

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Calbee Takoyaki Balls: Puffed corn snacks coated in a sweet and savory seasoning blend that tastes just like takoyaki sauce (sort of like Japanese Bulldog sauce or Worcestershire sauce, deep in umami). In other words, it doesn't taste like seafood but just the sauce that typically coats the normally octopus-filled balls. Undoubtedly a substantial amount of MSG. Purchased from Uwajimaya, but actually a product of Thailand. 3.0/5.0

uwajimaya japanese calbee takoyaki balls 3.0