asian (85)
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2017 05 20 13.16.04

Blockheads Black sesame shaved ice with red bean, rice cakes, almond jelly, and condensed milk: Finally got to try this LA-based Taiwanese shaved ice chain. The black sesame ice cream had decent flavor but the texture was not as fluffy as I knew it could be given my recent experience at Powder in San Francisco. At Blockheads, they make their rice cakes in house, which are essentially tang yuan (the mochi-like glutinous rice dumplings that often accompany red bean soup). I expected their almond jelly to be almond jello, but it was more like the harder gelatin cubes often used in Asia... (read more) 3.0/5.0

blacksesame blockheads redbean 3.0 milk condensed jelly almond cakes rice ice shaved losangeles asian icecream dessert
2017 04 28 21.24.37

Purple Kow Roasted Oolong milk tea with boba: Originally from San Francisco, Purple Kow is a bubble tea shop that also has a location in downtown Berkeley directly adjacent to Top Dog. It serves its drinks in distinctly short and stout containers that are more like buckets than cups. Many of their milk teas are made using organic milk products. I ordered my roasted oolong milk tea with soymilk and 20% sugar and ice. The drink was very mild, tasting mostly of faintly sweetened milk and less so of tea. Their boba are miniature compar... (read more) 3.0/5.0

3.0 tea milk roasted purplekow berkeley asian milktea oolong pearls bubbletea boba drinks
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Korean Plaza Market Lotus paste pastries : These baked goods from Koreans Plaza Market have a buttery, soft exterior similar to moon cakes and a generous amount of white lotus paste inside. The filling has a starchy consistency, almost like biting into a softened Japanese sweet potato. Miniature size makes them good for snacking. 3.0/5.0

3.0 paste lotus koreanplazamarket asian korean pastries sweets recommended
2017 04 07 20.19.48

Milwon Black Rice Steamed Bread: Frozen steamed buns are some of my favorite quick breakfast items. Back when I lived next to HMart, I would purchase them frequently. After not having had them for several months, I was happy to find some at my local Korean grocery store. These Milwon buns are made with black rice, which gives them a speckled purple color. Each fits comfortably in the palm of your hand and has a red bean filling. The only positive thing I can say about this product is that it's not too sweet. Otherwise... (read more) 1.5/5.0

avoid 1.5 bread steamed rice black milwon asian redbean korean
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Yoshimi Yakitokibi: Several months ago, I wrote a review of Trader Joe's mochi rice nuggets, a fried savory glutinous rice snack unlike any other mochi I had eaten up to that point. Irregularly shaped, almost like golden nuggets, they were crunchy and dense - the polar opposite of the chewy texture I associate with mochi. Recently, I was gifted a bag of corn-flavored fried mochi crackers, brought back all the way from Japan, where this particular flavor can only be purchased in Hokkaido. The texture and shap... (read more) 3.0/5.0

3.0 yakitokibi yoshimi asian friend crackers mochi hokkaido corn japanese
2017 03 04 10.25.02

Hapi Snacks Ramen Crunch: Wavy ridged crisps that have an aroma somewhere between the mysterious "oriental" flavored ramen seasoning packet and fish food. Contains a liberal amount of anchovy powder and MSG (in fact, MSG appears twice on the ingredients list for some reason). Texture-wise, it's not as crispy as a potato chip, but its thin profile makes it less hearty than a cracker. It's not as dense as ramen-flavored snacks that actually consist of dried ramen noodles. Flavor-wise, though, Hapi is going for a si... (read more) 2.5/5.0

2.5 crunch hapisnacks tokyofishmarket ramen asian