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Wanpo Tea Shop Black Rice & Taro with Coconut Milk: This is my second time getting a drink from this Taiwanese bubble tea shop, this time at their Shibuya location. Both times, the employees seemed to identify that I was Chinese and spoke to me in Mandarin, but I could barely cobble enough Chinese together to say that I didn't want the drink to be too sweet. This particular drink is almost like eating a dessert rather than a drink, containing more solid ingredients than liquid and reminding me of eating Taiwanese shaved ice, with its mix of... (read more) 2.5/5.0

drinks wanpoteashop black rice taro coconut milk 2.5
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Nezu No Pan Black Sesame Raisin Bread: I loved the bread I was gifted from this bakery in Nezu so much that I wanted to see all the flavors they had to offer. I bought two more mini-loaves to try. The first was sliced black sesame raisin bread, with a thin crust and chewy stretch interior mixing a healthy amount of black sesame and plump raisins. I really liked the savory taste of the black sesame, but I found the raisins to be overpoweringly sweet – about half the quantity would have been better balanced in my eyes. The quali... (read more) 3.0/5.0

bread tokyo nezu nezunopan black sesame raisin 3.0
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Shake Shack Black sesame milkshake: I hadn't been to a Shake Shack in Japan and stumbled upon one near Meiji Jingu, where I went to see the yellow autumn ginko trees. I stopped in to see if they had any exclusives, and their menu features a Japan-only black sesame shake. It was super satisfying on multiple levels: thicker than anything I've found in Japan, with a nutty and savory black sesame flavor that didn't taste at all artificial. Black sesame is one of my favorite flavors; I've had a lot of black sesame snacks over the ... (read more) 4.0/5.0

exceptional japanese drinks blacksesame shakeshack black sesame milkshake 4.0
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Calbee Black Pepper Potato Crisps: There are two Japanese versions of Pringles that I've seen on the shelves from major brands Calbee and YBC. Both come in familiar tennis-tube packaging and feature a hyperbolic paraboloid-shaped stackable chip. The differences are minor: the Japanese chips are a bit thicker and tend to taste more of fried potato than of their powdered flavoring. These black pepper flavored chips have a decent spiciness to them and are otherwise fairly expected – neither good nor bad. I recently learned t... (read more) 3.0/5.0

japanese inegaya calbee black pepper potato crisps 3.0
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Sweet Box Japanese black beef potato chips: A common potato-based junk food I see here in Japan but not in the states is french-fry-shaped chips, thickly cut like the British type you get with fish and chips but crunchy: extruded fried potato sticks. The most popular is Calbee Jagabee, though I actually have not yet tried it (you can get it easily in the states), but the bag I purchase is substantial and hearty in comparison, at least in terms of the diameter of each piece. The chips have a strong garlic flavor that tastes slightly sm... (read more) 3.5/5.0

recommended japanese sweetbox black beef potato chips 3.5
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Nico Black Sesame Donut: This was a donut I purchased about two months ago in the Azabu-Juban neighborhood of Tokyo. The small stand, selling donuts to go, has a menu of small soybean-flour-based donuts dusted in flavored sugar. The soybean flour gives it a uniquely texture more similar steamed bread than American fried donuts. Flavored sugar is also not overly sweet but also easily identifiable as black sesame. A little bit pricy for the size, at least by Japanese standards (a little over $3 for the donut), but... (read more) 3.5/5.0

recommended azabu azabujuban japanese nico black sesame donut 3.5