japanese (83)
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Kimura Fukumaneki Soda: After having previously reviewed yuzu soda from Kimino (a 5.0!), I looked up other distributors of the fantastic beverage and came across Umami Mart in Oakland. I decided to pay it a visit to see what other tasty snacks it might sell. Umami Mart is a largely sake-focused store that sells a variety of barware and ceramics. In the back of the store is where the snacks are, with products like Japan’s famed KitKat flavors and bags of Umaibo. It’s basically a limited selection of what you can get... (read more) 2.5/5.0

2.5 fukumaneki kimura ramune japanese soda drinks
2017 09 02 12.07.21

Riska Corn Potage Corn Snack: There is nothing subtle about this Japanese fried snack. Shaped like onion petals, each bite combines the best of sour cream and onion with corn soup, a surprisingly sweet and savory combination that seems obvious in retrospect but refreshingly new at the same time. Intensely concentrated creamed-corn taste, like a powdered form of the liquid from canned corn. There's also small bits of dried parsley that cut through and round out the umami goodness. Airy, puffed consistency, with a text... (read more) 5.0/5.0

5.0 snack potage corn riska japanese exceptional
2017 09 16 09.55.47

Kimino Sparking Yuzu: I sift through hundreds of snacks both because I love exploring new tastes but also because I'm always looking for a hidden treasure. Sometimes it's a fresh, unexpected flavor combination, while other times it's just the most perfectly executed version of something more familiar. This Kimino sparking yuzu drink falls in the latter category. The small bottle is perfectly sized for a single serving. The bottom contains sediments of yuzu rind (they utilize the entire fruit to make the bevera... (read more) 5.0/5.0

5.0 yuzu sparking kiminio soda japanese drinks exceptional montererymarket
2017 08 26 19.09.44

Uji Pineapple softserve in small taiyaki cone: Two exciting updates on the Uji-front (my favorite soft serve spot in Berkeley): they now have "small" sized taiyaki cones, which are ideal (you still get a ton of soft serve, and it's about $5), and the new seasonal flavor is pineapple. The taiyaki cone is as good as ever - a fish-shaped waffle that's crispy on the outside and soft and chewy inside, with a surprise of red bean plugging the bottom. It's the ideal serving vehicle that holds up especially well compared to regular cones (it d... (read more) 4.0/5.0

4.0 cone taiyaki small in softserve pineapple uji japanese berkeley icecream recommended
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車えび : This snack was part of a larger gift set shared in my office's kitchen area, a place where abandoned snacks go to be consumed by unassuming coworkers. Myself being one of them, I took at random one of the sealed packages, expecting it to be sweet Japanese biscuits or cookies. I was surprised, to say the least, when I found what appeared to be dried, flattened prawns (head, legs, and all), fried to a crisp, along with what appeared to be thin wheat crackers with swirls of nori. Several attemp... (read more) 2.5/5.0

2.5 shrimp seafood japanese
2017 05 27 11.24.16

Yama Moto Yama Hot'N Spicy Teriyaki Nori Roasted Seaweed: This snack and brand is a staple in Asian grocery stores, and I ate it countless times growing up (though usually in the single-serving plastic packages, rather than the resealable container). This is the first time, though, that I've had the spicy version, which on first take is seemingly mild but quickly escalates to surprisingly high levels. Not as crispy as many of the Korean takes on seaweed crisps, which I've grown to prefer. 3.0/5.0

3.0 seaweed roasted nori teriyaki spicy hot'n yamamotoyama japanese