japanese (118)
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2017 04 08 13.02.35

Benkyodo Co Mochi: One of the original mochi shops in the US, Benkyodo in Japantown, SF opened back in 1906. Today, the storefront is an odd mix of diner counter, Asian 7-11-type snacks, and fresh made mochi. All of their mochi come in cupcake liners and taste very fresh because they are. The texture is softer than I personally prefer, and there is a little too much starch that coats your mouth with each bite. But I did enjoy that they were not overly sweet. The best was certainly a mango mochi that had f... (read more) 3.0/5.0

3.0 mochi benkyodoco dessert sweets japanese sanfrancisco japantown
2017 04 07 20.23.58

Koreana Plaza Market Mochi: Inside the Koreana Plaza Market in Oakland is a small cash-only bakery with a variety of asian sweets, including lotus-paste-filled pastries (review forthcoming), pineapple buns, and almond cookies. I purchased a pack of two red-bean mochi (despite the oven-fresh sticker on the packaging, I'm pretty sure they were steamed). The mochi are about 125% the size of packaged mochi. Biting into a piece, I could instantly tell that it was very fresh. The glutinous rice flour had a bit more resis... (read more) 3.0/5.0

3.0 mochi koreanaplazamarket japanese dessert sweets oakland
2017 03 04 10.26.06

Ikedaya Mangetsu: Shrimp crackers in disc form, flavored with sesame seeds, cuttlefish, and MSG. Similarly textured to the bright pink shrimp crackers sometimes offered at American-ized Chinese restaurants, those these are a bit more dense. Not as boldly flavored as shrimp crackers, though the nori does add a new salinity to the mix. Purchased from Tokyo Fish Market in Berkeley. 2.5/5.0

2.5 mangetsu ikedaya tokyofishmarket seafood crackers shrimp japanese
2017 02 03 12.33.35

Pocky Strawberry Cream Covered Biscuit Sticks: In a special (what I presume to be) Valentine's Day edition, Pocky tweaks its round biscuit shape to produce a heart-shaped cross section. The heart is most visible on the biscuit end, though it looks more like a 45-degree bracket than a heart. On the strawberry-coating end, the heart is nearly impossible to make out. With an impressively long list of ingredients (largely to do with the coating), these Pocky biscuits actually taste no different than the normal strawberry ones. The coatin... (read more) 3.0/5.0

japanese 3.0 sticks biscuit covered cream strawberry pocky heart
2016 12 31 15.55.23

Wakabato Iso Hineri rice crackers: Thought I hadn't tasted this particular brand before, these seaweed-flavored rice crackers are a classic Japanese snack. The rice crackers have a braided texture and curled shape, almost like a tentacle, and are coated with a sweet and savory glaze speckled with nori. Addictive and well balanced, these are the rice crackers I most often crave. Purchased from Tokyo Fish Market. 4.0/5.0

4.0 crackers rice hineri iso wakabato tokyofishmarket ricecrackers nori japanese recommended
2016 12 23 20.24.55

JJ Bakery Peanut Mochi: Generously sized chewy and sweet mochi coated with peanut powder and filled with a sweet, textured peanut paste. Mochi is glistening on the inside. Holds up well in the fridge (I had it a day after it was purchased, and it was still delicious). 4.0/5.0

4.0 mochi peanut jjbakery japanese recommended