Monday 25 September 2017


Trying Japanese Biscuits! (Japan Centre Haul)

In the last couple of weeks my Twitter feed has been flooded with people sharing their excitement over the opening of Japan Centre on Panton Street. I initially thought it'd satisfy all my Japan dreams by being stocked with fluffy toys, anime-covered homeware and kawaii galore, but actually it was a supermarket and not even the first London location at that, I'd just been completely out of the loop until now. Nonetheless, I made the most of my visit and stocked up on some Japanese biscuits to try, which were cute, colourful and extremely yummy.

Years ago I had a bit of a Pocky addiction but back then the only flavours I would occasionally find in shops were strawberry and chocolate. Nothing wrong with that of course (in fact, it was the strawberry one I was obsessed with) but the brand has definitely outdone itself since with a whole host of exciting new flavours to dig into. I was tempted to get one of each of the flavours in stock in Japan centre but I (somehow) managed to restrain myself and 'only' pick up four different ones; strawberry, blueberry, mango, and cookies & cream (aka Oreo).

They were all delicious and the fruity flavours were definitely more vivid than I remember (probably because they're now made with real fruit) but if I HAD to pick just one favourite I'd say the mango was especially delish. It's so very different to have a mango flavoured biscuit and so I loved its uniqueness most (though I'd be devouring all packages in the coming days, of course).

While in the candy aisle I also couldn't leave without a Hello Panda (the other iconic Japanese biscuit besides Pocky) and something I'd hadn't heard of before but I picked up purely because of its adorable packaging: Lotte Koalas. The cuteness you guys, why don't British biscuits come in packaging adorned with adorable animals? I was already familiar with Hello Panda, but not the Matcha green tea flavour which is very much a hype right now (there are also Matcha KitKats apparently, but I've yet to find those). It's a bit of an acquired taste but one that I love so it gets a big thumbs up from me.

The Lotte Koala biscuits were similar to the Hello Panda in that they're a crunchy biscuit filled with a flavoured cream. Instead of pandas, the pictures on the biscuits are (unsurprisingly) koalas and they're doing different activities. These too were cookies & cream flavoured and a bit more intense than the Pocky because of the higher cream ratio. Don't tell my teenage self but I think I prefer these over the Pocky variant, ssshh...

While I didn't leave Japan Centre with anime stickers to decorate my laptop with or cute toys for my desk, the biscuit haul totally made the visit worth it and I'll definitely be back to stock up on some of them again in the future as they make ideal snacks for work. What are your favourite flavours of Pocky, Hello Panda and/or Lotte Koala? Do let me know your recommendations below and if I can find them I'll try them in a next haul!

Japan Centre is located on 35b Panton Street SW1Y 4EA (this is in the West End just off Piccadilly Circus). For more information on their stock and opening times check out the official website.

🎵 Listening to: Fall Out Boy – Young Volcanoes
🔹 Mood: Mega busy stressed at work...

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