For a while I’ve really wanted to try some Japanese snacks, I did get a couple of Popin Cookin sets and they were lots of fun and tasted surprisingly good considering the fact they were powders with water added. When I made an order recently from the Tofu Cute site I bought one of the snack lucky bags. They do two kinds of lucky bag, the snack one and one full of fluffy things from the Amuse brand that does the Alpacasso plushes, I did a review of a larger bag of them here. They come in four sizes; chibi (£12.99), sugoi (£19.99), senpai (£29.99) and sumo (£49.99).
The Tofu Cute Lucky Bags bags say that they always contain products worth more than you’ve paid and I can say that in my case that’s true, but not by as much as I was hoping. Adding them all up the total comes to £13.64 and the bag cost £12.99 so it’s 65p off, unless my maths is wrong. I think if you get the larger bags, I got the smallest, then you would get a greater value compared to what you spend.
I chose the chibi size as I didn’t want to have too many snacks and wasn’t sure what I’d get, as the products mostly cost around £2 I thought I’d get a bit of a range to see what some of them were like. I have seen comments on their Instagram with people asking about allergies and things when it comes to the snacks and they said you can email them and they’ll make sure you don’t get anything in your bag with it. I do have a slight gluten and dairy intolerance but not enough for me to avoid them completely so I didn’t do this, I think next time I might so I don’t end up with a lot of biscuit things.
The first thing about the lucky bags that I do like is the bag itself, it’s the kind of drawstring bag I used to have for PE and swimming when I was in primary school and it’s the kind of material that’s hard wearing and I’d think would survive a washing machine or wipe down if it got anything on it. It’s a fair size, you couldn’t hold anything A4 that’s too floppy because of the drawstring but I have fit an A4 notebook in there and closed it if that helps give you an idea of size. The main downfall for me is the fact it’s slightly see through, you can see what’s in it quite well so I wouldn’t put anything that’s worth a lot in there if I were to use it outside. This snack lucky bag comes in blue, the one with Amuse products in is pink so I have two different colours in it, I think I prefer the blue but they’re both nice pastel colours anyway and I like the cat design on the front.
I’ve had this bag for a couple of weeks now so I have tried everything in there, though there is surprisingly quite a bit left, I have managed to ration myself and not eat everything in a couple of days, which could be done quite easily with these I think.
The first two things I saw were the larger boxes. The Pocky I got is a Super Thin Gokuboso in chocolate and they are so easy to eat, I may have ended up eating half of them in one go. Inside the card box there are two sachet packets so you can eat half and save half for later, or share them if you want. They are a lot like some that were available in the UK, I don’t know if they still are, and the name escapes me so maybe someone can help me. They’re thin biscuit sticks dipped in chocolate and they do taste nice. The chocolate isn’t a sweet milk chocolate like you’d get in the UK, it’s closer to a dark chocolate which makes them less sweet and sickly so it’s a good combination. The biscuit is light and I do like the stick form but to me they don’t taste much different to a dark chocolate rich tea, and for some reason a bit like a dark chocolate hobnob. The main draw for these is the shape given the price, £2.99, but I did enjoy them. I think if it comes to Pocky, unless you’re planning on sharing them for a get together, then they’re more worth getting if you get one of the unusual flavours.
The second one, similar to Pocky and by Glico as well, is a box of Double Pretz in blueberry cheesecake which is not a flavour I was expecting to enjoy as much as I did. They look a lot like Pocky but are less sweet which is nice. Inside this one there’s only one bag and it’s not resealable but I have had them open since I first got them and they’ve stayed crunchy so you don’t have to worry about them going soft. The taste is a very artificial blueberry flavour, though it’s not too strong and the more refreshing ‘cheesecake’ part stops it being overly sweet. I don’t normally like blueberry flavoured things, unless it’s fresh ones, so it was a nice surprise when these tasted more like a sweet yoghurt with a hint of blueberry. These cost £1.99 though the box ha a £1.50 sticker on it, not sure what’s going on there. I think these are different enough to be worth paying that for them, but if you don’t like fake blueberry flavours I would avoid as, although it’s not too strong, there are enough other flavours you would probably prefer. I wouldn’t buy this flavour again but I would get more Double Pretz.
The third biscuit based snack I got was a box of Koala March in strawberry. It seems odd to say but I do really like this box, the shape is different and it closes again easily. Inside is a silver bag which, again, does not reseal but the biscuits have stayed crunchy and I had the last one today so they last a couple of weeks without going soft. These biscuits remind me of ones I used to get where I was little, as in the little koalas printed on them, they’re all doing different things. The biscuit itself is quite thin, it’s mainly air inside, and there’s a little bit of strawberry flavoured stuff in there. The biscuits are a lot like ones you used to get in the UK with chocolate inside, again the name escapes me, that used to be round and had animals printed on the front too. It’s pretty light but not a lot of flavour in the biscuit itself, the strawberry stuff tastes just like strawberry yoghurt and they’re surprisingly refreshing given how sweet a lot of wester strawberry snacks can be if they have creamy stuff in. These cost £1.80 and I think they’d e great to share with people, the flavour is nice but for myself I’m not sure I’d pay that much for them.
One of the sweets on their site I was hoping I’d get, and I did, is the Hi-Chew candy as I’ve heard so much about it on various blogs. These are amazing, I got one in strawberry and I am definitely tempted to make an order with a range of these flavours in it. It’s a bit odd when you first start eating it as it has the exact texture of bubblegum, I did actually end up checking on the website that I was meant to swallow it. It lasts a lot longer than any normal chew I’ve had from the UK and the flavour is like the Fruitella strawberry chews. It’s not overly fake but it’s not a true strawberry taste, it’s very refreshing and not too sweet. I think this is my favourite thing in the bag and I’m definitely going to be adding some of these if I order from Tofu Cute again. They cost £1.75 each, which is a lot for chewy sweets, but as a bit of a treat I’d say these are different enough to be worth it.
The Meiji Petit Bubblegum Pellets I have look different to the box on the site but I think it’s the same product given the name. It generally looks the same but mine has a different game in it and some orange pellets in there too. This is meant to be in the flavour soda but I really don’t know what kind of soda it would taste like. It’s maybe slightly fizzy and the blue ones are a general sort of sweet and sharp flavour but it’s not like it’s lemonade or even citrus like I’d have expected with a generic soda flavour. The orange ones maybe have a hint of citrus in there but that may be partly my brain expecting it, they are different than the blue ones though. One thing is the flavour does seem to disappear fairly quickly, I think a lot of it is in the harder outer shell. As these are so small, and a lot of it seems to be the harder shell, you do need to get about ten of them, or more, to get a decent sized piece of gum, I’d say probably more like fifteen or twenty to blow decent sized bubbles. It does blow good bubbles though that don’t pop easily so that’s a good thing. I’m not really sure what the game is for and you can’t see it when you first get the box so you have to empty at least half of them out before you can even see the extra layer inside. These cost £1.50 which isn’t too bad considering you can have a few pieces at a time and it’d last you quite a while.
I love sour sweets so when I saw the Shigekix Super Sour Gummies in there I was very happy. This one is in soda flavour and definitely very sour at first. The bag is resealable which is good so you it’s one I’d be ok with taking in a bag somewhere as the seal is pretty strong. All of the sourness is in the outer coating, it is very sharp and not like a lot of the sour sweets you get in the UK that don’t seem very sour to me at all. If you don’t like sour things then stay away from these, if you do like sour things then these are great as you don’t get many really sour ones in the UK, at least that I’ve tried. They are gummy and once the sourness has melted away they do have a sort of soda flavour I guess, it’s another generic sweet but slightly sharp flavour but it does have something maybe lemony in there too so it’s closer to what I’d expect. They can last pretty well, the gummy isn’t too soft so if you leave it to melt in your mouth they do last a long time. I really like these and, although they’re £1.60 which is expensive for a small bag, they are different enough for me to consider getting them again. I am very interested to see how the grape ones taste, I find it hard to imagine a sour grape flavoured thing considering the flavour of grape candy I’ve had from Japan before.
The last thing I got is a tube of Meiji Coffeebeat chocolate, which is basically small coffee bean shaped chocolates with a thin sugar shell like you get on smarties, but thinner. These taste really good, the chocolate is nice and sweet and melty and the sugar shell melts very quickly if you don’t crunch it. The coffee is fairly strong compared to some coffee flavoured things you get but it’s not bitter, it reminds me of the taste of proper chocolate covered coffee beans. I like the way they do look like small coffee beans, with the line down them, and I think they’d be great to have out in a little bowl somewhere so you can just grab a couple when you feel like it. The tube is resealable and the lid stays on well, especially considering it’s just a slightly larger card sleeve with no extra thing holding it in place. These cost £1.99 which is a bit expensive but they are nice enough that I could see myself repurchasing them in the future if I felt like having some nice coffee chocolate. Unfortunately I am trying to keep my caffeine intake low, I have decaf pretty much everything except chocolate, so these will be given to others, though they do seem popular so far.
Overall I am very happy with what I got. The main reason I went for this bag rather than getting individual things was, rather than any discount, simply that I didn’t know what to choose and it helped me to try a range of things, some of which I wouldn’t have picked anyway, and I found that I liked them more than I expected. I think this is a great way to try some Japanese snacks and it seems like they’d be happy to try and keep anything you have allergies to out of the bag, though it will be harder with some than others and it may not affect it at all with some allergies. I think that a lot of the bags I’ve seen pictures of on instagram seem to have Pocky or Pretz in the so if it’s wheat then it’s definitely worth contacting them.
I think in the future I will be buying more Japanese candy, though I might go with picking out my own rather than having another lucky bag. It was nice to see what the different products are like and I think it’s a great way to either try a range yourself or to give as a gift for someone else to try. You could always order one and then break it up and give the individual things as gifts, it’s not a huge discount because of the small size on the one I got and I expect it gets bigger with the more you spend on the bag, but it was still around 10p per item, slightly more if you include the value of the bag itself.