Planning a party on a budget? Why not check out Don Don Donki, the popular Japanese discount store that made its first foray out of Japan in Dec last year. It opened its first outlet at Orchard Central and has since opened at another location at Tras Street.
The brand is well known for offering made-in and designed-in-Japan products that include everything from beauty and wellness products to novelty costume and delectable Japanese snacks, of course.
We tried out a whole load of snacks from Don Don Donki to shortlist the best ones for you, from chips to mixed nuts and even some crazy good desserts.
don don donki food
Ultra mini assorted, $11.80
This is a godsend for variety hunters and for office party planners who just want to cover all bases – the mixed bag comprises five different combinations of mixed nuts, and even two types of umeboshi.
Bonus giggles: This variety pack is literally described as “urutoraminiasoto” on the ingredients info sticker. Ah, the Japglish.
Sashimi moriwase, $25.80
We nearly did a double take when we saw the price tag. $25 only?! It’s a real steal considering that the sashimi is sliced hefty, and you get rather premium seafood too.
There are several combinations available, so you might get amaebi (sweet shrimp), hirame (flounder), fresh scallops, mekajiki (swordfish) or even uni (sea urchin).
Cheese tara kinatori, $5.90
These are like the wild child of dried cuttlefish strips (it’s actually made with cod fish paste, rather than cuttlefish) crossed with sliced cheese – there’s that familiar chewiness, and the mild tanginess reminiscent of Kraft Singles.
The cod paste is really there to boost the umami and there’s no fishiness at all – thankfully. It’s no Eureka moment, but the snack’s strangely addictive – great to nibble on alongside the umeshu.
Aerial grilled corn flavour, $2.30
That promise of grilled corn flavour? It’s not just marketing hype. The toasty notes are exactly what you’d associate with freshly grilled corn-on-the-cob, and the savoury corn flavour tastes uncannily like the real deal. #mindblown.
The quadruple-layer structure also means four times the crunch – YAAS.
Umeshu kiuchi plum wine, $38
Umeshu is almost always saccharine and too heavy. This one is delightfully restrained: Fruity and tart on the palate with a fulsome texture and clean, crisp finish.
The label claims that it’s distilled using Hitachino white ale – that might just explain its refreshing quality.
Frito Lay dragon potato black pepper, $2.90
They may not be pitched as sour cream chips (albeit in a new-fangled screw shape) but they certainly taste that way – or more specifically, of baked potatoes slathered with sour cream and dusted with freshly cracked black pepper.
But what really grew on us was the texture. It’s crunchy, yes, but there was also a surprising, almost-fluffy dimension akin to potato wedges.
Wasabi mame, $8.80
What’s better than wasabi peas? Wasabi-dusted broad beans, we think.
You’ll still get that sought-after pungent hit, and because broad beans are about twice as wide as green peas, there’s more to munch on.
Luxury mini puff furano melon cream, $9
‘Luxury’ may be a bit of a stretch, but these cream puffs are certainly a winner in our books. The melon cream filling is light and aromatic, and refreshing enough that you’ll find yourself popping ’em in one after another.
Warabi mochi , $3
Fancy restaurants aside, these warabi mochi rank up there as among the best supermarket ones around – tender and wobbly. The bitter edge of the matcha powder is also a great match with the subtle sweetness of the mochi.
Bake de arles junpaku roll, $20
Let this snowscape of a roll cake be a reminder that supermarket goods may very well give independent bakeries a run for the money.
Give it a quick 10 to 15-minute thaw and you’ll find the roll to be ethereally soft and fluffy, lashed with mellow sweetness of fresh Hokkaido cream. You might even want to try it when it’s slightly frozen, for an ice cream-like effect.
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