Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Royce' Milk Chocolate

When I went to Japan it wasn't just fun KitKat flavours I was after, I also love picking up higher end chocolate ranges when I go abroad and therefore really wanted to get my hands on some bars of Royce' chocolate - one of Japan's more premium chocolate brands. However on doing some research before going I found out that in Tokyo Royce' can only be picked up in the airport, so I had to wait with bated breath until then!

Royce' Milk Chocolate

In terms of what makes Royce' more premium? Made in Hokkaido, the climate and clean-air is meant to provide a perfect temperature for producing the chocolate; whilst the sourcing of premium ingredients, such as the use of Hokkaido milk is also meant to add to the overall quality.


Royce' Milk Chocolate

The bar comes, plastic wrapped, in simplistic card packaging and weighs in at 125g. The design of the bar is fairly simplistic but has good, decent sized pieces and is fairly thick. I was so pleased to find that the chocolate hadn't bloomed at all - quite often when bringing chocolate back from abroad I've had issues, so I was absolutely delighted that it was as it should be!
Royce' Milk Chocolate

At 45% the bar has a decent cocoa content yet a gorgeously, milky, creamy eat. It's really well balanced, not too sweet but the perfect blend of rich cocoa notes, creamy dairy and subtle caramel undertones. Delicious. Sometimes I feel that higher cocoa % milk chocolate bars can start to become slightly bitter, this most certainly isn't the case here.

  Royce' Milk Chocolate


As would be expected the texture matches the flavour in terms of offering a smooth, rich, creamy melt that enrobes the mouth.


Royce' Milk Chocolate

Overall I was seriously impressed with this bar of Royce' Milk Chocolate so am looking forward to also trying the almond bar I picked up. The fact that I only paid the equivalent of around £3 as well makes me even more impressed - good quality at a fair price!


Taste - 8.4/10 - Really creamy, rich, well balanced milk chocolate.
Texture- 8.0/10 - Smooth melt.
Appearance - 7.0/10 - Fairly simplistic.
Price - 9.0/10  - Absolute bargain for the equivalent of ~£3.
Overall - 8.1 - Delicious bar of milk chocolate.
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WHO FOR?
If you're a milk chocolate lover then this should hit the spot.

WHERE TO BUY?
I picked mine up at Narita airport, full details of where Royce' is stocked can be found on their website here.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Japanese KitKat : Purple Sweet Potato

Another venture today into the world of obscure Japanese KitKat flavours - Purple Sweet Potato, one of the flavours, I must admit, I was most excited about trying. I haven't ever actually eaten a  purple sweet potato before, but apparently according to Google they're not as sweet as their orange counterpart, so I wasn't sure what to expect in terms of flavour.

Japanese KitKat - Purple Sweet Potato

The packaging shows a Mont Blanc style patisserie item, but with purple sweet potato puree as opposed to chestnut, and as with all of the Japanese KitKat comes in a small 2 finger treat-size portion.

The purple sweet potato flavour is blended into a white chocolate base giving a light lilac colour to the KitKat, making for a lovely visual. However I felt this was where the positives broke down a little bit as in terms of flavour it doesn't really deliver much at all.

Japanese KitKat - Purple Sweet Potato

It offers a light sweet eat, with a hint of something "else", but that "else" is rather hard to define and if I hadn't known it was purple sweet potato there's no way I would have guessed that. It's rather nondescript and doesn't offer much in terms of a unique flavour. Fairly disappointing in the flavour stakes to be honest, I feel that it could have been so much better.

Japanese KitKat - Purple Sweet Potato

If you're in Japan or looking to pick up some Japanese KitKat online there most certainly are a lot better ones out there. Thankfully I only purchased a smaller 3 pack as opposed to one of the larger sharing bags!

Taste - 4.3/10 - Pretty disappointing to be honest, not awful by any means but doesn't massively taste of anything.
Texture - 7.3/10 - Classic light KitKat wafer paired with a good coating of chocolate.
Appearance - 7.9/10 - Really pretty lilac colour.
Price - 5.0/10 - For a pack of 3 mini KitKat I think I paid the equivalent of around £1.50. Not bad at all but certainly better KitKat to purchase.

Overall - 6.1/10
- A good start to the many Japanese KitKat flavours I have to try!

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WHO FOR?If you're interested in trying all of the different Japanese KitKat it might be worth still giving it a go; however I can't massively recommend it from a flavour perspective.

WHERE TO BUY?
I bought them from a store in Tokyo Station in the First Avenue area near Ramen Street but as my holiday went on I also ended up seeing them at a shop in Tokyo Skytree and a store in Odaiba Decks Mall. However you can also purchase the larger 12 pack from Japan Centre for the cheap (ahem) price of £16.45 here.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Meiji Galbo Strawberry Mini

When I was buying chocolate in Japan for most things I generally I had no idea what half the stuff was (hence my one faux pas of buying something which I thought was a delicious gummy sweet and turned out to be some sort of disgusting pickled radish!)

Meiji Galbo Strawberry Mini


Thankfully due to a slightly clearer picture on these Meiji Galbo Strawberry Mini I had a bit of a better idea - it looked like some sort of chocolate pellet with a strawberry chocolate coating. I was hoping there were going to be no nasty surprises here.

You could buy them in small individual bags or in this box format that I bought, which contains a slightly bigger bag. I was expecting the pellets to be quite small but in actual fact they're a decent size, probably around 5g per piece.

Meiji Galbo Strawberry Mini

Biting into it you are met with a rather dense yet slightly crunchy chocolate cookie interior, I'm not sure whether there's actually any milk chocolate blended through the centre as it didn't seem quite crunchy enough to be all biscuit. You then have a thin layer of strawberry chocolate coating the exterior which adds a nice hint of fruitiness. In all fairness I normally really don't like milk chocolate and berry flavours together but I found these extremely moreish and great to nibble on.

Meiji Galbo Strawberry Mini

The visual of the product could be slightly better I think, the strawberry chocolate layer has a slightly translucent, grainy, speckled look, which I think would look better if it were all one colour and opaque, but that's only a minor qualm. Overall these were pretty tasty and I must say I'll miss not being able to pick them up easily in the UK.

Meiji Galbo Strawberry Mini

Taste - 7.5/10
  - Really nice, light, fruity strawberry flavour with a creamy milk chocolate cookie centre.
Texture - 8.8/10 - The texture is so moreish, not too crunchy, definitely feels like there is some chocolate blended through the centre.
Appearance - 6.0/10 - Could look slightly better.
Price - 7.0/10 - I can't remember the exact price I paid but I think it was the equivalent of around £1.
Overall - 7.3/10 - I really enjoyed these and am now wishing I bought a few more packs!
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WHO WHO FOR?
Great snacking option perfect for kids + adults.

WHERE TO BUY?

I bought these in Japan, not sure whether they may be available in some Japanese import shops in the UK (I'm hoping) as they are a fairly mainstream product but you can also purchase them from eBay.