[Updated 13 Jun 2019 with clarification of halal status of Snaffle's Catchcakes]
Got a craving for Japanese snacks, but no idea where you can get some? Japanese megastore Don Don Donki has you covered!
Don Don Donki is the local chain of the Japanese discount megastore Don Quijote, and already has two outlets at Orchard Central and 100AM. Known for its sprawling variety and high-quality products, it’s one of the best places to head to if you’re on the hunt for anything Japanese. Don Don Donki’s newest outlet finally opened at City Square Mall over the weekend – and it’s huge! ?
With even more floor space than their first two outlets, its prime location in a family-friendly mall makes it a great alternative for a weekend shopping trip away from their locations in town. We made a quick trip down to scope things out, and here are 5 foods (and keep scrolling for a surprise one at the end ?) that made us feel like we were back in Japan!
If this fires up the travel bug in you, why not check out our must-read tips for a trip to Japan
1. Nara Strawberry Lab’s Premium Light Pink Strawberry
Donki has spared no expense at putting their floor space to good use – the shelves were loaded with everything ranging from apples to carrots of the highest quality. What caught our eye though were these beautiful light pink or white strawberries! White strawberries are prized as a Japanese luxury due to the tedious process needed to produce them, and are often given as gifts rather than eaten as everyday fruits. As they’re rarely seen outside of Japan, being able to have such fresh produce at our fingertips brings back our memories of Tokyo. At $39 per box of 20, they’re a bit of a splurge – but hey, that’s still cheaper than a two-way ticket to Narita. ?
2. Snaffle's Catchcakes
Snaffles is a Japanese dessert brand known for their catchcakes (a type of cheesecake). Previously the only place you could get these was at their Plaza Singapura outlet – but now they’re also carried by Don Don Donki!
With flavours including Maple, Matcha, Café Latte, and Tiramisu, Snaffles uses only premium ingredients such as Canadian maple sugar and Kyoto Uji matcha to deliver a high-standard across their products.
The Tiramisu flavour is also alcohol-free! The boxes are usually priced at $14.90, but are marked down to $9.90 for now – so don’t miss out on this deal!
While the catchcakes do not contain alcohol or animal shortening in their ingredients list, they are not Halal-certified so we recommend that you consume them at your own discretion.
A Snaffle's representative has confirmed with us over social media that there is no rennet used in making the cream cheese. However, there is white wine used only in the Hokkaido Cheese flavour which should be stated on the ingredients label on the box. All of the other flavours do not contain alcohol. As the catchcakes are not Halal-certified, we recommend that you purchase them at your own discretion.
3. Kibun Oden Set (S) Assorted Fish Cakes With Soup Base
Oden is a Japanese hot pot that’s usually popular as street food. Consisting of fishcakes and other bite-sized ingredients boiled or simmered in a warm broth, it’s an interesting variation on the steamboat that we have here in Singapore.
Best of all, this packet has been certified Halal by the Central Islamic Council of Thailand! For just $6.90, add an interesting and hearty twist to your steamboat dinners ?
If this has you craving some authentic Japanese fare, why not check out our list of the 9 best Halal Japanese eateries in SG?
4. Hokkaido Ice Cream
Hokkaido is famous for its milk, and any dessert that comes out of it tends to be rich and creamy. Which is why this ice cream from Hokkaido is next on our list – just looking at the flavours on offer is making our mouths water.
With four flavours on offer, and at just $9.90 a box, we’re certainly for spoiled for choice!
While the ice cream does not contain alcohol or animal shortening in its ingredients list, it is not certified Halal so we recommend that you consume it at your own discretion.
5. Fresh fish from Japan
Don Don Donki prides itself on being able to deliver authentic Japanese tastes to your doorstep – and where would that be without seafood? There are aisles covering everything from tiny shirasu
fish to freshly prepared sashimi. With produce sourced straight from Japan, their emphasis on fresh preparation is a reassuring touch that guarantees a worry-free meal.
We can’t help but crave this chutoro
(medium fatty tuna belly), which is a cut of tuna that is luxurious without being as fatty as the more popularly-known ootoro
(fattiest tuna belly). If the $15.80 price tag is a bit steep for you don’t worry – Don Don Donki even has a counter service available until mid-afternoon where the chefs will prepare cuts according to the size you want!
BONUS: Naganuma Ice Co’s Crème Brulee Ice Cream
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We couldn’t leave without trying Naganuma Ice Co’s famous crème brulee ice cream! Consisting of 100% Hokkaido milk soft-serve ice cream topped with custard and a dusting of sugar that is gently flame-grilled, it was a nice and sweet way to end off our trek through the busy aisles. We were a bit cautious because we heard that Naganuma serves a ‘Red Wine’ flavour – but after we made a quick inquiry, Naganuma’s staff confirmed that there’s no actual alcohol inside it! It’s actually a grape flavour, so if you see it appear at the new outlet, don’t be too shocked ?
Their usual ice-cream and gelato starts at $5.50 for a cone or cup, but this special item is a little bit pricier at $8. However, the crème brulee was crispy and slightly bitter, which enhanced the sweetness of the custard and creaminess of the ice cream – overall, totally worth it!
With its wide range of products on offer and its high quality and hygiene standards, Don Don Donki’s latest outlet is a Must-Go for a fan of anything Japanese! We can’t wait to discover more goodies within its aisles ?