Sunday, February 14, 2016

Blueberry & Hazelnut Pringles

This was a totally different kind of Pringles than anything we'd tried before and on top of that it was one of our first ever Thai products (after Thai Dried Squid). It comes in a bright baby blue tin and says that it is part of Pringles "Fruit & Nut" series which I'd never heard of before.

As you can see below the packaging has followed a pretty dayglo, happy rainbow type design and looks like it might have been made to appeal to kids, girls or people who love rainbows:
Weird Pringles flavors
Also in the same series was Lemon & Sesame flavour, but it wasn't very exciting so we never released that review. 
So what was Blueberry & Hazelnut Pringles from Thailand like? Well at first sniff it was already shocking with very strong scents of Blueberry and Hazelnut bursting out of the pack. This was no "halfway commitment" flavour. Well in our typical courageous Crazy from Kong way we decided to dive in straightaway and... 
Well it wasn't vomit-worthy bad (at least to my mind), but it was just really really weird... I mean imagine the very salty, super-crispy Pringles chips that we've all come to know and love, but with a healthy dose of sugar, a bunch of ground hazelnuts and some artificial blueberry juice doused on top. It was just too many conflicting strong smells and flavours to cope with. Arne described it as tasting like "Prawns mixed with Candy". 
It was a failure this time, but still we were excited to try a really unusual Pringles flavour and are greatly looking forward to sampling some of the other crazy flavours available like:
Special flavors of Pringles
Bangkok Grilled Chicken Wing
I mean Bangkok Grilled Chicken Wing has to be awesome right?
And I'm pretty excited about the Soft Shell Crab flavour below:
Pringles flavors you've never heard of
The Grilled Shrimp sounds good, but the fact that the chip appears to be dyed Day-glow Pink is a bit worrying...
Check out our full video at the top for the whole review and you can subscribe to our channel at:

Thursday, December 4, 2014

McDonalds Green Bean Pie

Well this was just GROSS! 
So as you can see, just like in the West we have a number of special limited edition versions of McDonalds Pies out here in Asia. Unfortunately, tastes are quite different here and I would also suggest that the careful testers who have brought us such fantastic delights as the Mighty Ranger Burger and the Hello Kitty Wasabi Chicken Nuggets (with a free Hello Kitty Fairy Tale Doll pictured below) do not eat pies. They have never tried a pie. They have zero interest in pies. Perhaps they all go on holiday every Summer and a bunch of cretinous chimps take over their jobs for a while. Whatever the final explanation is though one thing is for certain, a lot of these pies SUCK so badly that it's hard to imagine they were ever allowed out of the testing kitchen (or science laboratory as may more likely be the case at McDonalds). 
Ok to cheer you up for a moment, before I continue my review of this atrocious product, here is a picture of the full series Fairy Tale of Hello Kitty dolls that came together with the special McNugget Meal Series: 
McDonalds Wasabi Chicken Nuggets and Hello Kitty Dolls
Ok back to the review now... 
Well apart from the terrible flavour of the ill conceived Green Bean Pie one of the other standout bad attributes is the texture. I mean the outer pie shell is just as crispy and yummy as ever, but the filling inside the pie essentially has the texture of booger or perhaps flubber. It is gooey and sticky and slimy and gloopy all at the same time. Then in the middle of all that gluey green gloop there are little dry lumps which are of course the actual green beans themselves, which apparently don't get moist no matter how long you cook them. Now if that's not a terrible combination of textures, I don't know what is. 
Have a look at this glorious picture to get a better idea of how those textures look: 
McDonalds Green Bean Pie Crazy from Kong
The last thing about this product that hits the final nail into the coffin of disgustingness that is Green Bean Pie is the fact that it can't even make up it's mind as to whether it's a sweet or savoury snack. The beans taste undeniably savoury, as do more or less all beans, yet are surrounded by clearly heavily sugared gloop that somehow still isn't exactly sweet. This dish doesn't know what it's supposed to be and the only certain thing about it is it's terribleness. 
Heck even the advertisement for it makes it look pretty atrocious as you can see here: 
China McDonalds Green Bean Pie Weird Asian Products
As if this terrible failure at making something super Asian that I presume was supposed to taste good wasn't enough for the folks at MickeyD's, they actually went on to make other Green Bean disasters like this horrific looking Sundae which I cover in another review: 
Hong Kong McDonalds Green Bean Ice Cream
All in all this was a miserable experience and poor Arne lost all confidence in my ability to select delicious Asian snacks for some months to come.
Check out all our reviews of bizarre Asian snacks, foods and drinks here: Crazy from Kong!
And you can check out my blog here: Spencer Douglass
Or follow us on Google+

Friday, November 21, 2014

Suntory Surfers Soda Review!

What a great concept for a drink! It's essentially marketed as the perfect drink to kick back with after a long hot day at the beach catching some serious waves on your surfboard. As you lie back and observe the awesome surfers and gorgeous babes around, you can sip on your Surf Mode Soda for the ultimate refreshment under the beating sun.

To reinforce the message of summer sun, sand and waves, the drink comes in these beautifully designed bottles you can see below which are the colour of crystal blue waters on a perfect day.
Suntory Surf Mode Soda Crazy from Kong
And here you can see a close up of the beautiful beach babe motif that adorns the Surf Mode Soda surfboard and no doubt indicates the type of people you are expected to associate with whilst enjoying your Surf Mode Soda.
Suntory Surf Mode Soda Crazy from Kong surfer babe
We also had a lot of fun shooting this review as we got dressed up in our best surf gear and donned our sunnies for a real beach style review. Heck we even featured Keanu Reeve's classic line from Bill & Ted's Most Excellent Adventure which consists of exactly one word "Woah...".
Keanu Reeves as a young teen in Bill and Ted's Most Excellent Adventure
And of course since it is produced by Suntory we featured a little Bill Murray too "for relaxing times make it Suntory time".
Bill Murray Suntory Whisky Lost in Translation
Overall this review was a lot of fun to produce, although I did struggle a little with my geography in the middle of it. As Arne was careful to point out (and later to subtitle in the video) after I made the rather ludicrous statement of "I can taste the Miami Sun, Hawaii here I come" , Miami and Hawaii are in fact nowhere near each other. Then he reminded me of my equally embarrassing mishap with our Pepsi Baobab review where I mistook the giraffes on the bottle for camels...
Spencer Douglass Crazy from Kong Arne Venema Suntory Surf Mode SodaSpencer Douglass Crazy from Kong Arne Venema Suntory Surf Mode Soda
Sadly as we drank more and more of the soda it actually became rather less refreshing and started becoming a bit too dry, losing sweetness and with a slightly odd aftertaste. I presume this is probably a result of the use of artificial sweeteners since it's supposedly a zero calorie drink. I never drinks with artificial sweeteners by choice and I rarely if ever am able to enjoy them for long. Still it was a fun review over all and the drink certainly has potential. If you are a zero calorie drink person then you'll probably love this one, as it's one of the best I've had in that group. 
Check out all our reviews of bizarre Asian snacks, foods and drinks here: Crazy from Kong!
And you can check out my blog here: Spencer Douglass

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Hakodate Wine Caramels はこだてわいんキャラメル and Nanae Sweet Apple Wine Caramels 七重スイートリンゴワイン キャラメル

Hakodate is a city in the South of Hokkaido that is apparently famous for making wine and Nanae is a small town nearby that is apparently famous for it's sweet apple wine. 
Hakodate Wine Caramels はこだてわいんキャラメル
I saw these wine flavoured caramels in my local 7 Eleven and thought they might make quite an interesting snack for young +Joe Fiorello and myself. To make things even more interesting after looking at the packet I found out that they actually contained a certain amount of real alcohol from the addition of actual Hakodate Wine to the sweet mixture. All of this had me quite excited! 

Unfortunately my dream of getting drunk with Joe in the middle of the afternoon by consuming delicious wine caramels was not to be... Turns out that the caramels did not taste of wine at all, just mild grape and to make matters worth there was nowhere near enough alcohol in them to have even a mild effect. 

The only consolation was that the Nanae Sweet Apple Wine Caramels which you can see below, where deliciously sweet and fall of apple scent and flavour. 
Nanae Sweet Apple Wine Caramels 七重スイートリンゴワイン キャラメル
Sadly this disappointing review went on to become our least popular of all time, despite the fact that Joe references it in a whole bunch of our future reviews. Perhaps you could watch the video below and help his dream of it becoming our most popular review come true! 

Check out all our reviews of bizarre Asian snacks, foods and drinks here: Crazy from Kong!
And you can check out my blog here: Spencer Douglass

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Enormous Filet-O-Fish Burger from McDonalds!

The Sakana Supreme Burger was one of the early special limited edition burgers released by McDonalds in 2010. According to Wikipedia "Sakana" written in Japanese as さかな means a snack or food to accompany alcohol. This certainly seems like an odd name for McDonalds to choose for one of it's burgers, though the burger itself is also pretty odd, but in any case it also goes on to explain that fish or dried fish have long been the most common accompaniment for alcohol, so Sakana often just refers to fish. 
Original version of Japanese special McDonalds Burger Sakana Supreme さかな
A rather boring conclusion to a situation where I was thinking that McDonalds might be about to offer me a shot of Sake to go with my special burger! And boring is a very relevant word for this review. You see Arne and myself (Spencer) had recently reviewed two other Hong Kong specialty burgers from MickeyD's, namely the Ebi (Shrimp) Burger and the Wasabi Burger (basically a Wasabi variant on Fillet-O-Fish) and both had been absolutely excellent. With these superb burgers still in recent memory, expectations were high for the Sakana Supreme and as always seems to be the case when you are expecting something great, it did not deliver. In fact as I declared in the video "The predominant flavour I'm getting in my mouth is boring". 
It's basically an oversized fillet-o-fish fried to much less crispy consistency than normal and yet much more oily, all packed into a super soft and tasteless bun. There was way too much decaying old lettuce and overall the burger was just way too big. The only redeeming feature was that the sesame sauce was quite good. However, they did away with this in future versions of the burger opting to combine the flavours of the much more delicious "Wasabi Burger" with the perhaps more interestingly named "Sakana Supreme" and started making this giant fish burger with wasabi mayonnaise instead as you can see from the picture below: 

Hong Kong McDonalds さかな
So overall a pretty rubbish burger of which the only thing I can say I'll miss is the special Sesame Sauce they created for it which was pretty good and I don't think I've seen it in another burger since. 

Check out all our reviews of bizarre Asian snacks, foods and drinks here: Crazy from Kong!
And you can check out my blog here: Spencer Douglass

Monday, October 27, 2014

Green Tea Sprite - Crazy Asian Version of Sprite!!!

As you will know if you have read any of my other blog entries, it is pretty common for Asian countries to take super established and mostly untouchable products from the West and use them as the base to create all kinds of interesting, wacky and sometimes just plain awful variations for their home markets. Apparently the world famous products of the Coca-Cola Company are no exception.

So here we have it "Green Tea Sprite":
Coca Cola Company Green Tea Sprite
As the name quite clearly suggests it is essentially Green Tea flavoured Sprite, which is not at all a wacky concept in a part of the world were virtually everything comes in a green tea flavour (Oreos, Kit Kats, even whiskey drinks!). And to be honest Sprite x Green Tea seems like not too bad an idea, both are refreshing drinks with a crisp clean finish and Sprite already comes in signature green cans and bottles making the branding pretty straightforward. You can see them playing on the refreshing theme in the advert below: 
Coca Cola Company Green Tea Sprite
So what was it like? Actually it was very good! Crisp, clean with a strong yet not overpowering green tea flavour, neither sweet nor dry, not too "Sprite" and not too green tea (as some ice-cream flavours often are). Overall a very balanced and quite delicious drink and definitely one of the best strange "Asian-ised" version of a beloved Western product. 

The drink comes in all kinds of different shapes and sizes with both Chinese and English variations on branding as you can see below: 
Asian Green Tea Sprite
Chinese Green Tea Sprite
And of course in typical big brand style they roped in a top Asian celebrity to promote this exciting new drink. None other than the equally beloved Jay Chou (周杰倫) a man who has sold no fewer than 30 million records.

Here he is passionately presenting his new found joy in life:
Jay Chau Green tea Sprite 周杰伦
Check out all our reviews of bizarre Asian snacks, foods and drinks here: Crazy from Kong!
And you can check out my blog here: Spencer Douglass Blog

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Pepsi Baobab - A Very African Soda!

Pepsi Baobab Crazy from Kong
If you read this blog or watch my food / drink review videos on the Crazy from Kong youtube channel then you will already be well aware that a lot of famous Western brands produce a lot of really wacky products for the Asian market and Pepsico is no exception! 
With a wide range of crazy limited edition products that includes Pepsi Ice Cucumber, Pepsi Blue Hawaii, Pepsi Caribbean Gold and Pepsi Salty Watermelon among many others, it's pretty clear that they are willing to push the boundaries of what are considered traditional soft drink ingredients. However, I have to admit that this one even surprised me somewhat in it's weird and wonderful wackiness! 
So essentially Baobab is a stunted looking African tree with an incredibly bloated looking trunk as it can store up to 100,000 litres of water to get it through the drought season. Usually the only reason why someone outside of Africa would have heard of them is because you learn about them in geography for exactly this reason. You can see a couple of examples of Baobab trees here: 
African Baobab Tree
Baobab Tree
Quite a random thing to flavour a commercial soft drink with, no? Apparently not! According to wikipedia people in Zimbabwe  use the crushed crumbly pulp "to stir into porridge and drinks" whilst states that the ground powder of the fruit is commonly mixed with water in Africa to produce a drink that tastes "somewhat like wine gums"! In addition the fruit has purportedly more vitamin C than oranges and more calcium than cow's milk. Lots of reasons to make a weird gimmicky soft drink out of it!
But in fact the real reason why Pepsi suddenly decided to release this unexpected drink flavoured with one of the most recognisable plants that is native to Africa is because the world cup was being held there on that year and in fact that the soda was released just 17 days before the world cup started on March 25th 2010. For further proof here's the evidence right here:
African World Cup 2010
Now all this pointless information about why Pepsi does or doesn't release drinks that at first glance look like some marketers mad fantasy aside, perhaps we should pay some attention to the product itself.
So what did it taste like? Well to be honest, kind of boring... My buddy described it as "a mixture of flat coke and flat sprite" and that pretty much sums it up. The most disappointing thing for me is that I thought it would have some kind of extreme, exciting or at least strikingly unusual flavour that would immediately communicate the wild flavours of the African savannah to tamed and commercialised city-folk like me. Unfortunately almost the opposite was true. Apart from a slight herbal flavour it basically communicated a flat, mildly flavoured beverage which was clearly intended mainly as a marketing tool. Certainly nothing on the fearless flavour pioneers at Kit Kat Japan and not even up to the level of other limited edition Pepsico products like 7-up Clear Dry or Mountain Dew Grape.
To see our full thoughts on the product and reactions to our first taste, check out our review below:

Here are a few of the other crazy flavours that have been released by Pepsi in the last few years:
Limited Edition Pepsi
Red Bean Soda
Pink Pepsi
Check out all our reviews of bizarre Asian snacks, foods and drinks here: Crazy from Kong!
And you can check out my blog here: Spencer Douglass Blog