Monday, April 22, 2013

McDonalds Wasabi Fish Burger - This Limited Edition Specialty Burger Packs a Punch!

Spencer Douglass reviews McDonalds Wasabi Burger on Crazy from Kong
This is an AWESOME Burger!!! I just have to say that up front. What a great idea of McDonalds to start combining spicy wasabi sauce with their traditional Filet-O-Fish Burger to create this fantastic variation on a long time classic Mickey D's offering. 

As it says on the packaging "It Packs a Punch" though I didn't find it too spicy, in comparison to my fellow Crazy from Kong reviewer Arne who was a touch overwhelmed by wasabi-ness at one point. In fact there is a rather entertaining blurb on the side of the box which actually tells you to "man up and take the challenge" - we found it pretty hysterical that McDonalds was daring us to eat their product. Well we steeled ourselves for the experience, took a deep breath and dared to take the challenge. 

The burger came in both a single fish patty and a double fish patty version and both were accompanied by both interesting and odd advertising campaigns. This clean image from Singapore below, gives a pretty good indication of what the double wasabi burger looked like: 
Japanese McDonalds Wasabi Burger
Well, all in all we enjoyed this burger a lot. It was definitely one of the best and most successful specialty burger from McDonalds we'd tried by that time and if memory serves correctly, I think it would hold up pretty well against the many more specialty burgers that have come out from McD's since then. 

To see our full thoughts on this fun creation as well as our reactions to the "challenge" to "man up" from McDonalds, check out our review below: 

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

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Valentine's Day Kit Kat - A Raspberry & Passionfruit Flavoured Kit Kat for Your Loved One !!!

Passionfruit and Raspberry Kit Kat
And here we have the extremely romantic specialty Kit Kat released for Valentine's Day by Nestlé Japan. The flavour they chose to represent this most lovey-dovey of days is the rather random Raspberry & Passion Fruit and as you can see the Kit Kat comes in a very romantic package with lots of pink hearts stamped around the place.

You can also see the alternative and perhaps even more romantic pink packaging below:
Valentine's Day Kit Kat
Inside the main package the Kit Kats are also wrapped in two individual packets of two Kit Kat bars. This is pretty typical of Japanese produced products, they really put a lot of effort into their packaging and it almost always leads to a really gorgeous result.

Perhaps one of the most entertaining aspect of the packaging of these particular Kit Kats is that they come with a lined space on the back for writing a note to your loved one to go along with the special Valentine's Day gift. We had lots of fun reading off the special notes that each others loved ones had written to the camera as you'll see in our video.

For the Kit Kats themselves, they were surprisingly made from a milk chocolate base, as I had been expecting them to be a white chocolate base with pink colouring in line with the Valentine's theme and also more similar to most of the other raspberry and strawberry Kit Kats released by Nestlé Japan

As far as flavour goes, there was a strong raspberry smell as soon as you opened the packaging and the Kit Kat itself had a prominent raspberry taste too, but the passion fruit flavour seemed to have gotten totally lost in this product. Anyway, check out our review below to see what we thought:

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 17, 2013

No Smoking Candy - Quit Smoking NOW !!!

Candy to help you quit smoking
Well this review was a lot of fun for many reasons! Firstly the idea of a "No Smoking" candy seems like fun to me. Rather than a candy for quitting smoking, it sounds more like a candy that forbids or stops smoking from happening, the candy equivalent of the smoke police!
candy to help you quit smoking
Secondly and much more interestingly, through some bizarre coincidence of circumstance, our friend Michael Chan who was the main face of all of the Hong Kong Government's Anti-Smoking Adverts for years, happened to arrive at our place to play Gears of War 3 on the X-Box just as we were about to film our review of Okuda No-Smoking Candy. This is doubly amusing because Michael is in fact a hardened smoker and so we immediately decided to pull him into our live filmed review.

To set the scene properly, here is first the official Hong Kong Government Anti-Smoking Campaign Video featuring none other than Michael Chan:
And now that you've enjoyed the HK Government's amusing official effort to prevent smoking, it's time to compare them with the much more unofficial efforts of the Okuda Candy Company to get you to stop smoking with their specially designed sweets.

Check out our review of the product here to see what we thought and whether or not it got Michael Chan to finally give up smoking (don't worry they are not the same videos despite the cover image):

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

Monday, April 15, 2013

Dried Squid - One of Asia's Most Popular Snack Foods!!!

Asian Dried Squid from Thailan
This snack is one of the most popular snack foods across the entire of Asia, variations of it are eaten across Hong Kong, Korea, Japan, China, Taiwan, Malaysia and Singapore and this particular famous brand is from Thailand! I grew up eating this version of the dried squid snack in Hong Kong in the 80's. And to be accurate this particular variant is Dried Cuttlefish, a species similar to squid, which is equally common here, but might not be so well known in the West. Both are pretty damn ugly as you can see here: 

The number of different dried squid snacks and the different styles in which they are prepared is many and often depends from country to country. Here are a couple of different examples: 
Honey Roasted Squid
Hong Kong Dried Squid
Dried Cuttlefish
Honey Roast Dried Squid
Typically the squid is seasoned and then dried and sometimes also barbecued after being dried. Typically the flavour is sweet, sometimes with a hint of spice and the texture is very very chewy! Everyone seems to love this snack across Asia and you can find it in kids lunch boxes, on desks at work and served on occasionally on tables in bars instead of peanuts. This used to be one of my favourite snacks as a kid, but to be honest it must have been somewhere between 10 - 20 years since I'd eaten it last before opening this packet for Crazy from Kong. 

To see what I thought, check out our review here: 

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

Lotte Black Black Strong Type - A Highly Technical Candy from Area 51 !!

Lotte Korean Caffeinated Candy
This tiny little package certainly appears to showcase a very special candy - first of all the double name "Black Black" certainly seems to imply something meaningful (even if we don't know exactly what) as the candy is obviously not just black, it is "Black Black". Secondly it specifies various strange and special things on the packet, although you can't see them from the picture above. The first of these is that it specifies that this candy is "Strong Type" obviously implying that this is no pushover candy, but rather something strong that you had better take seriously. The second and even more interesting statement on the package is that the candy is "Hi-Technical Excellent"!!! Now that certainly sounds like quite the statement, no? And it could be interpreted various different ways... One possible meaning is that the kind has been made to an excellent standard using highly technical means. Another meaning could be that the candy itself is highly technical and excellent because of that! 

Once you open up the packaging, you will find that each piece of candy is wrapped up tightly in very high quality metallic paper. The sweets themselves are completely jet black once you open the wrapping paper. Combining all these factors together and the fact that the outer packaging is very high quality metallic wrap and looks very advanced and technical in itself, we have decided that this candy must be the produce of the famous Area 51 manufactured from alien technology discovered after the first flying saucer crash landed there. 

To see what the candies actually tasted like you will have to check out our review here: 

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

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Lotte Specialité Salt and Caramel Chocolate - Famous Korean Chocolate Maker Jumps on the Salted Caramel Bandwagon!!!

Lotte Korean Chocolate Bar
Ok, the first thing that annoys me about this product is that the rubbish quality screengrab from our own video is the best picture I can find of it on the whole internet - in fact it is the only picture! The second thing that annoys me about this product is that it sucks. I mean it really sucks. It's worse than the rubbish picture above. It tastes terrible, the texture is terrible, the consistency is terrible, basically it's just a terrible product.

Credit to Lotte for being ahead of the curve by a few years with the whole Salt and Caramel in everything trend (you can see from our reactions to the salt component that this was something very new and unlikely to be good sounding to us), but the product is just incredibly poorly executed.

Now I want to balance this review by stating clearly that Lotte are a great company with a long history and a tonne of great chocolate products and snack products. They were established in Japan in 1948 and South Korea in 1967 and have been going strong since then. It is unfortunate that the second product we reviewed from them was so bad! They do have a whole range of other unusual chocolate bars under their specialité such as:
Lotte Korean Chocolate Bar
Lotte Specialité Rum Cake Chocolate
Lotte Korean Chocolate Bar
Lotte Specialité Marron Glacé Chocolate

But sadly I've tried none of them and none of them seem to be available in Hong Kong anymore, so I'll never be able to find out if they were any good or not. I hope we'll be able to review Lotte's standout product "Koala no March" sometime in the future. In the meantime here is the review of the Lotte Specialité Salt and Caramel Chocolate:

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 10, 2013

Final Fantasy XIII Elixir - This Potion From One of the World's Most Popular Video Games Ever Comes to Life!!!

Spencer Douglass drinks Final Fantasy XIII Elixir
Well it doesn't get much cooler than this - Final Fantasy one of the most awesome video game franchises of all time have produced a series of special drinks based off the magical Elixir used in the game to restore your life force. Each can is designed in incredible and gorgeous detail and features a different character (or at least different pose) from the game. In total there are 16 cans that available for collecting, but unfortunately we were only able to get hold of two cans for our review and two extra cans for Arne to keep on his shelf! 

One of them was Lightning: 
Spencer Douglass Crazy from Kong Review
Another was Sazh Katzroy:
Crazy from Kong Review
Credit to the Japanese for sparing no expense or effort on the design of these cans which look truly beautiful - real collectors items for anyone who loves Final Fantasy!

This was our first ever "major success" for a Crazy from Kong video and by major success I mean that one day I checked the video views and they had jumped from the usual few hundred we were getting at that point to a few thousand. It was picked up by a couple of small video game blogs and a number of people watching other Final Fantasy XIII videos came to check it out afterwards. It was a big deal to us at the time, so if you were one of the original watchers thank you very much! 

As for the drink itself? Well I'm not sure if it restored my life force and plus it was difficult to concentrate on it's claimed healing effects because Arne spent half of the review waffling on about some old game called Einhander (terrible name, but apparently a great game). You can see what that looks like in this image: 
And for our final opinions on the extremely special collectors' edition Final Fantasy XIII Elixir you'll have to check out our review below: 

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

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Ninja Hot Plate Potato Rings - The World's First Snack Food for Highly Trained Assassins !!!

Crazy from Kong Review
Ninja Hot Plate Potato Rings!!! This is a review that is dear to my heart for many reasons, firstly and obviously because it is a ninja snack and what could be cooler for a reviewer like myself than to review a snack created for ninjas? I feel 50% more like a ninja just because I ate these! Secondly, because as I mentioned in a previous post about "Mong Kok Style Roasted Sausage Flavour Potato Chips" , Jack'n'Jill made the only flavour of chips that was available when I first came to Hong Kong, so anything made by that company brings back lots of memories for me. And thirdly and finally because this was the first time ever that my good friend and now co-host of Crazy from Kong - +Joe Fiorello, made his first ever contribution to the series, in the form of one of the wackiest and most awesome videos to be found in youtube, which you can check out here: 

This video is actually one of my favourite things on the internet - every time I watch it I laugh! "Joe Pejuji - waaaahhhh!" hahaha. Oh Joe...

Well after seeing this completely insane video that Joe had put together, we decided we would definitely have to get him on board for Crazy from Kong, though it didn't happen till a little while later.

Back to the review, so what do chips made specially for Ninja's taste like? I'm afraid to answer that question you'll have to check out our review here:

By the way this was our first ever product from Malaysia!

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

Ume (梅酒) Sour Plum Soda Kit Kat - This Limited Edition Japanese Kit Kat is Flavoured with Sour Plum Alcohol !!!

Crazy from Kong Review Blog
Well this week it was time to review a really unusual Kit Kat which was a mix between a very traditional Japanese drink the Ume (梅酒) Sour Plum Soda and a traditional chocolate Kit Kat. You've got to credit Nestle with the their remarkable ability to come up with ever stranger, but interesting flavours. 

This time the Kit Kat bars themselves were a sort of toxic green colour to go along with the bright green and yellow coloured Japanese Plums on the cover of the box.
Crazy from Kong Review
As far as flavour goes, I would say that it is very close to the original fruity inspiration, since the Kit Kat has the signature strong and odd sour and salty flavour of the Ume Plums and at the same time it has a bizarre flavour / texture / effect while you are eating it that could only be described as fizzy! It was a very strange experience for me eating this Kit Kats and not one I would call enjoyable. 

To see my full opinion on and reaction to this very unusual treat from Nestle Japan check out the review below: 

Check out my blog here: Spencer Douglass Blog

Friday, April 5, 2013

Meiji Hokkaido Cheese Chocolate - Instead of Milk Chocolate they Made This Stuff With Stinky Cheese!!!

Cheese Chocolate from Hokkaido Japan
Ok, I don't think it's going to be giving the game away by letting you know that this product was disgusting... I mean was anybody ever expecting a cheese flavoured chocolate to be good? And let's go one step further, if I understand correctly this is not just a cheese flavoured chocolate, this is a chocolate where the milk is replaced by cheese in the production process! To make matters worse the cheese they use appears to be a strong, stinky, brie type cheese of the more pungent variety. This is just not a good combination. Heck this is not even a good idea. Whoever came up with this was a nut job. What's perhaps even more shocking is that this product has now been around for years and people are still stupid enough to buy it... Maybe once as a shock / novelty item, but if you have common sense or taste buds for that matter, then you will not be silly enough to punish yourself with it a second time.

Surprisingly this product is made by the long-standing and very famous Japanese confectionary and chocolate company Meiji Seika (usually known as Meiji for short). 90% of their products usually range from good to excellent and very few are even below average, but this one is really on a different tangent. At the risk of getting sued I'm going to imply that perhaps the creative team were on drugs when they invented this one.

The cheese they use in the chocolate comes from Hokkaido, the second largest Island in Japan and one of the cleanest and most beautiful places on the planet. Since Meiji own dairies (Meiji Dairies) I assume that this cheese is produced fresh by them on Hokkaido, before they make the stupid move of blending it into their usually delicious chocolate.

And if you think this is the end of the story, think again, coz they have another unwise cheese chocolate product, the Meiji Hokkaido Premium White Cheese Chocolate made with what appears to be a Chaumes / Port Salut / Brebis type of cheese. I have unfortunately or fortunately not been able to acquire this product yet, but you can check it out here:
White Chocolate Cheese Chocolate from Japan
Well as you can probably guess from what I'm writing here, this entire experience has rather confused and distressed me. To see the exact reaction I had when trying the product, check out our Crazy from Kong review here: 

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

Mong Kok Style Roasted Sausage Flavour Potato Chips - Crazy from Kong Review !

Jack and Kill Potato Crisps
I LOVE this product! Not because it is the most delicious thing in the world, but because it is utterly ridiculous! Think about it, a 'Roasted Sausage' flavour bag of chips already sounds ambitious enough (define the exact flavour of roasted sausage instead of pan-fried, boiled or grilled sausage) but this bag of chips is going even farther - they are claiming that these particular roasted sausages have been cooked in a Mong Kok Style. As the title says these are 'Mong Kok Style Roasted Sausage Flavour Potato Chips" - now that is just plain ridiculous in the most AWESOME possible way!!!

For those of you who don't know Mong Kok is a district in Hong Kong, which itself is a Special Administrative Region of China. To be more specific Mong Kok is the most densely populated district in Hong Kong and Hong Kong is the most densely populated city in the world, making Mong Kok the single most densely populated area on the planet (have you noticed how much I'm repeating myself in this blog entry?).

This is what Mong Kok looks like:
Busy Streets of Mongkok
And if you're wondering where the inspiration comes from for having a "Mong Kok Style" of roasted sausage flavour bag of crisps, then check out this photo of a typical street-food stand in MK below (sadly no actual sausage in this awesome pic):
Chinese Street Food from Mong Kok
I should also say a few words about the company that makes these rather awesomely bizarre chips as well... Jack'n'Jill was established all the way back in 1966 by Universal Robina Corporation, a large Philippine snack maker. When I was a kid in 1977 in Hong Kong, Jack'n'Jill Barbecue flavoured chips were the only flavour of crisps you could buy in Hong Kong (followed a few years later by Calbee Salted Potato Chips) and they were so fresh and handmade that half the chips would be burnt when you opened the pack!!! Here is the original BBQ flavour barely changed since the 70's:
Jack and Jill Barbeque Potato Chips
Well after all that if you want to know what Mong Kok Style Roasted Sausage Flavour Potato Chips actually taste like and whether they catch the authentic Mong Kok charm then you'll have to check out our Crazy from Kong review here:

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

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Fanta Shake Shake - This Remarkable Drink Combines Fanta With Liquid Jelly and Comes in Grape & Orange Flavours!!!

Fanta Shake Shake
Now this has to be one of the most awesome products ever and is definitely one of my all time favourite drink products that we have reviewed! Essentially a cross between a regular Fanta soda and a Fanta flavoured jelly, this is one of those bizarre marriages that shocks you by what a great success it is. Coming in two delicious flavours: the traditional Fanta Orange (below) and my personal favourite Fanta Grape (above), the idea is to take the can which is filled with a soda and jelly combination and shake it up aggressively till both ingredients are perfectly mixed. Then gulp down the soft, fizzy, squishy and sweet result in a moment of pure self-indulgent pleasure! 
Japanese Fanta Orange Shake Shake
Now don't get me wrong, I'm sure these tiny little cans are bursting over with teeth rotting sugars and probably filled with more colouring agents and funny chemicals than science laboratory, but heck you're not buying the product for it's health value, you're buying it coz it's ridiculously delicious and a childhood-like guilty pleasure! 

Check out our review of this wonderful product below: 
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

Monday, April 1, 2013

Kabaya Hard Stick Biscuits - These Sticks Are Hard and Sweet !!!

Kabaya Hard Stick
This week's episode of Crazy from Kong consists of a review of the rather unfortunately named "Hard Stick" from Kabaya, which is a type of cylindrical long thin biscuit basically copied from Pocky. The specific flavour we reviewed was Blueberry chocolate from their fruit series. 

I'm not a great fan of Kabaya snacks, as they generally taste like a cheap copycat of the much superior products of Glico and Lotte (Pretz, Pocky, Pepero). Some of the flavours sound interesting when you see them, but they don't seem to be able to carry them through to actual taste, unlike other quality Japanese products. 

Overall they are far from my favourites, but take a look at the review and see what you think:

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