Disclaimer: This review is not affiliated to or sponsored by Bokksu. All opinions are my own.
Now that we’re all stuck in Singapore, I decided to get my hands on some Japanese snack subscription boxes! I learnt about Bokksu after seeing Brenda Tan’s review and thought that I should give the 3-month subscription a shot.
No matter which subscription plan you opt for, you will receive the Seasons of Japan box as your first box in your first order. Subsequently, you will receive the box of the month.
However, because I fully trusted Brenda’s review, I placed an order for 2 boxes as gifts. So, the box I’ll be reviewing today is the Otsukimi Moon Festival box (Sep 2020).
I’ll be reviewing 13 items in total and rating them based on
- Are the flavours as they describe them to be?
- Are the flavours good?
- Will I be able to find this snack in Singapore?
- Will I be able to find close substitutes of this snack in Singapore?
Here’s what I got in the Otsukimi Moon Festival box!
Stay with me as I drop useful Bokksu facts and tips along the way!
Mitarashi Mochi MonakaTaste:
At first look, this snack looked like a macaron. But after taking the first bite, it’s nothing like what I expected!
The outer wafer shell was a little “laohong” (not crispy) – not sure if it was intended to be this way. It kind of tasted like Want Want Shelly Senbei Rice Crackers (旺旺雪饼) but without the sugar bits!
The inside reminds me of lotus paste found in steamed buns, but with an elevated savoury note of soy sauce. The texture is somewhere in the middle of a mochi and lotus paste.
I thoroughly enjoyed this snack; it’s a pity that there were only 2 in the box!
Cheese Arare: Salted Truffle FlavourTaste:
This is one of those unassuming snacks that offers layers of sophisticated flavours. The outer rice cracker shell kinda tastes like Want Want Seaweed Rice Crackers (旺旺厚燒海苔) without the seaweed.
The filling is where the complex flavours come in; the black pepper comes through the most, with a subtle truffle flavour and the slightly zesty cheese flavour appears right after.
I can totally see myself enjoying this bite-sized snack with a cup of Japanese tea!
Funwari Meijin Mochi Puffs: Black Syrup KinakoTaste:
These puffs were hands down the most underwhelming-looking snack in the box. But after reading the brochure description, I was intrigued by the “lighter-than-air” texture that was claimed.
The moment I took a bite, the puff melted in my mouth; it was like eating a cloud! I could taste the sweetness from the brown sugar syrup at first, followed by an aromatic nutty flavour. In terms of both taste and texture, there’s nothing quite like it!
Each snack box comes with an informative brochure that explains the origin and flavours of each snack. There’s also other useful information such as whether the snack is vegetarian, the common allergens and facts about the theme of the month.
Rabbit Festival: Golden Sweet Potato CakeTaste:
The smell and taste of this cake screams sweet potato. The subtle hint of cinnamon complements the sweet potato flavour well, but the rum taste was almost non-existent.
The cake was moist but not oily, with a texture of a dense sponge cake (kinda reminded me of Twiggies). This was one of my top favourites! And I can see myself snacking on this by itself or with a cup of tea.
M Baker’s Cookie: Custard FlavourTaste:
Don’t think I’ve ever tried a custard flavoured cookie before so I was rather intrigued by this. This snack featured a crumbly shell and a slightly chewy filling.
The custard flavour reminded me of egg tarts, and who doesn’t love egg tarts right? Overall, a fairly enjoyable cookie that I might reach out for again!
The Bokksu market allows you to purchase individual snacks, teas and even kitchenware. This is great if you’re only curious about selected snacks or if you want to repurchase a snack you’ve already tried.
Chocolate Azuki Beans: Black Sesame KinakoTaste:
These chocolate beans are small enough to pop a handful into your mouth. It’s coated with a layer of white chocolate; the inside is a red bean filling with a pleasant nutty flavour that’s not too sweet. The taste of the sesame powder surfaces towards the end.
This is one of those snacks where you can eat non-stop without feeling too guilty about it 😛
Kameda Curry Senbei Mini Rice CrackerTaste:
The curry flavour of these rice crackers smells and tastes like a subtler version of curry flavoured Twisties.
The unique thing about it is that the curry flavour is indeed infused in the cracker; you can taste it evenly with each bite. This is unlike regular chips where they are unevenly coated with the flavouring.
Plus, it feels airy, light and rather healthy; doesn’t leave you feeling surfeited after finishing the whole packet 🙂
Zarame Mochi Rice CrackersTaste:
Similar to the cheese arare snack, these rick crackers taste like Want Want Seaweed Rice Crackers without the seaweed. However, the soy sauce flavour here is a lot stronger.
And I must say – while it’s not too unique, this is a highly addictive snack with a taste that many would love. I downed the entire packet in one sitting!
If you’re only looking to try one box, you can get the 1-month subscription and cancel the subscription after your order has been confirmed. One box will still be shipped to you without any further commitment 🙂
Organic Hojicha TeaTaste:
Hōjicha teas are perfect for light sleepers like me who enjoy the aroma of a sencha green tea, as it contains ~20% less caffeine.
The fragrance of this organic tea brings out a strong tea flavour. It’d make the perfect drink to cut the sweetness of the snacks in this box! However, you may be able to find something (almost) on par with this at our local Japanese restaurants.
Lotus Root and Kokuto Black Sugar BaumkuchenTaste:
Baumkuchen refers to a German spit cake, which is a traditional pastry made to resemble tree rings when sliced. It’s also a well-loved snack in Japan!
It’s my first time eating a Baumkuchen; the texture was slightly denser than a sponge cake which I enjoyed. The taste was mostly sweet (from the black sugar) with a weird dash of flavour, which I assumed was the lotus root.
The strange thing was that as I took more bites, the black sugar taste overpowered the lotus root flavour and it became too sweet for my liking. But after taking a sip of a sour drink, the lotus root taste came back.
This snack left me mostly confused and turned off by the lack of balance and consistency in flavours. It’s no doubt a unique snack though.
Calbee Pizza Potato ChipsTaste:
Then I realised that there are many other countries that Bokksu ships to that don’t have access to Calbee, so that makes sense.
As for the taste: the flavour of the 2 cheeses was definitely overpowering. There’s also a rather complementary taste of garlic and herbs which kind of reminded me of a pepperoni pizza, but the similarity wasn’t apparent.
If given a choice, I wouldn’t eat this again. There are wayyyy better Calbee snacks available in Singapore.
If you search “Bokksu review” on Google or YouTube, you’ll most likely see reviews of the first box. You can actually place an order for this Seasons of Japan box by itself – a good option if you don’t want to commit to a subscription plan or if you’ve tried it and want to repurchase the same box as a gift!
Nama Chocolate Sable CookieTaste:
Not sure about you but when I think of soft cookies, I think of SUBWAY® cookies. So, I couldn’t help but to compare this sable cookie with them.
The description claimed that the chocolate is fudgy and the exterior is buttery. However, I felt that it wasn’t really fudgy or buttery; in fact, the flavours were pretty one dimensional and not impressive at all.
Hokkaido Red Bean DoughnutsTaste:
One word for the texture: crumbly. The donut itself is so dry that it crumbled when I took a bite. And the red bean filling was comparable to the crumbly filling of a tau sar piah (bean paste pastry).
In terms of flavours, the red bean paste was still acceptable. However, the unpleasant combination of the texture overpowered any hint of liking I had for the snack. Definitely my least favourite of the lot.
Overall Ratings for Bokksu Subscription Box (Sep 2020)Taste:
Value for money:
Would you recommend this Bokksu box to others?
I wouldn’t recommend this particular box. However, if you’re looking for a unique gift for a (Japanese) snack lover, Bokksu might be your best bet!
You will be able to see the upcoming month’s box from Bokksu’s homepage. Simply click on the “upcoming box” tab and the full information of next month’s theme and snacks information will be available. This will be especially helpful if you’re looking to get one box.
Would you buy this Bokksu box again?
Given the price point and based on the snacks in this box, I wouldn’t buy it again. I think there are many close substitutes to these snacks that can be easily found in Singapore.
We shall see if the October and November 2020 boxes are better! 😊
Bokksu subscription plan prices
Here are the prices for Bokksu if you’re interested in getting yourself a premium Japanese snack subscription plan:
Have a product you want us to review? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!