Friday, July 11, 2014

[UPDATES] World's First Kitkat Boutique: NEW!! Seasonal Flavours

It's been nearly half a year since the opening of Kitkat boutique, it has finally come up with a series of new flavours instead of offering the same old items. And of course I returned to get them as soon as I heard about the news. Can you guess what are they based on the picture below? 

The New Japanese flavour after the Sakura Green Tea is "Green Tea & Kinako". Nevertheless, these were not much different from the Sakura Green Tea and failed to deliver the tea taste.
Strawberry Maple Flavour. Neither maple nor strawberry is sharply discernible. 
Cream Cheese-this has actually been released for a few months already. 
Sublime Bitter. I did not managed to buy this during my previous visits because they were usually sold out unless you arrive early near the store opening hours. 
Now that I have tried the entire stick all by myself, I changed my previous take on this premium Sublime bitter invented by Patisserie Chef Takagi. They are different from any of the bitter/dark bitter kitkats in supermarkets or convenience store. This intensely dark cacao stick (66% cocoa) not only causes you to feel guilty with every bite (partly because of the price too), but leaves you inconsolable and wanting more when you’re done. At ¥324 per box stick (more expensive than a PH macaron or godiva truffle), it can be called the "Golden Bar of KitKat". 

Having tried all the flavours, I thought it might be interesting to come up with a table of ranking (as of July 2014) based on my personal tastes...haha :D

1) Sublime Bitter 
2) Cream Cheese 
3) Strawberry Maple
4) Chilli
5) Green Tea & Kinako
6) Sakura Green Tea 
(For the last two green tea versions, the kitkat were too sweet and green tea could hardly be detected)
Not all but many tourists to Japan love to buy Kitkat because each region has their own special flavour. Just as some may rejoice at the news of the world's first kitkat boutique shop at Seibu Ikebukuro that opened on 17th January, it is not the place to visit if you want to conquer the entire list. 
What it sells: 3 types of Kitkat. The one that I thought was the most common -Bitter, ironically was sold out the earliest during my two visits.
To put it precisely, it's Sublime Bitter, which boasts slightly acidity with 66% cocoa. It looks no different from the already existing "Adult Bitter" and tastes similar too. Samples were given to queuing customers even though it was sold out eventually. 

It's a collaboration item with pastry chef cum chocolatier Takagi (he has been collaborating with Nestle for other products like the hot cocoa drink), so that might explain the hype over it.  

2) Sakura Green Tea 
Looks familiar? It is the exact replicate of the Sakura Matcha Kitkat available almost everywhere now including airports and even retail shops outside Japan. Price at 420 yen for 4 small packs, it works out to about the same price per pack as those usual boxes of 3 at 315 yen.

3) Chilli (420 yen for 4 mini packs)- this was the only flavour I thought was unique to make the trip there. However, the overall taste was disappointing as there was no punch of the spice in the sweet chocolate. A mere tinge of sensation can be felt seconds later at the back of the throat, but dissipates shortly unlike the numbing effect of Sichuan chilli. Not a major difference from usual chocolate kitkat.

What is not available there: (note the list below is not exhaustive of course~) 
From Kyushu: Yuzu Kosho, Black Sugar Kinako, Strawberry Shortcake, Salt & Caramel, Kuchidoke Almond 
From Shinshu: Togarashi (this is even better than the "Chilli" )
From Hokuriku: Azuki Sandwich Toast ( this tastes very sweet~ like having azuki manju) 
From Jou. Koushinetsu: Blueberry Cheesecake 
From Kyoto: Yatsuhashi
From Okinawa/Kyushu: Purple Sweet Potato
 From Yokohama: Strawberry Cheesecake
Also from Yokohama: Almond Tofu
The regular: Strawberry
The Regular: Green Tea
Tokyo Skytree Orange
Seasonal Flavour: Pumpkin Pudding
Rilakkuma Special : Hotcake
From Convenience Stores: Strawberry Hazelnut
Kitkat balls: Caramel Pudding and Salted Almonds
Kitkat Big Bars: Uji Matcha PUFF
If you are those who want to get your hands on the sublime bitter flavour, then it is better to go early before 11am.
So for regional flavours, head to the 諸国おかしプラザshop at Tokyo Station or the same outlet at KITTE. They stocked up nearly every regional flavour and many other regional snacks. As for new non-regional flavours, either check out convenience stores occasionally or wait till they appear on the shelves at the tiny space in Ikebukuro. 

KitKat Chocolatory キットカット ショコラトリー
Seibu Ikebukuro Department Store B1 Sweets Section A7
Mon-Sat 10am-9pm
Sun/PH 10am-8pm
Visit here for details.
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