UmaiBox Food Subscription Review + Coupon – January 2018
UmaiBox is a Japan-based monthly box from NihonBox that is filled with the best treats from JAPAN! Each box includes 13-18 items of the best snacks and products from Japan plus a Gachapon to collect each month. Bonus items are placed in boxes at random!
This box was sent to us at no cost for review. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
The Subscription Box: UmaiBox
The Cost: $21.49 a month + $8.90 shipping
COUPON: Use code ILOVEUMAIBOX to save $2 off your first box!
The Products: 13-18 snacks + a Gachapon
Ships to: Internationally
UmaiBox January 2018 Review
There is an info booklet included each month. The “map,” as I like to call it, guides you through the snacks and gives you added information on the goodies. The back also tells you how you can purchase the NihonBox. This month’s box is all full of Japanese New Year goodies! Let’s snack, shall we?
Mini Angel Pie – Black Sesame Dango – Retail Value $1.84
I always appreciate the inherent cuteness of international snacks, and these little pies were no exception! I loved that there were several in the package and that they were each individually wrapped. I love black sesame, but I didn’t taste it so much in the cookies; these tasted like the really dark chocolate, which is the outer coating. I wasn’t completely wild about the texture of their interior marshmallow layer, but, as I appreciate in so many desserts, these were rich but not too sweet.
Gizagiza Chips – Wasabi Mayo
I love when snack boxes include both sweet and savory snacks, and sometimes having something familiar in a new flavor is really nice. I loooove ruffle chips, to me, they’re the best kind of potato chip (followed closely by kettle chips). These were so good! They were nice and spicy from the wasabi and had tons of savory flavor to offer.
Sgorn Ebi Marugoto
Can I just say that this package is majestic? The gold against that palatial red just makes me feel like I’m about to have something one-of-a-kind. And yes, these are pretty unique! Their texture is similar to a more American corn snack that I’m familiar with (ahem, Cheetos), but the flavor is shrimp all the way! It sounds odd, but these are so good. Their scent is much more intense than their super-savory, slightly spicy flavor, and I think they’d be awesome when consumed along with a nice glass of Chardonnay (which I’ve been known to do with the other corn snack I love).
Korokoro Toast – Strawberry Jam
The little map insert called these crackers, but these reminded me so much of a crouton that I have to mention it here. A delicious, amazing, perfect crouton. Guys, these were my favorite snack in the entire box. They tasted exactly like buttered, strawberry jam toast, with an endlessly satisfying crunchy texture. The second I tried them, I made a strong cup of black tea with milk and sugar, and destroyed the entire bag with no regrets.
Black soy is supposed to bring good luck for the new year, and these snacks were soooo nice and salty from the flavor of it! Nice and crunchy, and easy to eat, I liked this snack quite a bit (and noticed my husband reached for ‘em more than the other snacks in this box).
In Japan, a popular tradition is to give money to children, and so this little chocolate bar of puffed rice is totally on-theme for this box. It came included with a fake banknote, which I thought was really neat, and I was surprised at how high quality the chocolate in this tasted.
Senbei – Kinako Mochi
I was introduced recently to kinako, which is roasted soy powder, and I’m obsessed. It reminds me perfectly of peanut butter, which I already love, but kinako is something totally new and different, which makes me so happy. These senbei are in such elegant packaging, and I loved that these are also individually wrapped. I will definitely serve these if someone drops by my place for coffee!
These are so insanely cute! The mochi in this colorful snack is surrounded by a sugary exterior. They were really, really sweet, but the packaging was so charming that they won me over anyway.
These little guys are shaped and designed to taste like mikan, which is a kind of Japanese mandarin. These came so close to being perfect! They have a nice dense texture, which I really enjoy, and their flavor started out so citrusy and true-to-fruit, but at the very end of chewing it, the taste became just a tiny bit fake. That’s not a deal-breaker, though! If you like orange skittles, you’ll adore these.
This baffled me in the best way a snack can possibly stymie its consumer. Just a single, almost chip-like treat in the package, this was savory to the max, with tons of umami flavor that was crunchy, salty, and complex – and gone much too soon.
These were possibly the biggest surprise of the box! Textured like a soft corn snack, and definitely savory, this snack really tasted like mayo. I know, I know – they’re supposed to, but it really surprised me at how much a snack was able to capture the flavor of the condiment. I could see these not being a big hit with non-mayo fans, but I did like them – though they’re so rich I don’t think I could eat very many in one sitting.
Kit Kat Matcha – Marugato Chaba x 2
I have always wanted to try matcha Kit Kats, and these were quite the introduction! According to the notes in the box, the chocolate was actually mixed with green tea leaves, boasting the strongest-possible matcha flavor ever. I’m super-glad I tried them, but they were actually quite bitter, with no real hint of sweetness.
Umaibo x 2 (Takoyaki and Rusk Flavors)
The last snack in this box was a bonus snack, and I was really surprised at how much I loved it. I tried the takoyaki flavored version of these two, because I love ordering takoyaki (battered octopus) in my favorite Japanese restaurant, and the snack version was so satisfying! It’s a long cylinder of crunchy, umami-laden flavor, and while I didn’t detect a ton of tako, or octopus, flavor, it was really tasty.
Gashapon of the Month
This month’s Gashapon is Kirby! There were five different versions you could receive in this box.
Verdict: This month’s UmaiBox brought me so much snacking happiness! I loved that there was a mix of both really sweet and super-savory snacks, and I loved trying things I’ve never tried before. The strawberry toast was absolutely amazing, I loved trying all the different types of senbei, and even though it was really powerfully flavored, I’m glad I finally got to try a matcha Kit Kat. The value in this box is really in its uniqueness – it’s super-hard to find these snacks elsewhere online! I also love the information card that walks you through all the different ingredients and their significance to the box’s overall theme.
To Wrap Up:
Can you still get this box if you sign up today? Nope, you’ll get the March box. Boxes ship between the 5th and 9th each month, with a 20 day transit time.
Coupon – Use coupon code ILOVEUMAIBOX to save $2 off your first box!
Value Breakdown: This box costs $21.49 a month + $8.90 shipping, and I got 16 items, including the two bonus snacks and the Gashapon of the month. With the cost of shipping calculated in, that breaks down to $1.90 per item, which I think is a good value for what I received!
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