UmaiBox Food Subscription Review + Coupon – March 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 March 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. Let’s dive into the box!
Instead of a Gashapon this month, I found a cute little towel! The design I received is one of several that were available in the box this month. This little guy’s victorious expression accurately captures how I feel when this box arrives to me every month.
There’s usually one snack each month in this box that I inhale immediately – and this month, it was this salty, delicious popcorn. It was made with a type of soy sauce that’s sweeter, so it reminded me almost a little bit of how teriyaki is definitely a savory dish, but with a sweet ingredient or two. The popcorn was nice and fresh, considering it was pre-packaged, and the soy flavor was unmistakable and oh-so-welcome.
Sweet Potato Biscuits
I was really excited to try these – they resemble little Ritz sandwiches I remember from childhood, but the filling is sweet potato! I recruited my husband to try them with me, and while we both agreed they tasted good, there was also a flavor in them that we’ve definitely had before and couldn’t place, probably something elsewhere in Asian cuisine. I thought they had a really nice texture, though, and would definitely eat them again.
Chocolate Puku Puku Tai
Ah, my beloved! I’ve had this snack in my international food adventures before, and it is a delicious one. The crispy, wafery outside tastes much like a cake ice cream cone, and the inside is this fluffy, chocolate-y mousse that melts when it hits your tongue. My favorite part is that it’s not too sweet! I tried (and failed) to just eat half of this, but I have no regrets.
I love that these boxes typically include a fruit snack of some kind, and mango is one of my favorite fruits. The pamphlet said that parts of Japan are known for their mango culture because the yearly temperature there is perfect for the fruit to thrive!
I really loved the beautiful packaging on this, but sadly, the snack itself didn’t quite deliver! It wasn’t weird nor did it taste bad, but it was super dry and didn’t really have much of a flavor at all. Thankfully, the lack of other discernable flavor wasn’t replaced with an annoying amount of sugar – I did appreciate that this wasn’t very sweet. But overall it was a one-note snack, sadly!
Yuzu Kosho Chip Star
As always, the mix of sweet and savory in this box was appreciated! These chips, made from a mash of potatoes instead of slices of potato, tasted like another American snack I enjoy, and had a light Yuzu flavor with a touch of chili.
Yuki no Yado Matcha with Milk
These senbei were as good as they are pretty! These were matcha and milk flavored, which I thought was interesting, and their flavor was balanced with a little bit of salt. They had a nice texture and the underlying rice flavor of the senbei gave everything a nice base. They had a nice crispy texture that was really enjoyable.
Kit Kat Amazake
Oh man, guys. I feel like this aspect of the box is the most dramatic element; either the Kit Kat is a complete slam-dunk of deliciousness, or is a grave disappointment. This Kit Kat was not in the deliciousness category for me. Its flavor was crafted after a popular fermented rice drink, but the second I opened the wrapper, the candy smelled like cheap beer! I tried a couple of bites, but I couldn’t finish it, and I actually had to remove it from where I was sitting because the smell was so strong. I was heartbroken; I do love Kit Kats, but this one was definitely a miss. Hopefully, next month’s will be more enjoyable!
These little snacks were goooood! They were shrimp-flavored without being overwhelmingly fishy. They were a corn base and had a really pleasing, crispy texture. They had just the right amount of salt, which many of these fish-forward snacks don’t typically include. I luckily didn’t polish these off in one sitting – I’d like to enjoy them once more before they’re gone!
Fried Karashi Mentaiko Sembei
So…I was a little worried about these when I read the description. The pamphlet mentioned pollock eggs marinated in chili, and I wasn’t sure I would totally dig this snack. Surprisingly, the flavors work nicely! Like a lot of fish-flavored snacks that I’ve previously tried, these little crackers counteract the really intense flavors I mentioned with a little bit of sweetness, which mellows out the fish and offers a nice balance to the dish. Their shape and texture also offer much more of a deep crunch, rather than a crispy element, which made them super-satisfying.
This was a nice surprise this month! I’ve been known to eat my fair share of Cup O’ Noodles, and this was a cool item I’ve never seen in one of these boxes before. The noodles were thicker than what I’m used to, but that wasn’t a bad thing! These were pretty good considering it was just a pantry item, and the pork broth did have a nice flavor.
Hina Arare Anpanman
At first, I thought these were candy, and they kind of are, but they’re actually puffed rice in the middle! They’re covered with this awesome sugary coating that reminds me of the kind of snack that you have at a sleepover.
These are always an awesome savory element to these boxes, and this month’s flavors didn’t disappoint! The flavors this month were salad (!) flavor and Tonkatsu flavored, which is a pan-fried pork cutlet with a special sauce. These were both delicious and tasted awesomely (upsettingly?) like real food.
Verdict: These boxes never disappoint, and I was so happy to see an abundance of savory snacks this month! I really enjoyed the variety in this box and was really surprised by some of the flavors. The Champon bowl was a great addition, and it was awesome seeing another portion of the chocolate Tai again, which I love.
To Wrap Up:
Can you still get this box if you sign up today? Nope, you’ll get the April 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 non-Gashapon towel 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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