Dec 5, 2008
Kyoto, Japan

As anyone who have traveled through the developed nations in Asia would know that the Asian convenient stores are full of ready to eat food. The variety is unparalleled, the “appeared” freshness is nothing like the lone hot dog that runs a mile on the turner at the AM/PM back in the US.

Seeing as how there are a convenient store on every corner, we thought that we would see if we could make tonight’s dinner solely based out of what is available at a local Lawson’s Station.

1. Boss Coffee – for 110 Yen – and you can choose from hot or cold, we thought we should see how the canned coffee hold up –
Verdict: exactly what you would expect it to be. Coffee flavored somewhat sweet drink that could potentially fool you into thinking that you are having coffee, will do in a pinch or on a sever budget.

2. Rice Triangle – 120 Yen – They all have different fillings and there is not enough Chinese letters on the label for me to figure out what is inside, so it a trial and error method here – this blue label actually contains tuna – as in tuna mixed with a bit of mayo tuna – much like a tuna fish sandwich but with out bread and with rice instead.
Verdict – very edible and would eat again.

3. Chicken Nuggets – 210 Yen – There were 4 different flavors available and we just randomly picked one. It is all white meat nugget and not any worst than what you would get from a fast food place.
Verdict – ok – but neither of us were that excited about it to eat it again.

4. Baozi – 110 Yen – This is a Chinese food item, essentially a bread outer shell with minced pork inside. It can be very delicious when its good.
Verdict – sadly to say this one from Lawson’s was not very good and it gives baozi a bad name.

5. Rice Triangle – 120 Yen – this one has salmon on the inside.
Verdict – very edible and would eat again.

6. Mystery package with a picture of grilled salmon on the outside – 168 Yen – I had thought that inside contains a piece of grilled salmon, and of course I had to try it. Well, it turns out to be another rice triangle with a large chunk of salmon.
Verdict – it is just as editable as the cheaper variety – difference being that the salmon that is inside of this rice ball is a complete piece and not just bits and pieces.

7. Fried Chicken on a Stick – 100 Yen – All dark meat and tastes like friend chicken from a convenient store.
Verdict – ok – nothing exciting.

8. Donuts – 105 Yen – It turned out to be filled with whipped cream – so its more like a hostess cupcake than a donuts.
Verdict – alright – especially if you are not picky about the quality of your desert.

9. Desert cup – 110 Yen – I thought this was going to be like flan, I have had similar desert cups in Taipei, it was pretty much what I thought it would be – a mix between flan and pudding with a slight eggy crust on top.
Verdict – what I thought it would be, sweet, caramel, flan like substance made from egg. Yes, I would eat again.

So dinner for two from Lawson station came in under 1000 Yen. Everything really kinda tasted like it came from a convenient store, but then again it did. I think the only that I would consider eating would be the rice triangles. I don’t know that a home made version of it would be much different than what could be bought, not to mention that the rice triangle is relatively health compared to everything else you could get.

I don’t eat at the convenient store in the US at all. I am not sure why I thought convenient store food would be much improved in Japan, but I see plenty of people eat there and if nothing else, it was a fun experiment.

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