Within the borders of Singapore, the obsession with Don Don Donki seems to have spread far and wide.
Japanese goods are all the rage now, and I’m going to take this opportunity to introduce to the true OG of Japanese supermarts, Meidi-Ya.
Located in the basement of Liang Court in Clarke Quay, Meidi-Ya is a supersized Japanese grocery store that houses an almost ridiculous variety of both Japanese and non-Japanese goods. Things you won’t find in the average grocery store are aplenty here – a great number of which are snacks and tidbits.
I hope I’ve piqued your interest now; here’s a list of 10 awesome food and drink items you can find in Meidi-Ya.
— Snacks —
1. Tsum Tsum Gummies
You cannot tell me you don’t find Tsum Tsum adorable, because it’s a fact and as everyone knows, when something is a fact, there’s no alternative.
Anyway, fans will love these Tsum Tsum Gummies ($5.90), that not only come packaged in irresistibly cute Tsum Tsum-themed wrappers, but are also shaped to look like Tsum Tsum characters.
I couldn’t quite bear to eat my Minnie Mouse-shaped apple-flavoured gummy. But I hardened my heart and did it anyway.
I loved the texture of the gummy – it wasn’t soft and mushy (as are cheap gummies), but chewy and gelatinous. I wouldn’t say that the gummy didn’t taste artificial, but its flavour was quite close to fruit juice – which is as authentic as it gets.
Expected damage: $5.90
2. Krispy Kreme Jelly Beans
I squealed with excitement when I saw these, because how can you not want to pop a million of these in one go. And to answer the million-dollar question: yes, they do taste like Krispy Kreme donuts, well at least to me.
The packet contains a number of flavours, including Original Glazed, Cinnamon Apple, Chocolate and more. My favourite was the Original Glazed; it had all of the sugary, buttery goodness that is so characteristic to Krispy Kreme’s signature donut.
I must say, however, that some of my colleagues didn’t particularly enjoy the jelly beans, because they thought it tasted a little too artificial. I didn’t think so, but to each her own.
Expected damage: $4.35
3. Premium Instant Noodles
At Meidi-Ya, there’s a whole section dedicated to Japanese instant noodles, with a range of prices. You can pretty much find cheap instant noodles everywhere, so what really caught my eye was the premium instant noodles that you can’t quite find anywhere else.
There are options like Mentaiko Yakisoba, Spicy Miso Tonkotsu Ramen, Asakusa Yakisoba and much, much more. They’re perfect for when you want to feel a little fancy, right in the comfort of your own home.
Just check out this list of premium instant noodles!
Expected damage: $3 – $14
— Drinks —
4. Kumamon Orange Juice
Okay, this is ridiculously expensive, and I couldn’t bear to squander $21 on orange juice, but it’s here for your reference. This better be the orange juice that the gods drink on Mount Olympus, ‘else it won’t be worth it.
If you’re feeling like you deserve a really fancy treat, or if it’s a particularly hot day, then perhaps you could purchase a bottle of this premium orange juice, and tell me if it’s really worth the price!
Expected damage: $21
5. Fujiya Peach Nectar
Now, this truly tastes like the nectar that Greek gods drink. It’s infused with a wonderful peachy fragrance and carries a gentle, warming sweetness.
Its consistency is quite thick, and it comes with sweet peach bits. Drink it ice cold, and you’ll have a fruity, refreshing treat perfect for a hot day. Here’s a warning: once you start, you won’t be able to stop.
Expected damage: $6
6. Japanese Soya Bean Milk
Before you buy this, I’ll have to warn you that it isn’t your typical soya bean milk. This is pure soya bean milk; that means no sugar or syrup. If you like that sort of thing, then this is perfect for you.
Smooth and silky, this soya bean milk will glide down your throat, giving you a sensation of pure bliss. It’s incredibly luscious and aromatic, and very satisfying! Healthy too, considering it doesn’t have sugar.
Expected damage: $2.50
— Food —
7. Uni & More Uni
If you go deep into Meidi-Ya, you’ll enter a glorious section of fresh fish. Amidst this literal sea of fish, you’ll find a beautiful box full of uni (sea urchin). I’ve honestly never seen uni in such a great amount, until I chanced upon this.
Of course, you can’t expect something like that to come cheap. This particular box goes for $179, and only a true uni-lover, with the wallet to match his/her appetite, would fork out the money for this. Or perhaps if you’re hosting a major uni party, which if you do, I’d like an invite.
Expected damage: $179
8. Other Kinds of Sashimi
Most of us probably don’t have the budget for a box of uni, so here’s something a little more affordable. It still doesn’t come cheap, but it’s alright for the occasional treat.
Meidi-Ya houses a truly incredible selection of sashimi. I mean, truly incredible. It is sashimi wonderland. There’s everything from salmon to maguro to, as you already know, uni.
If you’re ever in need of beautifully fresh sashimi, then Meidi-Ya is the place to go!
Expected damage: $5 – $15
8. Fresh Bento Sets
If you’re not a fan of raw food, Meidi-Ya also offers a fresh bento section. You can order a bento from the rather extensive menu, and it’ll be made fresh on the spot!
Besides bentos, they also have other treats that might be more appropriate if you’re just looking for a snack. I had a pack of fried oysters that would probably have tasted much better had I microwaved it before gobbling it all up. But I must say that the oysters were incredibly juicy.
Expected damage: $7 – $15
— Cooking Ingredients —
9. Mentaiko Mayo
Here’s something that I believe will pique the interest of many. Mentaiko is all the rage now; it’s used in sushi, rice bowls, fries and even pasta.
Well, now you can own your own bottle of mentaiko mayo and drown your food in it any time you want.
I don’t quite know why mentaiko is so addictive – perhaps it’s that wondrous combination of spicy, salty and almost buttery – I just know that I want it on everything.
Expected damage: $10.90
10. Premium Miso Paste
I walked past an aisle full of miso paste and although I can’t read Japanese, the difference in price between some of these pastes was enough to tell me they carried everything from peasant-quality miso to really premium miso.
It doesn’t matter if you’re low SES or high SES, there’s a miso paste for everyone.
Expected damage: $5 – $15