I’ve visited Cardiff Korean and Japanese Foods (located on Woodville Road (just off Cwrys Road) in Cathays) a few times in the past for Asian food items but hadn’t been in a while so decided I needed another visit. I had a good look around for things I had not tried before… and of course for anything tea related!
I really enjoy Asian, specifically Japanese, confectionery and cannot resist if it is flavoured with tea so the first thing I picked up was some Matcha flavoured boiled sweets. They do have a green tea taste but I don’t know if I could have picked it out as Matcha. They are extremely sweet and very enjoyable.
I also bought some green tea and milk flavour mochi.
Mochi is a sweet that is traditionally eaten at Japanese New Year but can be purchased all year round. It is made from rice which is made into a paste and reshaped. It becomes almost jelly-like and very stretchy due to the high gluten content. Again, they are very sweet but I really enjoyed them and really like the texture. As they are small I think they are perfect to have with a cup of Japanese green tea instead of a biscuit. I decided to eat them with a pot of Waterloo Tea Kukicha as it’s a Japanese green tea which is delicate and fresh but almost bitter-sweet. I thought this would counteract the sweetness of the mochi well.
I came across some bottled and canned tea drinks so I decided to pick a few up. There were a few cold green teas and oolongs for sale but I didn’t buy any as I have had them before.
I bought a bottle of chrysanthemum white tea. Chrysanthemum tea is a traditional Chinese floral infusion and is usually taken sweetened with rock sugar. I haven’t tried it yet but I am really intrigued as to how the delicate white tea will taste with chrysanthemum. I also bought a can of pearl milk tea which is better known as bubble tea. Bubble tea is a Taiwanese way of drinking tea containing tapioca pearls. If bought in a specialist bubble tea shop it can be served warm or cold, milky or with water, iced or not iced and in a variety of flavours. I also bought a bottle of Taiwanese milk tea. Milk tea is a very common base for bubble tea. I was pleased to be able to buy it in a bottle so I could drink it in small amounts. It is very sweet, as I expected, and both smelt, and tasted, of caramel due to the high sugar and milk content.
Although there was loose leaf tea for sale I decided not to buy any as I have most of them in my tea cupboard already. They sell Matcha powder, Genmaicha and Houjicha among other teas.
Other interesting tea related things I saw for sale were yellow rock sugar, coloured tapioca and some teaware. Yellow rock sugar is cane sugar which has less molasses than brown sugar. It can be eaten as confectionery or added to tea, such as chrysanthemum tea. I decided not to buy any as I do not generally sweeten my tea, with chai being the exception.
Below is a photo of all of my purchases. I’m really interested to try the banana soy drink and I adore edamame beans. I could have bought so much more!
I also visited the Japan Centre in Piccadilly, London recently and picked up some cold green and oolong teas and Matcha noodles. I have not cooked with the noodles yet as I am yet to decide what I want to make. I am considering a seafood fish with delicate flavours so that the Matcha flavour of the noodles is not overpowered.
Along with the tea related purchases I did pick up some other bits from the Japan Centre. The banana flavoured Pocky was eaten in seconds, I’ve been adding the dried seaweed to soups and the Japanese inspired flavours of the pickled garlic have made them an interesting addition to a variety of dishes. I really highly recommend the edamame flavoured snacks!
Also, I really highly recommend the edamame flavoured snacks!
[Cardiff Korean and Japanese Foods and Japan Centre didn’t know I was going to write a blog post]