April 21, 2011

Jack Snacks!... Conveni 8

I really love places like Coveni 8. I discovered it on one of my lunchtime wanders some years ago, hidden in the woolworths building/centre in the city. It is, as it's name suggests, a Japanese convenience store. Hidden in a quiet corner next to the Pitt St entrance to Woolworths, it's a small space but with loads of things crammed in. Or in my eyes, a little corner of heaven. It's mostly Japanese and Korean goods - cold drinks, some frozen foods, instant noodles, basic cooking ingredients, a few 'ready to eat' items AND most important of all, a sizable range of snacks and lollies!

A little corner of happiness.

Sometimes I go and just wander around looking at all the different items, scanning for 'unique' foods, i.e stuff I haven't seen in other shops. They probably think I'm stealing cause I hang around for so long and don't really buy much! But today, I went crazy and bought FOUR items. That's right, Jack was feeling good and decided to splash out!

First up, one thing I've always liked from Conveni 8, the steamed buns. There's usually bbq pork and I think chicken as well but the one I like best is their red bean bun ($1.20). It's best to eat it straight away cause it might sweat a little in the plastic bag. The outer-bun layer is less dense than the usual kind and doesn't taste as lard-laden as some others. The real enjoyment though is from the red pean paste inside. It is good - not too sweet, good red bean flavour and smooth texture. Everytime I eat it I think "oh this my favourite red bean bun!".

'tis good red bean paste.

Now for the second item. "Cheese bokki" instant noodle bowl. Hmm. What on earth was I thinking? Clearly I wasn't. I have to admit it did look appetising, somehow all those cheesy looking pasta/noodles things always do but then I realise I really don't like the powdered-cheese taste. But cheese bokki tricked me into believing I was going to like it, with it's "kok! kok! kok!" antics - there were 4 spaces marked out where you could "kok" the lid with your chopstick to create water-drainage holes to pour out the water once the noodles are cooked. Cool! Well it was all fun and novelty, firstly I did the "kok! kok! kok!" (the "kok!" words are the ones in big yellow characters and also on the white spaces where you punch the hole). Then I added water, closed the lid again, waited to pour out the hot water. So far it's fun! Then it's all downhill. I opened the seasoning packet and started pouring the contents - urgh! - the smell and the taste!! Overly cheesy could be an understatement. Don't get me wrong - I love cheese. But not this kind of powdered, artificial tasting cheese. I will NOT be buying it again, it just ain't for me.

Don't be fooled by the 'kok'!

Items three and four, however, were right up my alley. "Okinawan Kokuto Sweets - Muchimuchi". They were expired so discounted down to $4.40 a packet. I know what you're thinking - "expired??". I eat expired food all the time provided it's something like candy or chocolate that can keep well. Wafers, for one, do not keep well as one would expect but that's another expired-food story. Conveni 8 discounts items that are about to expire/expired or have some minor problem with them. One item had a little sign saying "stick together". Hee hee. As in the biscuits were stuck to each other in the packet. I bought two packets of the expired "Muchimuchi" candy which is actually made of brown sugar. In one packet they were coated in kinako flour (soybean flour) and the other in green tea powder. YUM!!! It tastes so good! There's something about brown sugar in Japanese food, they make it awesome. And in this case it seems to pretty much be just pieces of actual (high quality) brown sugar. Both powder coating flavours are good but green tea is the better - the pure green tea powder is strong and it's tea-bitterness balances out the brown sugar sweetness. It's so good that I've been back to buy more even though it's expired (it's just sugar right?). So if you're around the city and need a snack, Conveni 8 is sure to have something interesting.

Muchimuchi I love you much-y much-y!

What: Conveni 8
Where: 303 Pitt St Sydney, Mon-Fri 8am-7pm, Sat 9am-5pm, closed Sun
How much: Red bean bun $1.20, Kauhou Okinawa Muchimuchi $4.40, Otogi Cheese Bokki was on special at $1.40


  1. I've never been in there before. I love a good red bean paste too. The Muchimuchi intrigue me, never tried anything like that before. Hope you're having a lovely Easter, Jack :)

  2. Hi Dumpling Girl - yes, the Muchimuchi really caught my eye, I've never seen that in any of the other shops. Easter break is now coming to a close :( But it sure was good. I hope you had a good Easter too! :)

  3. Replies
    1. Hi Nurilen - yes this store is still around! I just went there last week and bought some fresh steamed buns for lunch... yummy! :) They also have another store just a few metres away which specialises in Japanese beauty products in case you're interested!

  4. Cheese bokki is like guilty pleasure food for me! I know it's going to kill me but I love its salty, MSG goodness.