A few posts back I wrote about Tanoshii Osushiya-san, a Japanese sweets kit that allows you to make grape flavored, sushi shaped jello by Kracie. My sidekick and I enjoyed it so much, that we tried every one of the Popin Cookin/Happy Kitchen kits–8 in all.
1. Following sushi, we tried:
This was one of the cheaper kits in the line. It made four donuts, 2 vanilla, 2 chocolate. And came with chocolate icing and sprinkles. The directions were so simple my 2 year old did it almost entirely on her own. I did have to step-in when she tried to eat the sprinkles before putting them on the donuts.
Review: The donuts tasted much better than the sushi! But this kit was a little too basic.
3. Cake & Ice Cream
Again, a cheaper, simple kit. Mix vanilla and strawberry frosting, put them together in a piping bag, and decorate the pre-made cones and tart.
Review: Not a memorable kit, but fun none-the-less. We were done with this in less than 10 minutes & it tasted pretty much like you’d imagine vanilla/strawberry frosting in a cone to.
4. Tsukurou Obento. The Lunchbox Kit
The panda shaped rice ball caught my kid’s eye first. Also, spaghetti, an octopus weiner, fried chicken, broccoli, and eggs. This one was time consuming! After we put the panda face on the panda my toddler became much more interested in the eating rather than the making. Unlike the sushi kit, each bento item had its own unique flavor: grape flavored broccoli, lemon flavored eggs, etc.
Review: I enjoyed this one more than my child did. Squeezing the spaghetti out of the bag was damn satisfying. Flavor wise it was almost as bad as the sushi, though, and not nearly as pretty.
5. Pudding parfait
Makes one pudding with oranges, sprinkles, cookies, frosting, and a cherry on top! This one was perfect for my toddler. She loved combining everything at the end to make one big messy parfait. The sprinkles in this kit were chocolate, so most of them made a beeline for my chocolate lover’s mouth, instead of fulfilling their decorative purpose.
Review: Tasted like banana pudding! Yum! One of the few kits I’d buy to do a second time.
6. Taiyaki & Odango. The traditional Japanese sweets kit.
Makes one ichigo daifuku (strawberry wrapped in rice cake), one dango (rice cake dipped in a sweet soy sauce), one taiyaki with chocolate filling (fish shaped pancake), and one ramune (soda). This kit required more than just water. We actually had to use the microwave to make the taiyaki cake.
Review: This was my favorite! Everything tasted like it actually should! The ramune fizzed and the dango was chewy. In terms of labor it was more complicated than some of the kits, but so so worth it. I recommend using cold water to make the ramune though–warm soda flavored water was kind of blech.
7. The hamburger set.
Makes two hamburgers, one package of fries, and one cola. Had to use the microwave for this one, but it’s all good ’cause my sidekick really likes pushing the beep beep buttons.
Review: By far the weirdest kit. It actually tastes like a cheeseburger, french fries, and cola. There was a lot of fine cutting involved in this one, which frustrated my two year old. Eventually she gave up and waited patiently until taste testing time. I’d buy this as a gag gift for friends.
8. The festival set.
Makes two candy apples, three chocolate bananas on sticks, two corn on the cobs, and one package of french fries. Rolling the corn cob into the little corn kernels was the highlight of this kit.
Review: Meh. This one wasn’t very interesting. The apples & bananas tasted right, but the pineapple jelly fries and grape flavored corn was just off.
The fact that these kits require nothing more than water, and in some cases a microwave, makes them an easy go to for that chunk of time after lunch and before dinner. The quality is on par with the Made in Japan brand and price wise they are so reasonable. Plus, anyone one from toddlers on up to adults can enjoy them (I know I did…), so they are perfect gifts! I think I know what I’m bringing as presents for neighbors & new friends when we move to India…