There seems to be waves of “fun-things-to-do-apart-from-travelling” fads making their rounds lately. From rediscovering the zoo/bird park (Remember those excursions from primary school!), to completing coast-to-coast walks and of course, the classic staycay. I think having to look inwards for alternative travel experiences has made for a pretty unique (and incredibly nostalgic) experience. If you’ve been checking things off your own fun-things list, we hope you’ve also got a picnic in the mix. A garden city surely calls for a picnic… Or three!
Here at The DC Edit we unanimously agree that a big part of picnic fun is putting it together, especially if we’ve got a theme going on. So for an island picnic with a touristy twist, we went DON DON DONKI tripping and put together an aesthetic Japanese-inspired picnic. Packed with outdoor essentials and a lot of our favourite Japanese bites, this is a basket we’ll take with us anytime to the sparkling landscapes of Yoyogi Park (also considered one of the best picnic spots in Tokyo)! We dish on our shopping list, plus special rewards for UOB Cardmembers at DON DON DONKI!
The Shopping List
None of these will break the bank and are definitely more pocket-friendly than actually picnicking in Japan. Since travelling must wait, it’s the closest we can get!
1. Sushi Essentials
Elemental to any Japanese-themed picnic (this is what we’re here for)! DON DON DONKI is full of options if you’d like to DIY your own sushi (another fun idea). But take it from us — the fresh sushi section is irresistible. We went for a Kaisen Maki Tray and a Salmon & Assorted Sushi Platter. The latter is particularly great for sharing with its mix of Salmon Nigiri and cooked selects, including Tamago Nigiri and Shrimp Nigiri!
Psst: We also found some superbly convenient tubed condiments from Jonetsu Kakaku. If you’re perpetually bursting condiment sachets and wasting everything, this is a must-buy. Pair your sushi platters with Jonetsu Kakaku’s Wasabi Paste Tube, this ingenious toothpaste-like packaging is a guaranteed picnic hack! (For wasabi fans, it’s also going to unlock new possibilities.)
2. A Quick Pasta Fix
I love the versatility of pasta dishes and how quickly they go from simple to fancy. Pastas make simple, no-frills, but filling mains for picnics. They’re easy to make in volumes, relatively straightforward to store and uncomplicated to serve. We like our pasta dishes more classic, so we got the Jonetsu Kakaku Tomato Pasta Sauce and Jonetsu Kakaku Salad Curl Pasta. Jonetsu Kakaku’s Tomato Pasta Sauce is a great option for picnicking, or if you need to fix a meal fast. The sauce comes in a foil packet and in just the right amount for two, likewise for the Salad Curl Pasta — what an excellent match!
3. Sauces To Dress Everything Up
If you’re a condiment enthusiast, the sauces and dressings aisle in DON DON DONKI will be heaven. The selection leaves little to imagination; there’s pretty much every kind of dressing you’d want (and will want) on the shelves. Pick up more tubed pastes like the Jonetsu Kakaku Mustard Paste Tube, or try something more fun like the Bulldog Organic Tonkatsu Sauce. Bottled tonkatsu sauce hits all the glorious spots, there are just so many ways to use this sweet, spicy and tangy dressing (with meats, salads, sandwiches, as a dip…you name it). We also managed to grab Japan’s iconic Kewpie Mayonnaise in its half calorie version, which tastes exactly like the original but less sinful — another gem!
4. Some Super Affordable Authentic Japanese Desserts
Located in the same space as the fresh sushi section, you’ll also want to swing by DON DON DONKI’s Japanese desserts corner for freshly made sweets at a steal. If desserts are your kryptonite… Let’s just say you’ll have a tough time making sensible choices at this point. While we’re all for just going big on this if you have a sweet tooth, for some more indulgent treats try the Mille Crepe Cakes or Cream Puffs. Both were filled with fresh, delicate Japanese cream and nothing short of quality. We think some of the most affordable authentically Japanese desserts around!
5. Iconic Japanese Sweets
Hoarding bags after bags of tea KitKats from Japan may not be possible yet, but you can find a selection of Japan’s iconic KitKats at DON DON DONKI. Pre-global pandemic, Andrea brought back some seriously good matcha biscuits from Japan and we’ve been hooked! The KitKat Hojicha and KitKat Matcha Green Tea are a must for fans of Japanese KitKats.
For stick biscuit lovers, DON DON DONKI also has an impressive range of pocky-like varieties in exclusively-Japanese flavours. We haven’t seen most of them anywhere else, so our advice? Take them all! Our biscuit haul included Lotte’s Toppo Strawberry Chocolate Straws, Dark Chocolate Pretzel Straws, Pocky in Matcha Green Tea (The OG!) and Glico’s Smoky Cheese Pretzel Sticks. Another of our favourite finds was the Tenkei Sweet Select Baked Wheat Cakes. This nifty bag of individually-packed petite Japanese cakes has everything from orange cakes, sponge cupcakes, to Dorayakis. Great for bringing around and even better for sharing. How neat!
6. A Must: Japanese Savoury Snacks
Don’t forget to balance out your palate with something savoury! This is another corner of DON DON DONKI that you’ll either spend a long time being spoiled for choice in, or be done in a flash if you let your stomach take the lead. I’m going to be a bit biased here, if you haven’t tried the Yaokin Umaibo Rice Sticks — you’re missing out! These rice sticks are so well seasoned (without “bald spots”, as I’d like to call them), rather light (at under 60 kcal per stick) and oh so addictive. We got the Yaokin Umaibo Rice Stick in Mentaiko and Bar Steak. Bar Steak comes with a surprising wasabi twist for all you wasabi fans too!
In retrospect… I wouldn’t even bank on these being light snacks, because it’s tough not to gobble a couple at one go.
Enough said! DON DON DONKI has one of the most extensive (bottled) tea selections we’ve ever seen. Aside from being one of the hallmarks of Japan, tea makes a great accompaniment to any picnic. It’s guilt-free, a proven way to relax and helps to wash everything down (particularly all the sugar). Besides, there’s something inexplicably picturesque and soothing about laying back with a cup of tea in the middle of flowering greens. We went with the Jonetsu Kakaku Green Tea and also grabbed some Jonetsu Kakaku Lemon Sodawater for a pop.
8. Beauty Pick-Me-Ups
It wouldn’t be us if we didn’t cart out something from the beauty department. And DON DON DONKI’s one is stocked with best-selling Japanese cult favourites, new finds and occasionally, bizarre inventions that actually work. Keep your picnic look together with Biore’s Cool Body Sheets — these innovative body wipes help to refresh and remove perspiration, while lowering your body temperature by 3 degrees! Now if that doesn’t sound like a saver for picnicking in Singapore’s humid weather…
You might also want to add Saborina’s Morning UV Spray to your basket. This micro-fine cooling UV mist can be used all over the face and body (including hair), is water resistant and dries non-tacky. The aerosol packaging also makes touch ups so much easier!
9. Stay Safe: Sanitisers
All things aside, it’s important to keep safe while heading out! Staying true to our Japanese-theme, we made sure to check out some sanitisers, including Kirei Kirei’s Pocket Anti-Bacterial Hand Sanitiser. This compact gel-based sanitiser is gentle on the skin, child-safe and kills 99.99% of bacteria! Also, we’ve never seen this anywhere else, so if you’re in DON DON DONKI consider checking out Biore’s Guard Hand Sanitiser Spray — a spray-on hand sanitiser that will make disinfecting your hands more effortless and contact-free! (Plus no more dirty nozzles from squeezing out too much sanitiser.)
Introducing DON DON DONKI’s Housebrand: Jonetsu Kakaku
You might have noticed we bagged quite a number of goodies from JONETSU KAKAKU, and for good reason! If you’re in DON DON DONKI, you’ll want to keep an eye out for JONETSU KAKAKU, which is the original brand of the Don Quijote group. Products of JONETSU KAKAKU are developed and manufactured under the strict supervision of the Don Quijote Group in Japan and are only sold by Don Quijote in Japan and in DON DON DONKI overseas.
Take A Trip With ShopUOB & DON DON DONKI
There’s something romantic about picnics. Whether you’re kicking back with your partner, reconnecting with friends, spending quality family time…or taking solo time out. Assembling a picnic also gives you space to have fun, including dreaming up a vacay-inspired get-together. And who says you can’t steal a travel experience on a budget and on homeland (quite literally)? DON DON DONKI’s Japanese selections make curating a themed picnic breezy, now with exclusive rewards on the side too!
Get your Japanese cravings sorted at DON DON DONKI’s brand new Harbourfront Centre outlet with UOB Cards:
From 30 October to 1 November 2020, receive a DONKI gift bag when you spend a min. of S$50 at the new Harbourfront Centre outlet with your UOB Card! Limited to 1000 redemptions, for DONKI mobile app members only. The first 50 UOB Cardmembers to shop at the new outlet on 30 October 2020 will also receive exclusive door gifts.