On the hunt: 14 weird/wonderful items under $12 from the new Don Don Donki in City Square Mall

Our haul from Don Don Donki. Photo: Coconuts Media
Our haul from Don Don Donki. Photo: Coconuts Media

If you haven’t heard, Don Don Donki just debuted its third and largest outlet in Singapore, with an entire food court spanning five Japanese stalls and a new bargain corner at its basement space in City Square Mall.

Curious to find out what gems the store had stashed away, we battled opening weekend crowds and spent nearly an hour exposing ourselves to the excruciating earworm that is the Don Don Donki theme song – all in the hopes of hunting down any cool/strange/wacky items. So rummage, we did. And let’s just say, if ever a time comes when we have to sing the Donki tune to save our lives, we’ve got no problems there.

Scroll through for our most unusual finds at the store.


 

Bacon-flavored string cheese ($3.90)

Photo: Coconuts Media
Photo: Coconuts Media

It had us at cheese. And bacon. But then it let us down by revealing itself to be fake-con, with just an imitation hint of the smoked pork in its aroma and taste. Thank you, next.

 

Big playing cards ($6) 

Photo: Coconuts Media
Photo: Coconuts Media

With CNY coming up, you’ll need all the luck you can muster up for your next family blackjack sesh, so why not supersize your good fortune by prepping your nimble fingers with these ginormous cards. This way, even your oldest relative can join in the gamble without their glasses.

 

Chocolate fountain ($10)

Photo: Coconuts Media
Photo: Coconuts Media

Fondue from a tiny, plastic-looking appliance? Maybe if you’re hosting a kids’ party.

 

Clear latte matcha green tea ($2.30)

Photo: Coconuts Media
Photo: Coconuts Media

There’s an entire corner of the store dedicated to transparent drinks, of which the milk tea concoction went viral two years ago, but what caught our attention was this clear bottle of matcha milk. Alas, it was watered down just like matcha lattes that you leave out in the open for the ice cubes to melt. Perhaps that’s why the bottle read “light”?

 

Handy beer server ($10)

Photo: Coconuts Media
Photo: Coconuts Media

Available in black and white with gold embellishments, this nifty contraption apparently takes your dull can of beer and powers it up to create a layer of foam as you pour the brew into a mug. It also seems to be cheaper here than on Amazon, so that’s a plus.

 

Cat-shaped kitchen sponges ($4)

Photo: Coconuts Media
Photo: Coconuts Media

Who needs regular green-and-yellow sponges when you can have ‘em in cute kitty shapes and smiley faces? These would definitely spark joy for us in our kitchen.

 

Lipton crème brûlée milk tea ($2.30)

Photo: Coconuts Media
Photo: Coconuts Media

Aside from the fact that we’re reminded of a friend’s mangled pronunciation of crème brûlée (creamy brooloo) every time we see it, this liquid dessert went down smooth and sweet. Your regular milk tea it ain’t — more like a creamier, caramelized version of it. Think brown sugar milk tea without the pearls.

 

Melting panna cotta ($2.50)

Photo: Coconuts Media
Photo: Coconuts Media

Did it melt in our mouths? Er, sure. But it was also diabetically sweet and came drenched in a sugary bitter syrup that brought us right back to those liquid cough medicine days of our childhood.

 

Namara big puff ($11.90)

Photo: Coconuts Media
Photo: Coconuts Media

Long story short: These are basically mega-sized cream puffs. And when a random passer-by saw us ogling at ’em, she emphatically exclaimed that they were “very delicious” and a “must get” every time she goes to Japan. So despite it being absurdly expensive here (it’s apparently less than $2 in Japan), we just had to purchase it. Solely based on one auntie’s infectious enthusiasm.

And it was just as rich and luscious as she described. In the way only a Hokkaido cream creation can be.

 

Pokka cup potage sea urchin flavor ($3.50)

Photo: Coconuts Media
Photo: Coconuts Media

Thick uni soup for the low price of $3.50 – that was our undoing. Of course, it merely contains flavored powder, not the actual expensive gonads of a sea urchin. But it also tasted nothing like the real deal. If you gave it to us blindfolded, we’d think it was some kind of generic chicken and mushroom soup. Still, if you’re keen to try, the shelves nearby also stock cod roe-flavored risotto ($3.50) and instant clam chowder ($2.90).

 

Pretz fermented butter ($2.30)

Photo: Coconuts Media
Photo: Coconuts Media

Because regular butter wasn’t good enough, Pretz had to go and create biscuits coated in fermented stuff. But we’re so glad they did, because this was addictive. Hands down the best pick of our haul, the crunchy sticks were buttery and slightly sweet — there’s no way you can stop at one.

 

Pringles ramen in jalapeño flavor ($3.90)

Photo: Coconuts Media
Photo: Coconuts Media

So it’s a tad more expensive than your usual cup noodles (but cheaper than those at Fairprice Finest, it seems). Was it worth it though? Only if you’re desperately starving in the middle of the night and all the 24-hour fast food and hawker joints have decided to simultaneously shutter. The seasoning may have had a slight jalapeño scent, but the broth was just like regular instant noodles: salty, with no hint of Pringles at all. We’d take Indomie over this travesty any day.

 

Toilet golf ($6)

Photo: Coconuts Media
Photo: Coconuts Media

“Just do it!” exclaimed the poster. Sure, it read “toy golf set”, but there was no misleading us from the product’s actual purpose: To keep you entertained while you take a dump. Because that’s exactly what the picture showed. So if you’re an avid golfer who wants to practice your swing while your bowels get moving… this one’s for you.

 

Water dispenser ($10)

Photo: Coconuts Media
Photo: Coconuts Media

The description is innocent, but the actual product looks like an ancient Greek statue gone wrong. Save this tacky thing for your frenemies at the next Christmas exchange.

 

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