Make your way to Takashimaya department store's basement level 2 and enter Japanese snack food heaven. Ditch the food court fare (on the left) and wander the aisles to fill your tummies - you can, with the free samples alone. Although a few Parisian bakeries, a Korean snack shop and even a Harrods store vie for your attention, the winning eats here are the Japanese snacks. We tell you what to eat and what to buy.
Yakitori skewers from Tori Q | While the chicken ($1.20 per stick) and pork ($1.10 per stick) are the most popular, we like the glazed quail eggs on a stick ($1.20). Eat in moderation.
Takoyaki from Takopachi ($2.50 for three) | These dough balls come filled with either prawn, octopus or bacon and cheese. We like ours doused with 'The Works': as much takoyaki sauce, Japanese mayonnaise and bonito flakes the staff can spare.
Baumkuchen from Juchheim Baumkuchen ($9.80) | This layered cake was invented by the Germans, but popularised by the Japanese. At Takashimaya's basement level 2 you can get these in vanilla and chocolate flavours.
Min cheesecakes from Mini One by DONQ (100g/7-8 pieces for $3.50) | Grab a bag full of Japanese-style baked cheesecake bites. These make a great, not-too-sweet snack.
Cheese and corn mochi bites from Mini One by DONQ (100g or 6-8 pieces for $3) | Mochi finally makes an appearance in these chewy, bite-sized treats.
Taiyaki from Mr. Obanyaki ($1.40 per piece) | These are Japanese fish-shaped pancakes with and come with assorted fillings - red bean, chocolate and cheese. Truly the stuff of many a childhood.
Hakuto jelly from Minamoto Kitchoan ($13 each) | This Japanese dessert is made from the juice of ripe hakuto peaches from Okayama and mineral-rich spring water. The texture is smooth and soft, and the aromas floral. As this is a seasonal dessert, the taste of the jelly also differs with every crop of peaches. These would make great conversation starters at a Japanese-themed dinner party, or any dinner party, for that matter.
Hokkaido ice-cream from Azabu Sabo ($3.80 for a single flavour in a cup, $4.30 for a single flavour in a cone) | This gelato-style ice-cream is made with Hokkaido milk and is creamier than regular ice-cream (or gelato) and free of chemical additives. Popular flavours include green tea, vanilla and mango.
Sugar candy from Sagachiku ($7 for a bag) | Walking away from the permanent stalls and towards the temporary (more makeshift-looking, with no unit numbers) ones: these brightly coloured bags of candy from Sagachiku will be loved by both kids and adults.
Assorted snacks from Sagachiku | Choose from an assortment of crispy snack foods - sardine crackers with sesame ($10), edible bamboo charcoal-coated peanuts ($10), crispy wakame seaweed ($10). These can also be eaten sprinkled on rice - an easy solution for a quick meal.
Sugar candy from Sagachiku | This pack of traditional fruit-shaped Kyoto candy caught our eye ($7).
Hello Kitty nori chips from Yamamoto Noriten ($11 per can) | These come in several flavours, including sour plum, mayonnaise, yuzu and honey and brown rice. The best part - the collectible kitty-themed cans.
Assorted rice crackers from Mochikichi ($9 per pack) | These are more than just humble rice crackers. Expect intense and innovative flavours like brown sugar, prawn mayonnaise and honey chilli prawn. You will not be able to leave without buying a bag or two.
CRITIC'S PICK | Red pepper senbei from Mochikichi ($6) | These are not for the faint-hearted. Rice crackers that are completely coated with fiery red pepper flakes. Lovers of chilli however, will not be able to stop at just one.
Shrimp and scallop crackers from Bankaku & Co. ($11.80 for a bag of five packs) | These bite-sized shrimp and scallop crackers are premium quality, fried snacks. For something even more luxurious, ask for the yukari crackers ($15,50 for eight pieces), each piece is made of seven shrimps and it is a roasted snack that takes a week to prepare.
Bean snacks from Mametoku ($6.90 for 100g) | These come in assorted flavours (both sweet and savoury) like matcha milk, bamboo charcoal or broad beans covered with seven spices. Once you pop these, you can't stop.
Vegetable and fruit chips from Mametoku ($10.90 per bag) | Stock up on these crisp, dried veggie and fruit chips, they are (slightly) healthier than their potato counterparts.
Okowa rice bento ($5.50) from Makonouchi | You get a box of five kinds of sticky rice that has been flavoured and bulked up with ingredients like chestnuts, mushrooms and pickled vegetables.
Fruit sandwich from Tokio Cafe ($5.50 for two) | Bread filled with fresh cream and kiwis, strawberries and orange segments. Good for breakfast?
Leaf pie from Rokumeikan (15 pieces for $19.50) | These hand-folded confections are made with top grade milk and butter to create a flaky leaf-shaped biscuit. Choose from plain, sugar dusted or coated with milk or white chocolate.