Monday, November 20, 2017

Lawson Station, Tokyo

As you know from my review of 7-Eleven in Tokyo, convenience stores are a very different thing there.  As in, people actually *like* to go to them for food.

Lawson Station is one of the big three chains in Tokyo (alongside 7-Eleven and Family Mart).  It is notable in that Anthony Bourdain strongly endorses the egg sandwiches and fried chicken, thus, we sought it out.

Hot Items

Lawson sells a number of fried chicken products, plus warm buns near the registers.

None of these are things I'd normally get, but, I had heard great things about the chicken from Lawson, so I passed that info on to my chicken eating friends, and they went to seek it out.  I tried a few bites of each.

The chicken product they were most interested in was the nuggets, available in regular, red (spicy), and cheese.  It didn't seem like there were any dipping sauces available.
Regular.
The regular nuggets were very plain and boring, sans sauce.  Did we just miss this, or was there really no sauce?

The texture of the inside of the nuggets was certainly not identifying as chicken in any way.  It was very strange, and I did not like it.  I do not think this was quality product.
Cheese.
The cheese ones were really, really strange.

The nuggets themselves were the same, it was just the coating that was different.  Cheesy breading.  This was not a good flavor.

None of us liked any of these.

Sandwiches

I'm the last person to seek out a sandwich, and particularly not one from a convinience store, but again, I had heard great things about the egg sandwiches at Lawson.  Anthony Bourdain swears by them.
Egg Salad: 4 Ways.
When I got to the sandwich shelf, I realized I wasn't sure which type of egg sandwich was supposed to be amazing.

Luckily for me, they had one with 4 different types of egg sandwiches, all in one pack.  There were lots of other multi-packs, e.g. I could have gone for egg salad with a ham and cheese and a pork culet piece too, but, egg was the focus on this mission.

The four versions were: egg salad, hard boiled, omelet, egg salad with ... onion?

The classic egg salad was very good egg salad, chunks of egg white, creamy yolks with mayo.  Very creamy, tons of mayo (kewpie?), quite flavorful.  I liked it, my second favorite.

The hard boiled egg I didn't care for at all.  It was, literally, just slices of cooked egg between bread. Dry and boring, my least favorite.

The omelet one was ... interesting.  I love Japanese egg omelet (tomago) at sushi restaurants, but this was not that.  It was kinda soft, not sweet.  Didn't really like this, my second to last pick, but a bit novel.

The final one I still don't really know what it was.  There was a thin layer of crispy stuff that was red.  And then the egg salad, which wasn't like the first one, as it had no chunks of white, but rather was all chopped up into a smoother salad.  It was creamy and flavorful though, and went great against the crunchy stuff.  We thought there might be onion in there too?

The bread for all of these was actually good.  Soft, thin, white bread.  It wasn't stale, it wasn't hard.  It went well with the creamy fillings.

Overall, yes, these were just pre-made fairly low end sandwiches on white bread, but, I did like the two salad versions.  But I wouldn't want more, this was fun to try ... once.

Salads

Since I liked the salads in pouches from 7-Eleven, I was excited to try more from Lawson (also, I wanted some vegetables!).

The pouches at Lawson were labeled in English, which helped considerably.  I picked a bunch to try, and eagerly dug in.

Sadly, I didn't like any.  They just didn't have nearly as much flavor as the 7-Eleven versions.
Japanese-Style Salad.
First up, "Japanese-Style Salad."

We weren't really sure what this was, but it looked like it would have lots of assorted beans, veggies, and seaweed?  I hoped for a yummy dressing too.
Japanese-Style Salad: Inside.
And ... yeah, just a bunch of assorted beans, little cubes of carrot, and some corn.  The seaweed was fine, but there just wasn't any flavor to this.  

No one liked this, or even wanted a second bite.
Simmered Dried Radish.
Yeah, what?  I didn't know what this would be either ... dried radish?  I got it out of curiosity.
Simmered Dried Radish: Inside.
It didn't quite look like the picture.

The strips of what I guess were radish were soggy and slimy.  As were the veggies in the mix.  There wasn't any real flavor to any of it.

Another one that no one liked.
Simmered Hijiki Seaweed.
And finally, seaweed, since I love it.  I hoped it would be marinated.

I was particularly drawn in by the crunchy lotus on the picture.
Simmered Hijiki Seaweed: Inside.
Where was my lotus!

I found one chunk, it was reasonably crisp.

The seaweed wasn't particularly flavorful, again, no yummy marinade.  

And another one that no one really liked.  I guess my favorite, but even this went unfinished.
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