It's very hard not to love Daiso. The Japanese discount variety store is a wonderland of ceramic ducks, cheap batteries, Hello Kitty notebooks and a rainbow of imported snacks all for $2.80.
Now Daiso is getting into the Asian grocery game with the launch of Eat Asia, an offshoot of its store in Regent Place. It shares the same cash registers as Daiso, but not the same price restrictions, meaning it can sell a much wider range of products.
Eat Asia stocks food from many Asian countries but the focus is on Japanese goods you will be hard-pressed to find anywhere else in Australia. The shelves are a chock-full of soba noodles, dried seaweed, confectionery, instant ramen, sauces, seasonings and snacks.
There's also high-end wagyu in the cold section and packets of ready-to-go gyoza if "you want to have the izakaya experience at home," says Eat Asia manager Kaz Katashima.
"We are also specialising in matcha [green tea] products," he says. "Matcha candy, chocolate, ice-cream, everything. People love it. We're developing our own range of matcha desserts to sell instore, too."
Katashima says his favourite product is the Caramel Corn range by Japanese company Tohato. Caramel Corns are sweet and salty snacks that look like cheese puffs and Eat Asia sells them for $3 a bag.
"They have a lot of interesting flavours such as pumpkin pudding, baked apple, cheesecake and even lemon sorbet," he says. "It's a really funky range and the flavours are limited editions so when one sells out, you won't find it again."
Regent Place, 501 George Street, Sydney; Mon-Sat 10am-9pm; Sun 11am-7pm; daisostore.com.au