7-Eleven Poké Ball Onigiri: The Nintendo Life Review
We, of course, must start with the ball that started it all…
This red and white original comes with roasted pork, GarlicY Mayonnaise.
Of the three balls this was the hardest to eat…the slab of sausage slid off the rice and we were forced to eat them separately.
As can be seen in the photographs, the design of the Pokéball consists solely of the outer plastic wrapper. Below, the spherical onigiri vaguely resembles the one we used to catch our first Caterpies and Weedles. Still, the color of the pig and the dark band of seaweed conjure up the image of a Poké Ball. As seen in cross section, the 7-Eleven chefs sandwiched a tablespoon of mayonnaise between the rice and the meat.
Before taking a bite, we wondered where this pig came from. With the release of Scarlet and Violet, perhaps this sausage was made from a Lechonk, or perhaps the chefs were inspired by Pokemon past to fillet a different pig-themed Pokemon, like Tepig. They forgot to specify which Pokémon we’re feasting on, even though we’re sure they all taste the same anyway.
Of the three balls, this was the hardest to eat. Immediately after taking a bite, the slab of sausage slid off the rice and we were forced to eat them separately as if it were an unfinished bowl of Lechonk fried rice. That being said, the Lechonk slice was quite tasty, if a bit salty, even though the onigiri was only 172 yen at a convenience store. The band of algae, or noriand the rice itself we enjoyed as they were quite fresh.
However, as we admittedly don’t like Japanese mayonnaise, the little blob in the middle turned the whole package off for us. He overpowered any hint of garlic as a Dragonite by using Hyper Beam on a Pidgey, leaving us overall disappointed with the original Poké Ball.
The blue and red Grand Ball features the popular Japanese dish of rice omelette and compresses it into a compact rice/Pokeball form.
While the omelette itself lacked a fluffy butter, the rice had a spicy kick that made up for the egg.
Rice omelette – or omurice – you usually see fried rice wrapped in a thin tortilla before being covered in tomato sauce. In this way, a somewhat thick layer of tortilla covers the onigiri, and instead of drizzling it with tomato sauce, the chefs mix the tomato sauce into the rice itself. Within, a mixture of mushrooms and chicken awaits hungry Pokemon fans and Japanese businessmen who wanted to spice up their convenience store lunch a bit.
Much like the Poké Ball, we wondered which Pokémon the eggs came from: was it a Togepi? Or a chicken-like Pokemon like Torchic? Who can say? What we can tell you, though, is that the mushroom inside definitely reminded us of Amoonguss. Or maybe it was Shiinotic.
We stray. We enjoyed this onigiri more than the first because the omelette on top stayed. Eating it by hand, as Arceus intended of all onigiri, was a much more pleasant experience. While the omelette itself lacked the fluffy butter, giving it a bland flavor and texture, the rice had a hint of heat that made up for the egg, and no, it didn’t taste strictly like ketchup.
The mix of Amoonguss and Torchic, however, combines for a weird, mushy mix that we could have done without. In fact, we weren’t sure if there were any Torchic present. Admittedly, we’re not big fans of mushrooms.
Not very good, but good: 7/10
Just like in the real games, Ultra Ball captured our taste buds in the easiest way. A combination of Pork (Grumpy?), a half-boiled egg (Happy and soy sauce It doesn’t seem all that special compared to the other two, but it all comes together to create a much tastier onigiri.
If you squint, the half of a boiled egg in the center could represent the Ultra Ball’s release button, or perhaps a Pokemon itself. A band of seaweed wraps around the top half to symbolize the black design of an Ultra Ball. Other than this, thematically it has little to do with its packaging, and of the three we’d say it looks the least appetizing.
Sometimes simplicity wins the day. Half an egg in the center was cooked just right, it was neither dry nor runny, although we did want a pinch of salt to sprinkle it on. The seaweed provided a slightly crunchy texture with an aromatic flavor. But it was the rice itself, mixed with soy sauce and Grumpig bits, that resulted in our taste buds being critically captured.
In fact, it wasn’t too far from a regular old fried rice ball, our personal favourite. Of the three, we wouldn’t hesitate to purchase the Ultra Ball onigiri once again.
Ultra Balls, in fact: 9/10
hungry for some
donuts rice balls? If you had the chance to walk into a Japanese 7-Eleven, which of these onigiri balls would you like to eat the most? Be sure to let us know in the comments!
* 15% minimum of genuine Pokémon guaranteed. Probably. May contain traces of Digimon.