Sukoshi Mart is a Japanese convenience store stocked with authentic foods and rare paraphernalia from Japan.
Sitting at just 350 square feet in Kensington Market, the store is the stuff that Japanophile dreams are made of.
With in-house made treats and goods imported from Japan and Korea, Sukoshi takes the art of convenience stores to the next level by adopting the Japanese one-stop shop mentality that has long put our local 7-Elevens to shame.
Linda Dang – who also runs North Poke next door – along with co-owner and Kensington native Nancy Young wanted to create a store that you could live off of.
Prices here are notably low considering imported goods, especially from Japan, are usually pretty expensive.
Walking in, the first thing you'll see is the cashier section where employees make fresh mini taiyakis: traditional fish-shaped cakes that come with fillings like custard, green tea, red bean, or mochi red bean.
You can get two of these treats for $3 or 6 for $8. Alternatively a dozen is $15, because you'll likely want more of these little cakes. Obankyakis, which are the round-shaped versions, are $2.50 each or $25 for a dozen.
You'll also notice the scent of buttery, flaky freshness in the air: that would be the smell of their cheese tarts ($1 each), made fresh every morning.
A wall of candy to your right includes Hello Kitty gummies ($3.75) plus classics like bags of matcha flavoured Kit Kat ($5.50) and specially designed Pocky ($2.50) with characters like Japan's favourite mascot Kumamon.
Descend a small set of stairs and you'll find a fridge of hard-to-find drinks straight from Japan that range from $2 to $3. The popular Sangaria Hajikete sodas come in flavours like melon, which taste like honeydew melona in fizzy liquid form.
Face masks from Korea (where they do it best) fill up an entire wall with varieties for different skin types. Each mask costs $3.50; for three masks it's $10 and for five, $15.
Sukoshi also carries products from one of Asia's most popular beauty brands, Shiseido. Big bottles of the Shiseido's moist hair pack shampoo costs $19.95.
If you're a huge Hayao Miyazaki fan (join the club), you'll be delighted to find the space is decked out in Ghibli goods. Tiny figurines from your favourite movies range from $1 to $3 – a small price for a lifetime of joy.
You'll also spot a lot of Gudetama: Japan's favourite laziest egg yolk who also happens to have a really cute butt. You'll never know you needed a pair of lazy egg ankle socks ($5) until you see them for yourself.
Other socks include designs with characters from Mario Cart and real Sanrio-branded socks for just $3.
A dry good wall with more options like Kracie Popin' Cookin' DIY is heaven for glutinous folks on a budget. Instant noodles from popular brands Nongshim are all for sale: you can buy a bowl and add some hot water from the kettle at the front of the store to eat it right way.
But the best noodles from this wall are the Marutai ramen ($3.95), which are purportedly packs of restaurant-quality noodles with two servings that come in flavours like tonkatsu and shoyu.
A fridge at the back contains fresh bento boxes ($8), which are made fresh at North Poke's kitchen and affordably priced. Options include braised pork or teriyaki chicken with rice or yakisoba, plus sides like gyoza.
Tasty breakfast options include strawberry milks in jars and pudding ($3) that comes in flavours like black sesame and Thai iced tea. There's also matcha cereal ($4) and onigiri – triangular rice balls – in different flavours.