Photo by grape Japan

Japan’s exceptional convenience store egg sandwiches keep getting better

"Unnaturally fluffy (and) insanely delicious"

Compared to the kind of fresh foods you might find in convenience stores in most parts of the world, Japanese convenience stores provide surprisingly good quality, and this is reflected in their sandwiches. In particular, the egg sandwich is usually a must-try. If you've never had an egg sandwich from a Japanese convenience store, you don't know what you're missing. The late Anthony Bourdain described these たまごサンド tamago sando, as they're called in Japanese, as "unnaturally fluffy, insanely delicious (and) incongruously addictive." (Parts Unknown with Anthony Bourdain, Okinawa epsiode).

Featuring simple and high-quality ingredients, done very well, and enveloped in airy and lightly sweet shokupan milk bread, the ideal convenience store tamago sando is perfectly balanced. The version we tried at FamilyMart in April this year was very close to that ideal.

FamilyMart's better tamago sando

When they renewed them earlier this year, FamilyMart's sandwich lineup featured more eco-friendly packaging and improvements in quality. Among the sandwiches targeted for the upgrade was their tamago sando, featuring 25% more filling, and an improved egg salad recipe.

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We were already fans of FamilyMart's egg sandwiches and knew they were delicious, but their improved version was indeed better. When we reviewed them, we appreciated the good quality of the eggs and how the taste of egg yolks really came across. The filling was not too salty, making it easy to eat. We also appreciated the additional 25% which made the sandwich more satisfying than previous versions we had tried.

Photo by grape Japan

FamilyMart's even better tamago sando

One reason why Japan's convenience store sandwiches are so good is that they keep making small improvements. FamilyMart is no exception. As we recently introduced, they updated their sandwiches for the second time this year. In addition to better-tasting bread using levain yeast (similar to sourdough yeast) and thicker slices, their tamago sando filling has been improved again to strengthen the presence and flavor of eggs.

All of that looks good in a press release, but we couldn't help but wonder if FamilyMart could possibly make their exceptional egg sandwiches even better. Only one way to find out...

At first glance, the sandwich looks the same as it was when we reviewed it last time. The packaging hasn't changed...

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Removing the sandwich from its packaging, we could get a proper look at it. The color of the bread didn't seem any different but it did seem thicker at the edges. Parts of the bread had been slightly flattened as we carried them home, but the edges showed their original thickness. The filling also seemed chunkier with larger pieces of egg yolk and egg whites visible.

Photo by grape Japan

We savored the sandwiches and even broke off some of the pieces of the bread to taste it carefully. It was airy and soft as always but we could detect a very faint hint of sourness which balanced well with the mild sweetness.

Photo by grape Japan

As for the egg filling, the delicious, creamy taste of eggs came across as it did before, but we enjoyed the chunkier texture delivered by the egg white and yolk pieces mixed in. The thicker slices of bread and the chunkier filling made this tamago sando feel somehow heartier than the previous iteration.

It was indeed a more satisfying sandwich. They actually improved it!

If you're hankering for a FamilyMart egg sandwich, we recommend visiting in the morning or at least before 1pm. After that, they're sometimes out of stock since they're so popular. They'll set you back 248 JPY (tax incl.) or the equivalent of 1.72 USD at today's rate.

By - grape Japan editorial staff.