Probiotic drinks like Yakult are often prepackaged in tiny 100ml bottles (in other countries, they're served in 65ml and 80ml bottles).
So when we found out that Don Don Donki has a 500ml Yakult bottle, we had to try it for ourselves.
(Before we proceed with the review, we think its best to add another disclaimer that this writer prefers Vitagen over Yakult.)
S$2.50 per bottle
When we visited Don Don Donki at Jem, the drinks were located on the second floor of the outlet and the shelf was half-replenished.
The same drinks weren't available in the chillers, so those keen to try it chilled may have to come in earlier. Or pop the bottle into the fridge before trying it.
Each 500ml bottle costs S$2.50.
To compare, a pack of five 100ml Yakult drinks cost S$3.20.
Marketed as a "fermented milk drink" on the label, these are the ingredients found in the bottle drink:
High-fructose corn syrup is listed at the first ingredient, in case you weren't paying attention.
Meanwhile, here's what you can find in the original Yakult:
Less sweet version of OG Yakult
Colour-wise, the bottled Yakult looks more diluted than the original Yakult.
Taste-wise, don't expect the bottled Yakult to taste exactly like the smaller version either. Just like its appearance, the bottled Yakult also tastes a little watered down.
But just because it's watered down, that doesn't mean that the drink isn't sweet.
While it isn't as sweet as its smaller counterpart, the bottled Yakult does have a somewhat artificially-sweetened flavour reminiscent of Coke Zero.
And while it retains the taste of cultured milk, it lacks the tangy, citrus flavour commonly associated with Yakult.
Probably good as a mixer
Don't get me wrong, the drink isn't bad at all.
In fact, as one colleague pointed out, this may just be a cheaper, less-sweet mixer alternative for Yakult soju.
For non-alcoholic drinkers, you can try mixing this with Sprite and it will probably taste like a less-sweet version of Calpis.
Overall rating: I would still choose my peach-flavoured Vitagen over Yakult any time. But as a glass half full (literally as well, since I can't seem to drink more than half the bottle) kind of person, I can see why people like this.
A suggestion, though -- it's best shared with at least one other person or mixed into another drink.
Top image by Fasiha Nazren.