A good indicator that a culinary trend has reached its end is when convenience stores start trying to replicate it. Let’s welcome the Korean-style cheese dog to its final weeks of relevance.

The corndog has been a mainstay in the Shin-Okubo neighborhood of Tokyo in recent years, but since last week Lawson has been selling its own version as part of the “Nice Cheese Grand Prix” campaign. The snack (¥248 after tax) is a pretty faithful representation of the Hallyu-powered original, with gooey cheese studded with potato chunks encasing a sausage.

While this marks the end of the food’s cool factor, Lawson’s version tastes pretty good. The original offerings in Shin-Okubo weren’t palate paradigm shifters, and the convenience-store interpretation gets the most important element — the melted cheese — right, while the potato on the outside offers a nice textural contrast. Best part? No need to stand in line to try this out.

In line with COVID-19 guidelines, the government is strongly requesting that residents and visitors exercise caution if they choose to visit bars, restaurants, music venues and other public spaces.

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