Match Made in Heaven

A toy together with ice cream is a match made in heaven. 

Gacha Gacha Plus is a groundbreaking new retail concept store located at Meriton Retail Precinct in Sydney’s George Street, combing two powerhouse Japanese brands in one space.

Japanese cult-based capsule toy retailer, Gacha Gacha and Australia’s largest retailer of gachapon toys has teamed up with authentic matcha dessert bar, Matcha-Ya.

Now that air travel between Japan and Australia is on track, the new collaboration between these two iconic Japanese brands is set to shake up the retail and dining scene in Sydney for tourists and locals alike.

Eager customers have been watching and filming Matcha-Ya make the authentic Japanese drinks and desserts like Mochi, Japanese rice cakes with an ice cream centre in a soft, slightly chewy, sweet rice dough, and the exclusive Mochi Monaka, a Japanese sweet made with one of Matcha-Ya’s nine flavours.

It is paired with one of six ice cream or two gelato flavours, wrapped in mochi and sandwiched between two thin crisp Monaka wafers.

The dessert takes inspiration from Gacha Gacha toys, thanks to its three layers of taste surprise – crunch from the wafer, chewy from the mochi, and soft from the ice cream, aiming to amplify the surprise and delight of the coveted toys.

The Instagrammable dessert-making, which is also taking TikTok by storm, combined with the collectible, limited edition Japanese toys sold via vending machines, gives customers a unique and immersive experience in-store.

“Meriton is delighted to welcome to Sydney the first-to-market concept for Gacha Gacha Plus. The concept combines two iconic Japanese brands – Gacha Gacha and Matcha-Ya into one retail space,” says Con Kery, Head of Retail and Commercial, Meriton.

“Gacha Gacha Plus was developed to create a unique space for our matcha and Gacha Gacha customers,” Yosuke Shimauchi, Director of Gacha Gacha Australia and Matcha-Ya, adds.

“We have found our Gacha Gacha fans are also lovers of matcha desserts and drinks and often film our team crafting the matcha. Gacha Gacha Plus has enabled us to create a new Japanese cultural experience that amplifies popular Japanese culture and engages with our customers in a fun and unique way.

“At our existing Matcha-Ya store our team masterfully crafts each drink and dessert. The art form of matching a unique matcha dessert with a sought-after Gacha Gacha toy will make this new concept store a hit with shoppers. By collaborating with Gacha Gacha, we are able to offer diners an opportunity to have fun with engaging gachapon toys while they wait,” Yosuke added.

At Gacha Gacha, vending machines surprise shoppers with exciting and unique collectables, and sometimes mystery toys that are highly sought after. The coveted toy retailer also allows customers to use a token to buy ice creams in store. A token costs $5, which is the price of a soft-serve ice cream.

Gacha Gacha is not your average toy retailer, the brand has received huge acclaim thanks to its highly collectible range of toys, with some limited edition runs and one-off pieces. Their product is named Gachapon, onomatopoeic from the two sounds “Gacha” for the hand-cranking action of a toy-vending machine.

Matcha-Ya’s original select blend of 100% pure Japanese matcha is smooth, creamy, and rich in antioxidants, with must-try drinks on the new menu like the Matcha Latte and Milk Shakes. Not only do they complement the taste of Asian food – Japanese in particular – the drinks are ideal for a social soirée with friends or family. But the drink which has been gaining popularity in Sydney is the Kyoto Ogawa Coffee, which is coffee made and roasted in Kyoto. The charcoal roasted beans give off a rich aromatic flavour, perfect for serving cold as an iced latte, or iced black coffee.

Market-leading developer Meriton continues to reshape and revitalise the retail convenience market offer with a variety of premium retail, food, and beverage outlets. Meriton is enhancing the retail space across Sydney including precincts such as Sydney George Street, Dee Why Lighthouse, Mascot Central, Waterloo Danks Street, Bondi Junction, and Parramatta Church Street.