Sunday, December 20, 2015

Nissin Halloween Cup Noodle Pumpkin Potage and Donbei Black Curry Udon Review

When I heard about the Nissin Halloween limited edition instant noodle releases, I went looking and found a few of them at Candysan, a store I've used many times before.  While this post is a little late as there was a bit of a mixup and I also have to find the time to actually eat the noodles and enjoy them.  Candysan sent me another type of instant curry udon bowl by mistake, but after I wrote to them, they graciously gave me a credit and sent me their last black curry bowl (as it is in limited supply) on their dime.  Thanks, Candysan!  That was pretty decent customer service after my initial disappointment.  Anyhow, the extra shipping time involved delayed the noodle eating and I just got busy too, but I finally ate the noodles!

Nissin Halloween Cup Noodle Pumpkin Potage
The cup is very black with orange eyes, kind of like a reverse pumpkin.  The art on the cup stands out pretty good and you really can miss it.  Kind of scary looking, but it was a pretty tasty cup of noodles in the end.
There is great darkness on the outside of this cup of noodle.
It is your regular sized cup noodle and this pumpkin / sweet potato / squash type flavour is actually pretty popular in Japan from what I can tell as there are many varieties of snacks, candy, and chips with these types of flavouring.  I was wondering how good this could be myself and I was pleasantly surprised when I tried it.
When I opened the lid, a strong smell of squash / pumpkin wafted out and it was a premonition about the great pumpkin surprise in store for me.  There were big pieces of pumpkin and blocks of cheddar cheese inside the cup.  It kind of reminded me a bit of the Vegeta Cup Noodle with all of the veggies in it (I really liked that too).   
There were blocks of cheese, pumpkin, carrots, and cabbage inside.
 I added the boiling water and waited three minutes.  The vegetables rehydrated, the cheese melted, and I gave the noodles a good stir.  The soup was thickened from the cheese which also added a rich cheese flavour to the pumpkin.  It was more your savoury veggie broth type soup, but it was actually really good.  I only ordered one cup, but a second cup would not have been unwelcome.
All in all, the Pumpkin Potage was quite tasty and a nice change from the regular flavours.

Nissin Donbei Black Curry Udon 
This was the instant noodle bowl I wanted to try the most out of the two flavours here.  Curry is usually pretty darn good in Japanese instant ramen.  One of my favourites is still the regular Nissin Curry Cup Noodle.  The noodle bowl was decorated in the typical style for their Donbei brand, but utilized black and grey to good effect.
This black curry needs a black cat to go with it.  My cat gave it a good sniff so it is approved for consumption.
In case you didn't realize it was a Halloween special, they put a graphic of a witch stirring a big cauldron of curry sauce on the lid.  If a witch makes stuff this good, I'm buying more.
Nice art on the lid that shows the dark brown curry roux.
Ingredients and directions.
The cover art from above.
When I opened the lid, I found two packets.
Opening the noodle bowl reveal a disk of udon noodles (it is a flat udon noodle not a ramen noodle for Donbei) with two sachets.  One contains the curry roux powder, and the other contained freeze dried meat, potato, negi leeks, and carrots.  There are lots of ingredients as usual.  I then added the boiling water to the fill line and gave it a wait for four minutes.
All rehydrated, with the soup thickening up from the roux.
I then gave the noodles a bit of a stir to thoroughly mix the roux in.  The delightful aroma from the soup filled the kitchen and it was very much a Japanese style curry from the smell.  The soup was a dark brown and it thickened up a bit like it should.  The potato pieces were big and there were little pieces of meat scatter throughout.  My first mouthful of udon confirmed that it was indeed tasty with a rich curry flavour.  This bowl of noodles was definitely two thumbs up!

More Japanese Pop Culture and Ramen Posts here.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Starbucks Japan and Coffee Chain Food

I'm pretty impressed with the food offerings from the coffee chains in Japan.  They always seem to be a step or two ahead of what we get at home here.  They seem to have higher quality food products and it looks tasty!  Starbucks is always pretty good for food now, even in Canada, but they still have things in Japan that would be awesome to have here.
Their 2015 spring strawberry and fruit frappuccino.  Look at all the fruit on top. Not just flavouring.
They have cake and quiche in store along with a variety of sandwiches.
More quiche and some very tasty looking sandwiches.
Caramel frappuccino.
Their competitors do pretty good, if you can find one that is smoke free (some are, especially the ones in malls).  Starbucks is always smoke free, so that is great.  This is Tully's coffee, one of their big competitors.
This french toast they are offering looks good too!  My stomach is never big enough during a visit to Japan to try everything.
This is another chain called Excelsior.  Again, they had a very nice looking breakfast sandwich with freshly cooked egg.  I had it and it was yummy.
Their breakfast sets with coffee.  Again, lots of tasty looking options.