Sunday, February 5, 2017

Nissin Morizumi Limited Edition Cup Noodle Review

I noticed this cup of noodle at the Narita airport Lawson on the way to the check-in counter for Air Canada.  I hadn't seen it anywhere else, so I lucked out.  That Lawson was pretty well stocked as I'm sure a lot of Japanese travellers hit it before going through security for various items.  I knew I was under the weight limit for my luggage as my hotel had a digital scale so I stocked up on some extra noodles.

I had not idea who/what Morizumi was, but I just assumed it was another ramen shop tie-in product.  Later, I finally found it on the Nissin Japan website and I had to look up the restaurant online to find out what was so special about Morizumi.  It turns out Morizumi is relatively famous as it is run by a Michelin starred chef, Mr. Morizumi himself.

Harimazaka Morizumi (Morizumi Kitchen)
2nd floor of Tokyo Dome City LaQua,
1-1-1 Kasuga, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo
Closest to Suidobashi Station (about a 5 min walk)

He runs a nice little cafe that doesn't resemble your typical ramen shop as it isn't a narrow space with one long counter.  His cafe is bright and roomy with tables and a nice casually decorated atmosphere.  It welcomes female customers and families apparently.  Anyhow, he's collaborated with Nissin to produce a very nice cup noodle that I give a two thumbs up to.
Nissin Morizumi Cup Noodle
Without the condensed chicken essence packet on the lid.
Side view.  The rich green colour and layout of the graphics gives it a elegant appearance that matches the deluxe ramen image it is portraying.  Green is also the colour of the ramen shop's exterior.
Picture of the ramen restaurant along with ingredients and nutritional information.
Mr. Morizumi I presume with some views of his restaurant on the lid.
Once the lid is peeled back you can see the powdered soup base along with some large pieces of grilled chicken.  It was dehydrated grilled chicken as there were even grill marks on the side of the pieces.  The green onions and menma (pickled bamboo shoots) were underneath the noodle blocks.  You can already see that the type of noodles from the way are appear are different from the regular noodles used in cup noodle.
The rehydrated noodles with the chicken essence pack added in.  You can see the broth has a nice rich colour and that the noodles are straight noodles.  It took a longer 4 minutes to rehydrate the noodles rather than the regular 3 minutes for regular noodles.
This Morizumi instant ramen was definitely one of the better cup noodles I've had in awhile with its soy broth and nice firm straight noodles.  The broth is flavourful yet light without harsh saltiness.  The broth was full of umami with definite undertones of chicken.  I don't know about the bonito and scallaps being used in the soy soup, but it tasted great. According to the Nissin website  the soy sauce oil from the gold essence packet was based on apple chicken oil (Chi Yu) to provide further scent and depth to the soup.  I just wish there were some more bamboo shoots and chicken in the soup, but I'm real happy I have another one of these to eat a little later.
Chicken with noodles.  Yum!!!

More Ramen and Japanese Pop Culture Posts

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Cup Noodle Fun With Pokemon and One Piece

Pokemon Cup Noodles
Pokemon cup noodles have been around for a long time.  I first saw these back in 2009 on my first trip to Japan.  The Pokemon Centers there usually have these in stock and you can also check the various supermarkets.  They're like half-size cup noodles as they are really intended for kids, but they taste pretty good for all ages.  They usually come in a soy flavour and a seafood flavour too.

Smiling Pikachu
Very colorful lid with some pokemon and a preview of the noodles inside.
Ingredients and nutritional information.  There is about 4.8 grams of fat, so where as a full noodle cup is usually in the teens.  There is always a fair bit of salt too, but that isn't something I worry about too much.
The flavouring powder is loose in the cup and the other noodle ingredients are below the block of noodles.
Cat for scale.  These noodles usually come with a little Pokemon sticker too.
After adding the boiling water and waiting for 3 minutes you get tasty noodles with green onion and some pikachu naruto (dried fish cake).  The little pikachus are the a great touch to the noodles.

One Piece Cup Noodle
These One Piece noodles are a limited edition cup noodle and once they're sold, they're gone.  By the time you read this they're sold out.  Various noodle manufacturers have different types of tie-ins with various anime or games all the time, so if you don't see One Piece, you'll usually see something else.  For example, right now as of February 2016 there is a Final Fantasy Bosses Cup Noodle promotion going on where there are like a dozen different noodle cups with different boss monsters on them.  There is also a Girls Und Panzer Cup Noodle from Nissin which I cannot get as it is sold in Japan only, and I think you have to order it from Nissin by the dozen.

One Piece continues to be a very popular anime over there and this noodle ties in with the Gold movie.  While the noodle doesn't contain gum gum fruit, which you can actually buy in the Shonen Jump stores, the noodles are a soy BBQ meat flavour.
The cup and lid are very attractive with a colourful graphic of the main characters.  This is a regular size cup noodle.
Nice looking lid.
Nutritional and ingredients information.  The little graphic show a ramen cart.
Closeup of the characters.
So here is a closeup of the noodles.  It contains little slices of BBQ meat with some meat cubes, green onion, and egg.
After adding the boiling water, closing the lid, and waiting for the eternity of 3 minutes, the noodles are ready to eat.
You get plenty of toppings with the noodles and the broth was pretty good.  I don't think anything really stood out, but it is pretty good for a tie-in.  Unlike the Pokemon noodles which have some character branding in the food elements, the only branding is on the cup.

That's pretty much it for the two character branded cup noodles for now.  There are plenty of other noodle reviews below.

More Noodle Reviews and Pop Culture.