Thursday, June 7, 2018

Shinjuku and Shibuya at Night

The bright lights of the big city are alive and well in Tokyo now. I remember visiting in early 2013 just shy of a few years after Fukushima when the lights were not quite as bright.  Back then, there were power conservation measures in places as they had shut down a number of nuclear power plants and no new power sources were available yet.  There were still signs on, but they were fewer and the giant Q Front TV was not always on.  I remember seeing only every second fluorescent on in the subway cars too.  Akihabara was dimmer too with the rooftop signage being off.  It seems to be life as normal now and here are a selection of night shots from Shinjuku and Shibuya.
Yasukuni Dori in Shinjuku.
Yasukuni Dori - the stretch made famous in Lost in Translation.
Godzilla at night in Kabukicho.
Kabukicho sidestreet.
The big TV seen on the LABI Building in Shinjuku.  This was in the movie Your Name.  On the other side of the rail tracks from here is Golden Gai for some narrow alleys and bars with a traditional vibe.
Shibuya Crossing at night.
Shibuya Crossing looking towards Center Gai and the F21.
Center Gai, the main street in Shibuya.
The lights at night in Tokyo are one of the wonderful things to experience.  You'll always be in a crowd as there are thousands of people out and about in these areas in the evening.

More Tokyo Highlights

Friday, June 1, 2018

Big Cup Noodle Potenage (Potato and Chicken Nugget Flavour) Review

This big red cup of noodle definitely attracted my attention when it was announced.  In this Nissin cup noodle you can enjoy ramen, french fries, and fried chicken all combined into one easy to eat package.  The "potenage" part of the name is a combination of potato and chicken karaage (fried chicken).  Another limited edition out of Japan, of course, I was looking forward to trying it after my previous curry cup of noodle reviews.
Front of the cup.
The bright red cup certainly attracts your attention and the bold gold lettering for potenage is trimmed in black and stands out nicely on sparse white background.  I kind of like how they put french fries on the left, and karaage on the right on both sides of the cup noodle to let you know what you're getting.  The red and yellow give this cup of noodle a very shinto / formal kind of vibe.  This package is the real deal.
Ingredients are listed on the lid of the cup.
3/4 view.
Manufacturing info.
More ingredients and nutritional content with the picture of the rehydrated ramen toppings.
Closeup of the ramen toppings photo.
Opening the lid, I could see what looks like the regular cup noodle noodles.  They are not super thin or thick, just normal for cup noodle.  On top were pieces of potato, green onion, fried chicken, and egg.  This is looking really good at this point.  There wasn't any kinds of really intense odor when I opened the lid, and it kind of smelled like cup noodle.
Shot of the ingredients with the cup.  Perspective makes the cup look really tall.
Closeup of the dried toppings.  The chicken is nicely breaded, fried, and miraculously freeze dried?
I added boiling water, closed the lid, and waited three minutes before popping it open again.  Everything was nicely re-hydrated and the soup just needed a good stir to make sure all of the soup base was mixed in well.
Lots of stuff in the cup.  The potatoes were in nice big pieces, and the chicken looked pretty good.
The soup broth was fairly light with a chicken/pork base combined with soy sauce.  There is a little spice to it from black pepper though.  Quite pleasant, it is a lot like the regular cup noodle broth.  The bits of fried chicken were nice and you could taste a mild chicken flavour along with that fried battered coating.  They are not crunchy, but still tasty little morsels.  I'm starting to wonder if the different noodle manufacturers have perfected a way to have freeze dried fried chicken as this is the second cup of noodle I've have with it.  What surprised me the most was the potato.  They must actually fry these in some way as they actually tasted like french fries without the crunch!  The potatoes were definitely different from the ones you get in their curry cup of noodle.  This was an interesting combination of ingredients and I'll enjoy eating the second cup later as I happened the get two of them.
Noodle closeup.

More cup noodle reviews.