Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Burnt Garlic Chicken Tonkotsu Noodle Cup Collaboration with Hakata Shinpu and Kimuzukashi-Ya

Today we have a limited edition cup noodle that is a burnt garlic chicken tonkotsu created by the chefs at Hakata Shinpu and Kimuzukashi-Ya.  This is the tenth special edition in this "double dream collaboration" series of noodles from Maruchan.  Hakata Shinpu is from Fukuoka and Kimuzukashi-Ya is from Nagano.  Unfortunately I wasn't able to find a lot of background information on these ramen shops, even in Japanese - but they have to be pretty famous in their own way.  I'm always game to try these limited editions so lets get on with the review.
Very distinctive white cup with red and black highlighted areas for each ramen shop.  Big bold black lettering makes it clear what you are getting, but there is a fair bit of text making it look a bit busy.  Kind of like a sign with too many highlights. Three quarters view of the cup and you can see it has a busy design that imparts a lot of info, but it is still eye-catching.
Top view of the lid.  Red and black sides for the ramen shops.
Another view of the cup with the oil packet removed.
Ramen shop 1 from Fukuoka.  Their sign has red in it! Pick of the head chef too.
Ramen Shop 2 from Nagano.  And their sign has black in it!  Pic of the head chef.
Ingredients, nutritional information, manufacturing information.  They packed in the information on this panel.
After opening the lid, you can see plenty of powdered soup base, little pieces of meat, green onions, menma (bamboo), and I think a kind of shelf-fungus (could be seaweed too).
I added boiling water, closed the lid, and waited about three minutes for everything to rehydrate.  This is what I saw when I opened the lid.  Looks pretty nice.
I then added the burnt garlic oil packet to the soup.
The cup in all of its glory.
I gave everything a good mix to ensure the garlic oil mixed in with the soup.  The burnt garlic oil wasn't garlicky as it is kind of burnt and caramelized.  It adds a richness and a bit of oomph to the soup.  The soup itself was pretty nice with a good fragrance indicating its chicken and pork broth roots.  The thin noodles had a nice chew to them and rehydrated quite nicely.  The little bits of meat were actual thin cuts instead of ground meat blocks and were pretty good.  Maruchan obviously has this type of meat as a standard as I've seen it in other soups from them.  The toppings went well with the soup and it was definitely a pretty tasty cup of noodle, but one that didn't pack quite as much flavour as I expected with the infusion of the black garlic.
Closeup of the noodles and some toppings.


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Monday, July 1, 2019

Nissin Donbei Spicy Curry Udon With Bonito & Chicken Stock

Nissin's Donbei Udon line is usually dashi based soups for either a wheat udon noodle or a buckwheat soba noodle.  This Donbei Spicy Curry Udon with Bonito & Chicken Stock is a slight departure from the norm that was released as part of their SPICE CURRY campaign that coincided with a curry event in January of 2019 in Osaka.  I was looking forward to trying out this special edition curry noodle which was released alongside their SPICE CURRY cup noodle version and their Nissin U.F.O. Spicy Keema Curry Yakisoba.
3/4 view of the noodle bowl.  It shows a nice colour combination of brown with yellow highlights.
Top view of the lid of the noodle bowl.  The paper screen-like donbei design on the top half in yellow makes a nice contrast to the browns and duller colours of the noodles and curry.  You can see the rough wooden table top image that is common to the SPICE CURRY under the yellow grid.  There are some bold highlights in red text.   The curry soup looks a little thinner - more translucent than in a full on curry soup - but it might be like that due to the dashi base.  The image of the udon noodles looks pretty nice with lots of toppings on top.
Graphics side of the noodel bowl.  All logos and text prominently displayed.
Nutritional content and preparation directions and warnings.  Do not microwave!
Contents, ingredients and manufacturing information.
Closeup of the udon noodles and curry toppings.
After peeling the lid back you find a brick of udon noodles, a packet of garnish with meat, egg, and green onion, a soup base sachet, and a red satchet of spices (kind of like sansho pepper mix again)
Closeup of the toppings.
Curry and dashi powder mix.
Spice packet.
The udon noodles.  These are usually flat and broad to help them rehydrate.
After adding the toppings and spice packet.
The curry soup mix.
I then added boiling water to the fill line inside the bowl.  Closed the lid, and waiting for three minutes before peeling the lid off.
The noodles and soup all mixed together.
You could definitely smell the curry soup and it was pretty nice.  You can tell the soup isn't as thick as what you would get in a Curry Cup Noodle, but it was supposed to be a curry dashi broth.  Curry udon is also pretty popular as a dish and I've had it a few times.  The spice in this bowl actually was mild, but tasty and not watered down.  The noodles were your typical udon noodle and they rehydrated well with a good chew.  The egg and bits of meat added to the dish and it was a very pleasant bowl of noodles and soup.  This was the last of the SPICE CURRY dishes I reviewed and I was happy they all were pretty tasty.  One other interesting thing about the curry flavour of this bowl was a herbal undertone that reminded me of this curry udon I had in Kyoto.  Pretty cool to get that kind of memory triggered.
Closeup of the udon noodles and egg.

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More cup noodle / instant ramen reviews and Japanese pop culture.