Monday, June 22, 2015

Menraku Japanese Curry "Udon"

Made By:  Hikari Miso Co. Ltd. [Japan]
Required to Prepare:  Hot Water
340 calories per package

Available online via AsianFoodGrocer

One of the perks of my job is that I don't get a lunch hour.

No, really, it's kind of a perk, because in trade for having to be present and on-call through lunch, the company buys all my work lunches (along with providing lunch for the examining doctors). Occasionally, though, there is a day where none of the doctors want to order lunch--and rather than make a delivery order just for myself, I try to keep a (company-purchased) stash of bowl noodles and yakisoba-style 'tray' noodles in the cabinet for such occasions.

Anyway, I recently had the opportunity to try Menraku's Japanese Curry "Udon" for lunch at work.  The bowl has the standard two packets (soup base and dried veggies) and some wide, thick instant style noodles.  To prepare, we empty the packets into the bowl, fill up to the fill line with boiling water, and stand for five minutes.  Then after a quick stir, the noodles are ready to eat!

I am glad that Menraku put the word "Udon" in quotation marks on the package, as if they know they're using the term loosely, because these noodles are almost completely unlike any 'real' udon I've experienced.  It's almost as if they're overcooked and undercooked at the same time; they seem a bit soggy, but are also sticky and gummy.  I know it's not fair to compare them to 'fresh' vacuum-packed udon, but Samyang has already proven to me that it's possible to do a dry udon that is reminiscent of the fresh ones.
The noodles did seem to get more pleasant the longer they sat in the broth, but I think that was just that they were transforming from sticky+soggy to just plain soggy.

The broth doesn't save this one either; it has a hint of the proper Japanese curry flavor, but it seems very bland and watered down compared to other curry noodles I've tried--Ottogi's Bekse Curry Myon was way better, and even the 'cheap' Nissin Demae ones were more satisfying.  There isn't even any fun inclusions in the vegetable packet like the potato bits in the Ottogi one.
Unpleasant noodles and mediocre broth adds up to a bowl I won't be buying again, and I'll probably avoid any more of Menraku's quote-unquote "udon" as well.  :\

1 comment:

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