Ace Cook "Oomoriika Yakisoba"

Brand: Ace Cook
Flavour: Oomoriika Yakisoba
Format: styrofoam tray
Packets: three
Identifiables: noodle brick, dried veggies, dried squid slices, soy sauce, herbs
Sodium: 0.20 grams

I purchased a new camera (with the gracious assistance of my roommate, Tanya.) This means that the ramen reviews shall rise again, and with new and improved photos! Naturally, to celebrate this fact, I review a ramen with no name.

In all honesty, it has a name, but not one that I can read conveniently. There isn't a single word of English on the packaging. I had to match squiggles on the packets to squiggles in the instructions to figure out the order... though, truth told, I could have guessed at it since most yakisoba prepares exactly the same way. I even took a little time to decode the katakana and found it to be an approximation of the actual brand name, "Ace Cook". It isn't visible in the photo, but the little pig next to the brand name? I think that's Ace. Ace is happy because he didn't have to be the mascot for "Lucky Me!"

The bowl is very well-designed. It's quite similar to the one used in Nissin's UFO Big in that one peels back one corner, puts veggies and boiling water in, the peels the other corner after three minutes and drains. The big difference is that the drain spout is larger... much larger. In fact, it's excessively large. It peels back to about a third of the lid's diagonal dimension and has so many drain spouts that the top two rows never had any liquid come out of them. It's hard to complain too much, seeing as how the usual problem is that it takes forever to drain the noodles.

There are small icons on the lid of the bowl to direct this process, but they're not as straightforward as one might hope. I'm reminded of the first time I came across one of these bowls, well before I started the review blog. I thought that all the ingredients were meant to go in during cooking, like most simple noodle cups. It turns out that yakisoba is far better when it's not made as soup.

The flavour is pretty much what one can expect from instant yakisoba. It's basically slightly-sweet soy with some varied vegetables and wheaty, well-textured noodles. This is a winning combination, and this particular brand has nailed it dead on. The large chunks of reconstituted cabbage and squid are quite welcome. Squid frequently scares us Occidental folks away from such a dish, but in the quantity found here, it doesn't provide a fishy flavour so much as a rich, satisfying meaty tone which really appeals. I imagine I could hand the prepared meal to somebody who didn't know it had squid, and they'd likely never realise.

I feel that the only way to improve the bowl itself would be to include a fork... or a naruto.

Numbers: packaging 4, preparation 4, heat 1, flavour 4, overall 4
Music: po! & Mustin - More Than Mario - Zebes Sunrise

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