Noodles, Soba, and Ramen. Oh My!

This blog is simple - we review noodles. We're obsessed with instant noodles in particular. Gone are the days of the "maruchan cup-o-noodle" (although we still like to kick it old school once in awhile). There are many new varieties available at Asian grocery stores, as well as organic ones available at Whole Foods.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Rainbow Cafe in C-Town

Last weekend we decided to get some noodles at Rainbow Cafe on Beach Street. We've gotten roast meats there before, but have never actually eaten at the restaurant. It's a good thing we did because the food was absolutely delicious. I had wonton noodle soup, with special fish skin dumplings. The yellow noodles were a great consistency and texture. The wontons were okay - nothing special - but the fish skin dumplings were really tasty, and unique! It also came with some seaweed.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Vietnamese Noodles

Stopped by Lu's Sandwich Shop on Knapp Street next to C-Mart and got yellow noodles with shrimp and pork product. It also came with julienned carrots, cabbage, green beans, and a fish/soy sauce. The noodles were good - thin and the right texture. The entire dish worked pretty well together, and definitely a bargain at $2.50. If I worked closer to C-town, this would be a great lunch.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Mug Noodle

After a great evening at the Pogues show, I came home craving a tasty savory snack and Mug Noodles fit the bill. Mug Noodle is great because one serving is half a coffee mug, so I don't get the overstuffed feeling that I would get eating a typical serving of instant noodles. One pack of Mug Noodles contains four servings.

Mug Noodles is just like Cup Noodle (not surprising since it is made by the same company), with one key difference: cute little freeze-dried bits of wheat cake shaped like cartoon animals. I suspect that these cute little animals are intended for kids, but it certainly makes it fun for adults as well.

So how are Mug Noodles? Well, Mug may be too salty and heavy on the MSG, but it sure is addictive. The noodles also have a firm consistency and the entire package is surprisingly ungreasy. I would point out, however, that like the other noodles that I've tried, the actual product never looks as good as it does on the package. Regardless, I will eat it again (indeed, I've stockpiled packets of Mug at home). Mug is available at most Japanese markets and a package of four servings can run you around $3.99.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Blah F.O.

Well, the other Noodle Maven (who has never met a noodle she didn't like) has been gushing about noodles, but this Maven is harder to please. Cranky Noodle Maven (that's me) tried the U.F.O. Yakisoba Shio for breakfast this morning. It was not very memorable and I'm not going to buy it again.

My biggest gripe is the lack of truth in advertising. Look at the beautiful buttery looking noodles on the package, with the colorful bits of veggies and dried shrimp. Doesn't it look good? But the reality is a depressing and dull mess.

It takes multiple steps to make the product: first you soak it in boiling-hot water for 3 to 4 minutes; then you add the flavored oil from one of two flavor packets; stir vigorously; add the powder, which smells like ground dried shrimp, from the second packet; stir again; and serve. The result is salty, shrimpy, greasy and gloppy. In fairness, the cabbage and the wood ear mushrooms in this product are pretty good, but the interesting condiments did not rescue this bowl of empty calories. At $1.99, it was $1.00 more expensive than Top Ramen, which I would have been happier eating.

Spinach Ramen

Ah Finally - a post about instant noodle - what this blog was truly meant to do!! As someone recently told me, I have to "focus" on the subject matter at hand. Thus, last night I cooked spinach ramen that I bought at Super 88. It was really good - the brand is "Dr. Noodle" they come 4 servings per package. I decided to try these noodles because they purport to be "non-fried", which greatly reduces the fat content (but unfortunately, make it lest tasty). Good thing I tried it because these are delicious!!! The texture of the noodles are chewy - just the way I like it! The accompanying flavor packets were nothing special - I use my own mixture of xo sauce and soy. The only thing is that there was nary a hint of spinach or shitaake in the noodles. Oh well, I guess you can't have it all!!! I will definitely buy this brand again, and try other flavors as well!!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Ramen Yaki

Last night we ate at Duozo, a new restaurant on Dartmouth, next to the Back Bay station. Apparently, the owner is a former stakeholder in Fugakyu. The decor was beautiful and upscale. It felt like Fugakyu for white people. Anyway, I thought the food was okay - the only thing I really loved was the scallop chips - raw scallop w/sauce on top of a thin waffle chip, topped off with tobiko. I also had the salmon skin roll and the futomaki. Both were fine. Anyway, I also had a side order of Ramen Yaki, which was interesting. At first blush, it tasted sort of like Vegetable Lo Mein at a Chinese take out place. But I realized the noodles had a great texture and the ingredients (black mushroom, carrot slivers and celery) were actually quite fresh. I guess it was a pretty good value at $3.50, considering it was a side order and probably one of the cheapest dishes there. However, I probably could have gotten the same thing for $1.00 in Chinatown!

Monday, March 06, 2006

NYT Noodle Article

When noodles are a livelihood and a noodle cartel threatens that livelihood:

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Mee Goreng

We had lunch at Penang today and ordered the Mee Goreng. It was delicious!! The noodles were chewy and flavorful, with bean sprouts, egg, big chunks of tofu, and fried shrimpy goodness. The sauce tasted vinegary, with a touch of worschestshire sauce. We also had a delicious okra dish, stir fried with a salty shrimpy/squidy sauce. YUM!