Umai Crate Subscription Box Review – October 2016
Umai Crate by Japan Crate focuses on bringing you Japanese-exclusive instant noodles. Each month, you’ll receive 7-8 instant noodles to try along with a bonus collectible!
My Subscription Addiction paid for this box. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes).
The Subscription Box: Umai Crate
The Cost: $25 a month w/ free shipping
The Products: 7-8 Japanese-exclusive instant noodle dish + a bonus collectible/
Ships To: Worldwide
Check out all of my Umai Crate Reviews to get more information on this subscription. Check out all of our Food Subscription Boxes in the Subscription Box List. Rate, review, and follow this subscription on the Umai Crate profile page.
This was my first time trying Umai Crate – my initial impression was that there were so many noodles to try – and some of the containers were SO large! I was excited!
The first item you’ll want to browse is the information booklet.
If you can’t read Japanese, this thing will be absolutely VITAL to some of these instant noodle recipes. It lists out suggestions of items to add to the noodles, along with directions in English.
They even include a slightly more complicated recipe if you want to make something more interesting out of your noodles.
Sapporo Shoyu Mini Ramen
The first noodles to try were the most like ‘Cup of Noodles’ from a stance of serving size and the fact that you cook it right in the bowl with boiling water.
This was my least favorite of the group despite the ease of making it. I just didn’t like the broth taste at all. This was a pass.
Nissin Sho Spa Shitamachi
The next dish had spaghetti like noodles and was also cooked and served in its shipped bowl.
This one had a really cool and useful feature – a built-in strainer to remove the boiling water when you’re ready to eat.
Here it is served. This had a really basic taste – not to say it wasn’t good, it was really good with a great soy sauce taste.
Sanukiya Original Udon
The next bowl was HUGE! It’s hard to capture the size in this picture, but it’s about the size of a normal bowl in your kitchen, not a small “Cup of Noodles” bowl.
Again, this was served and cooked in its own bowl. This one had softer Udon noodles. What surprised me most was that it was a bit tasteless – this one would absolutely benefit by having a couple additions.
Myojo Chukazanmai Canton Shoyu
From here on out, a pot was required to cook the noodles – a little less easy, but certainly not a deterrent.
This one suggested a pairing with a soft boiled egg – so we did! What a recommendation, too! The noodles really absorbed the broth flavor, it was delicious – and the egg added that extra flavor touch, it was perfect.
Paldo Jjajang Men
We were a little excited for the next dish because it had some veggies in the soup base – something we really hadn’t seen outside of scallions.
We tried to match the picture on the bag – but you can see here that this is a really thick soy sauce. So thick that you can’t even make out the vegetables.
It was best when mixed. The soy sauce scent was SO heavy with this one, but that didn’t translate into the flavor – it was still a lighter soy sauce flavor. I enjoyed it, but I was the only one of the group who did.
Green Premium Ginger Ramen
The next dish steered away from a soy sauce, it was a highly anticipated change after so much soy sauce.
This one called for much more broth to be left in when you’re finished cooking.
While I’m not the biggest ginger fan, it was light enough of a flavor for me to enjoy it. The noodles really bunched up when eating it as well, so it was easy to get a good bite!
Sapporo Ichiban Yakisoba
This one was my easy favorite of the group!
You finished it off with the provided seaweed crumble.
The seaweed flavor was very mild while this delivered a really surprisingly sweet flavor. I think I went back for thirds of this dish – we finished it off as a group!
Nissin Demae Ramen with Sesame Oil
The final Ramen was also the most basic, which wasn’t a bad thing as we came to the end of taste testing.
This is essentially a great base Ramen for you to build on. By itself, it was still delicious, but it seemed meant to have a bunch of ingredients added!
Mini Ramen Bowl Gashapon
The final item was a little Ramen keychain to tote around!
This was a fun addition at the end of a day of tasting!
Verdict: At an estimated $2-3 per meal + the toy, I think you’re going to come close, if not over the $25 value. To me, this subscription feels a lot like a comic subscription in the sense that you’re going to subscribe for discovery and not necessarily value. I had a ton of fun tasting all of these dishes that are new to me – so I can see how a ramen enthusiast would have fun with this as well.
What did you think of the October Umai Crate? Have you tried this subscription yet?