Umai Crate Subscription Box Review + Coupon – February 2017
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
COUPON: Use code MSA3 to save $3 off your first Japan Crate Premium, Doki Doki Crate, Umai Crate, or Kira Kira Crate
The Products: 7-8 Japanese-exclusive instant noodle dish + a bonus collectible
Ships To: Worldwide
Check out all of the 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 Umai Crate, so I was excited to check out what was inside. I was even more excited when I saw this Pikachu face on the front of the info booklet!
This month, there are 7 types of ramen included in the box, plus a heart-shaped egg mold!
I love that the info booklet not only features a product list, but ramen recipe suggestions, ideas for using your egg mold, and more! I enjoy the more complex ramen I get at restaurants, but when it comes to making it at home, I haven’t evolved past just adding water. This booklet was kind of a eureka moment (or maybe more of an “oh DUH” moment, haha). Why didn’t I think to add all these other fresh, yummy ingredients to my ready-made ramen? I love adding veggies and other fun stuff to my mac and cheese—why wouldn’t I try something new and exciting with ramen? How fun!
One of the featured ingredients this month was ground red pepper chili, or “Ichimi Togarashi”. I can’t wait to try it!
Nara Tenri Ramen
The red pepper flavor comes through in a rich, almost meaty way in this ramen. The noodles have a deeper golden color, which translates to a slightly heartier flavor. I’m used to flavor packets with powder inside, but this one was liquid—it was sort of like a deep paprika red broth with some other seasoning floating throughout. The info booklet mentioned that the red pepper here was fermented, which I think contributed to the richer flavor. It wasn’t outright spicy or anything. Instead, the flavor was warm and reminded me a little of beef.
Daikokunen Shio Ramen
“Shio” means ramen in a salt broth. Surprisingly, I thought this ramen actually tasted less salty than other flavors. Maybe it’s because of the simplicity of the flavor that other subtle tastes start to come to the forefront. I was surprised to find the slightest garlicky, almost Italian-inspired notes in this ramen. Really tasty!
Daikokunen Miso Ramen
I love miso, so this ramen stole my heart right away. At first, the typical saltiness of the ramen broth kind of overwhelmed the miso notes, but soon, the somewhat aromatic, umami flavor of the miso started to appear on my palette. This was a nice twist on your typical vegetable, beef, or chicken flavors. I usually enjoy miso soups and ramen at restaurants, so I’m excited to bring miso ramen into my at-home routine!
Pokemon Noodle Mini Soy Sauce Flavor
Here’s the Pikachu face that inspired the cover of the info booklet! This ramen cup comes with a collectible paper coin with one of three Pikachu designs on it, and even has Pikachu faces inside the ramen. No really!
The little Pikachu faces appear on pink discs that have kind of a salty, subtly meaty taste. They’re crisp when they start, of course, but then they become a little softer and chewier as they heat up (they stay pretty flat, though). The noodles in this cup were really fine—I kept thinking of them the angel hair of ramen. And the soy sauce flavor was deep and delicious. It was on the salty side, but it was really satisfying as a mid-day snack!
Wakame Ramen Yukari Finish
This bowl of ramen has a fantastic seaweed flavor. I really love seaweed—the flavor is kind of like kale mixed with the briny flavor you’d expect from a scallop or other seafood.
I was pleased to see that this bowl didn’t just have seaweed flavor in a packet—it had actual pieces of seaweed scattered atop the noodles, too! This made the bowl feel more like a seaweed soup. Like seafood? This bowl would complement a bit of your favorite fish really well.
Ajiwaimenkooubou Flavory Miso
The info booklet mentioned how addictive this ramen flavor is, and I’ve got to agree. It’s a miso flavor, but I found it to be a bit more subtle. The miso comes through as a rich, heartwarming umami taste. I really loved cozying up to this bowl on a chilly evening!
I didn’t quite understand what the info booklet meant by this bowl being a mix between a sticky noodle and a clean soup, but that might be my inexperience with noodles talking! These weren’t sticky, but they were darn good!
Bonus Item: Heart-Shaped Egg Mold
How adorable! This silicone mold comes with a little adjustable handle—position it up to make it easy to lift the mold off of the finished eggs, then fold it back down for easy storage. The mold is about the size of a piece of sandwich bread. It’s great for making eggs to sit on top of your ramen bowls or even eggs for breakfast sandwiches! Love!
Unfortunately, it looks like the Hyoubanya Chuka Ramen Soba Soy pack listed in the info booklet didn’t make it into this box! I reached out to Umai Crate about the issue, and it turns out, it might’ve been a customs issue—I guess customs tends to take out items that could have meat content in them. Umai Crate said they’re working on the issue, and in the interim, they offer refunds on anything customs took out.
It was nice to get such a thorough response, and the ability to get a refund is nice. I’m just bummed I won’t get to try the soy ramen! I got a taste of soy ramen with the Pikachu cup, and I would’ve loved to try more.
Verdict: I really enjoyed the out-of-the-ordinary flavors in this month’s box, though it stinks that one of the packs was missing. I also have a feeling I’ll get a lot of use out of the bonus item. I feel like the value you get out of this box is based on how “experienced” you are with ramen. The box is $25.00, meaning each of the items included would end up being around $3.00-$4.00. For folks who are used to getting ramen for around a dollar a pack, that probably seems like a lot. I figure that part of the value of the box comes from the curation and the insights into how to prepare your ramen. If you’re a more seasoned (pardon the pun, haha) ramen eater, you can probably find a more cost-effective way to get the flavors you like the most. But if like me, you’re new to all of this, I feel like this box can be a fun way to explore the myriad of ramen options (and recipes) available to you. I just hope everything makes it into the box next month!
What did you think of the February Umai Crate?