Cheese, curry, and noodles. I like all three of those things in pretty equal measure, which is to say I like them a lot.
Put them all together, and baby, you've got a stew going. A curry stew with noodles.
Enter Cheese Curry Noodles by Nissin, ordered from the fine folks over at OyatsuCafe. I ordered two pots of these along with a few other delicious bits & pieces to be reviewed later, and enjoyed a great chow-down of a lunch with my husband. OyatsuCafe is great, the shipping was very cheap considering what I ordered, I think they've got economic packaging down pat. I also like that OyatsuCafe has a different selection to a lot of the other Japanese snack shops online, for instance they have way more instant noodles & other savory foods than any other place I've found. Ergo, this review.
Opening this one up, it definitely smells like Japanese curry. If you've never had Japanese curry, I suggest you buy some and try it very soon. Maybe Pokemon Curry? It's quite a bit sweeter than Indian curry, and even the stuff that is labelled 'hot' isn't hot in the same way that a Vindaloo is--it just has more spices. Oh, but it is so good.
So, smells like sweet curry powder. Looks like...
All you have to do to prepare this is boil a kettle, fill the cup up to the line with the boiling water, and wait four minutes. The whole time, it smells like sweet curry with a slight cheddar tang.
It tasted amazing, Just like Japanese-style curry, which is sweet and mildly spicy, with little bits of tangy cheddar cheese. The noodles are thicker and chewier than other instant noodles, which are usually imported from China, Hong Kong, or Vietnam...basically, countries that aren't Japan. Japanese instant noodles in general are a bit nicer quality, but they're also more expensive so unless you're particularly into instant noodles it probably isn't worth the extra cash unless it is a flavor like this.
Once I'd finished the noodles I had tons of curry soup left, and it tasted amazing. I usually hate the soups left over in instant noodles because they're just salty and boring, but this one tasted spicy & sweet just like an actual Japanese curry. The little bits of mushroom were super, too--not too chewy and not too soft, with a good meaty taste. It was also way more filling than other instant noodles, probably because there was a ton of noodles in it, and lots of bits of mushroom. It also didn't seem as salty, but that might be because the curry taste and tangy cheese overpowers the salt.
If this were something I could easily get in the UK, I'd buy them 24/7. It's a shame that instant noodles are one of the more expensive things to ship from Japan, because I'd happily buy a case of these to eat every couple weeks. I was thinking I might experiment with using Japanese curry roux (fairly easy to get in the UK) and bits of processed cheese on top of noodles to kind of replicate this...let's hope it doesn't turn into some kind of The Stuff situation.