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APRIL FOOLS! After Almost 15 Years, The Ramen Rater Is Retiring



I would like to take a moment to thank everyone who has been a part of The Ramen Rater over the past years. Without you, the site wouldn’t be what it has become; a community of people from around the world sharing one common interest: the instant noodle. 

I want to share my vision for the next step. First, The Ramen Rater website will continue to be online, but no further instant noodle reviews will be published after review #2000. This wasn’t an easy decision to make, but one that I feel is the right thing to do. I have a deep passion for another kind of product. Aside from my family, the proudest achievement I have accomplished has been The Ramen Rater. However, the next step will begin shortly, and I hope will exceed what I have been able to do with The Ramen Rater.

Desiccant is an indispensable item; it keeps the shoes we buy free of moisture. It keeps the vitamins we buy free of moisture. In fact, countless thousands of items come with these amazing miracles of science.

Instead of telling you of the amazing shift in my focus, let me give you a taste.

New posts will start to roll out April 14th over at I and my family are excited and can’t wait to see how the site is received. Again, thank you for enjoying The Ramen Rater blog – but it is time for me to change hats once again.

Meet The Manufacturer: Product Samples From Vit’s Noodles

Got a box from Malaysia today!

I always look at the packing material – it was all paper from a tradeshow in Tahiland called ThaiFex, and from a Hong Kong show called HOFEX.

Chicken, curry, Tom Yum and Mi Goreng Pedas!

Vit’s new Taste of Malaysia instant fried noodle lines – Penang White Curry, Hokkien Mee and Asam Laksa!

They also have the Taste of Malaysia line in 2 packs that have fresh ramen pouches! Thanks – looking forward to reviewing everything in the next two weeks!

#1818: Sugakiya Foods Nara Tenri Shoyu Ramen

Here’s another one that was sent to me by Javier over at Box From Japan – thanks! Box From Japan is a subscription service – you can get a box sent to you every month with some great noodles within! This one says got Chinese cabbage with a sweet soup and a deep flavor which is from something called ‘rajan,’ a strong and spicy red pepper seasoning fermented with rice koji. Let’s check it out!

Detail of the side panels (click to enlarge). Not sure whether it contains meat or not. To prepare, add in vegetables sachet and add boiling water to fill line. Cover for 4 minutes, using liquid sachet to keep closed. Add in liquid sachet and stir. Enjoy!

Detail of the lid (click to enlarge).

The noodle block.

The liquid soup base.

A lot of liquid.

The vegetable sachet.

Probably one of the most diverse and high quantity vegetable sachets in a bowl I’ve seen.

Finished. The noodles were very good in this one – good chew and seemed a little heavier – hearty fare. The broth was a shoyu for sure – not too shoyu which was nice, and a good color and oiliness. The vegetables really highlighted this one – and very ample portion. 4.5 out of 5.0 stars. JAN bar code 4901677080950.

The Noodle Narratives: The Global Rise of an Industrial Food into the Twenty-First Century – If you read this book, you will be ultra stoked – if you find instant noodles interesting, that is!

A Sugakiya Yakiudon TV commercial.

The Ramen Rater’s Trip to Malaysia: Day 5 – Monkeys & Whistles

Day 1 * Day 2Day 3 * Day 4 * Day 5 * Day 6

Just like all the days previous, our fifth and final full day in Malaysia was full of new discoveries and wondrous things to behold. Here we go!

We really partied up last night! Oh my head! A nice breakfast took care of that, though. They had lots of buffet style foods in the resort – curries, mee goreng, hash browns as well.

Kit took this picture of me on the little balcony. I tried to do a post to the site from my cellphone, but the WordPress app was acting really unhappily. Ah well.

I noticed this up in the corner of our room as we were collecting our things for check out. Just like the drawers in Penang’s Eastin Hotel, here is a guide for direction to pray.

Thomas took us to a place called Langkawi Bird Paradise Wildlife Park! It’s kind of like a zoo, but centered mainly on avian life. Upon entering, they ask if you want to hold one of the big birds and then take your picture, which you can purchase at the end of the tour. Kit, ever brave, was totally up for holding one of them. I hoever am kind of terrified of birds. I figured though hey – I’m in an exotic place with exotic birds – I’ll give it a try. The macaw didn’t bite my nose off which was cool – they can bust open Brazil nuts with their beaks, so I figured if it had wanted to, I could’ve been coming home without a nose.

It’s a neat place – you can feed the birds out of your palm!

After the macaw, I felt a little less afraid of birds. When the docent asked it we’d like to have some seed, we said yes. almost instantaneously, all these parakeets just swooped down and started chowing! What was neat was how light they were – gentle too.

These guys were great. They’d follow you around waiting for a snack.

A White Raccoon. I think he put up the sign himself!

The vegetation here was so thick. Leaves so broad and full of moisture – seems like that’s the way everything is here.

Quite possibly the most wonderful signage I’ve ever seen.

The side of his tail reminded me of tire treads.

This one’s been unhappy since the sign went up. I think he really was hoping for a baby today.

Whereas I was freaked out of the Macaw, Kit really didn’t like this guy. He was probably around 5 or so feet tall.

The little plaque says that the characters say ‘smooth sailing the whole way.’

I think this is runner up for the greatest signage ever.

I got to feed peanuts to this little Macaque! It was a strange sensation for him to take them. He was very delicate and gentle. What was weird is how tiny his hands were with fine motor function but the size of a small baby’s.

Time to head into town. We stopped at the gas station (petrol I mean) to put some air in the tires. Now this sign isn’t saying what you might think it is! Behind the gauge, the whole thing says ‘angin dan air.’ As it turns out, ‘angine’ means air. ‘Air’ is pronounced like ah-yier and actually means water. So air is water.

Next stop was the Wan Thai Lankawi Restaurant.

It was great timing too – it started just pounding rain outside when we got in there!

It’s a really neat place – the detail work all throughout the place is really quite spectacular.

They had quite a few kinds of juice – this is watermelon juice. Kit tried the pineapple and Thomas got orange.

The real test of a restaurant aren’t it adornments but it’s food.

I don’t remember what these first two dishes were, although I think this might be fish.

Barbecued chicken wrapped in leaves.

A really great chicken dish; it’s like slow cooked chicken with heat and spices.

Oh wow.

Let me say that again – oh wow! So this is tom yum soup served in a coconut. Not only that, it was the absolutely best tom yum I’ve ever tried. What’s great was that there were sliced of coconut that were cooked in with it – not little bits but large sliced that were so good. This is definitely special.

Pineapple fried rice in a pineapple!

Kit and I have been going to a great Thai place nearby us and have this on their menu. It’s Mango Sticky Rice. Only thing is we never have been able to try it because It’s out of season there. Here I’m guessing mango is always in season. The mango is so good – better than any I’ve had in the United States; just as sweet and succulent as imaginable. It went great with the rice.

That was just excellent! Table crushed!

We hit Old Town White Coffee after getting closer to the airport. I thought this was interesting; their ‘Western Platter.’ Fried egg, toast with some kiind of meat, baked beans, chicken sausages and french fries.

I got some of the MyKuali cooking pastes a while back and one of them I really liked was their Hainanese Chicken Rice paste. This was the Old Town chicken rice and it wasn’t all that great in comparison to be honest. I was expecting a kind of chicken and lemongrass thing, but I think maybe the rice was cooked with chicken broth.

But their shave ice was really good!

We liked this Cendol best – had a great grown sugar taste.

Another table dirtied nicely!

Before our trip, Kit was a little pensive about the restroom situation. All we have here in the United States are sitting toilets. In the rest of the world, that’s not always the case; there are also squatting toilets. Think about it; the toilet we’re used to here didn’t exist until fairly recently in the grand scheme of things, and squatting was the way you’d naturally go. I used the restroom next to Old Town White coffee. This one cost 1RM (about 33 cents USD). You give the guy 1RM and he give you a little packet of tissues. I would venture  to say that it was the cleanest public restroom I’ve ever occupied. Way cleaner than any I’ve seen in the US.

During the whole trip, Thomas has Fly FM radio playing in the van. Every once in a while, a public service message would come on saying squats belong in the gym, not where sitting toilets are.

Back to Langkawi airport to wait for our flight back to Penang.

Was nice to take a load off and chillax for a bit.

We peeked in the snack shop and saw these! Salt & Seaweed Pringles! Doubt we’ll see them in the US but you never know!

Time to walk out and board the plane.

I took this pic of the propeller plane and then a whistle blew – they yelled no cameras on the airfield! I yelled ‘I’m sorry’ and scurried onto the plane.

Hey would you look at that – on the left side you can see instant noodle cups! 10RM for a Mamee Chef Tom Yum cup with a 2 finger of Kit Kat! Not a bad deal. Again the flight was only about 35 minutes, so no time for anything like that. When we got back to Penang, we checked back in to the Eastin Penang for the last night and had some time in our room before going to dinner.

The rain was just coming down in Penang. Not only that, it was a big traffic jam all the way to the restaurant. Saw lots of the motorbikers just getting absolutely soaked.

We had dinner at Perut Rumah Nyonya Cuisine in Georgetown. Nyonya is a fusion of Chinese and Malay. This restaurant was beautiful; really high ceilings and elegant decor.

A trio of sauces on a Lazy Susan.

There were a lot of dishes that I was completely unfamiliar with a don’t exactly remember what they are. They were quite good though! I have to admit, this being the fifth day of trying so many new things had my brain a little frazzled.

A noodle dish.

Prawn chips atop prawns. I remember buying these one time – they come in a little bag and are extremely hard; when uncooked. You take the little chips and fry them in oil and they just puff up. Everyone thought it was funny that I’d tried them raw!

I believe these were tofu – and I remember I loved this.

Now this I remember – it was a cold jellyfish dish and was really good. It has a kind of acidic vinegar lemon thing going on. Kind of a refreshing flavor.

These are known as ‘Smelly Beans.’ I was hoping that didn’t mean my wife wife was going to kick me out of bed tonight! They were really good just like most everything else during the meal.

Dessert! A bean pudding like one on the left and I believe a barley based one on the right with strong flavors of brown sugar.

A little cream on top.

After dinner, we all took a picture together. I feel honored to meet all of these great people – so sad to be leaving. This was also the last time we got to hang out with Thomas before we left. He was a great guide and a good friend to us. Bottoms up, bottoms down my friend!

At the hotel, we decided to have a little dessert. Then up to our room for some shuteye before our departure tomorrow.

Goodnight to vibrant Penang; tomorrow we bid you farewell.