Frequently Asked Questions
This FAQ is still in it’s earliest stages. There will be a list coming soon rather than having to dig through everything. Please feel free to email me any and all questions that you would like to see answered here! Contact me at [email protected].
Q: Can I look at a list of all the instant noodles you’ve reviewed that is sortable? Say, by rating or by brand or country or variety, or review number or whether it has been re-reviewed?
A: Yes. People asked me for this for a long time and its finally here! If you go to the Big List page, you can download a spreadsheet where you can check everything out. Don’t worry – there’s a free Excel spreadsheet viewer link there as well.
Q: What is the first instant noodle you reviewed?
A: That’s a tricky one but here… I estimate that the first one I reviewed was this one, Nissin Creamy Chicken. You’ll notice that that is the 23rd review though. Let me explain! Originally, The Ramen Rater was a simple HTML table with a background and links to the company. I would include a picture of the package, an extremely short review, a rating and not much else. When I got to around 40-50 reviews, I stopped working on the site and literally just let it sit for about 7 years, all the time renewing the domain. During this time I had a website called The Sauce Rater where I reviewed hot sauces. Got up to around 280 varieties and then decided to quit since most of them were the same and I found I enjoyed making my own much better. In 2009, I decided to attempt to breathe some life into it again. I had been blogging a bit and decided to manually put it on Blogger. It was kind of nice; it was very organized and searchable but rather thin on content. In early 2010 I completely dumped Blogger as a platform and adopted WordPress. I think that decision really is what caused this site to flourish (well that and moving to an area with a ton of awesome Asian markets within walking distance). So the #23 issue… Well, the original Ramen Rater site was alphabetical. When I set it up on Blogger manually, I started with the A’s then the B’s and so on to completion. WordPress has an auto-migration tool which allows all posts from different platforms like Blogger to be imported. Wren this happened, the posts were in chronological order, so the first post I put on Blogger was one that started with A, making it the oldest. The #1 post on the current manifestation of The Ramen Rater is by Westbrae, pretty late in the alphabet and most guaranteed not the first I had reviewed. Pretty sure it’s the Creamy Chicken. I would say this post is when the site really ‘came back’ from the ashes. This is when I lived in Anacortes and started reviewing again from my small remodeled garage airplane fuselage shaped garage home. This is where the form of blogging using WordPress started and got to the current form.
Q: I would like to look at all your reviews, starting with #1 – how would I do that?
A: The way to do that is to have a lot of time and then to click here and keep clicking the next newer post button. enjoy! I would also recommend reading the above Q&A about which the first review was.
Q: What’s your deal? Why ramen noodles?
A: Well, I’m legally blind and like to create things. I journal, watch copious amounts of science fiction with my lovely wife Kit, root for the San Francisco Giants, collect calculators… Instant noodles kind of go along with all of that pretty well. My folks introduced me to some great Asian grocery experiences in Seattle at an early ago – Uwajimaya being most memoprable. There’s also a restaurant in Seattle called Sun Ya which I can’t recommend highly enough – dim sum is wonderful stuff! Art, Asian food and a curiosity about the world around me has led me to instant noodle fandom. I also have reviewed hot sauces and for a while ‘skinned’ robots – something that led me to the stage a couple times.
Q: I am in (insert country other than United States here) and I would like to buy some of the noodles.
A: I am not a noodle manufacturer or distributor – I’m a ramen rater – someone who reviews (taste-tests) instant noodles and then gives them a rating. You can email about these kind of things, but unfortunately I probably won’t be able to help you.
Q: How did you get started with this? Do you really eat instant noodles all day every day?
A: Here are a couple good newspaper articles I did – this one and this one – they’ll give you the whole scoop. No I eat other things too of course. Often though, my breakfast and lunch are instant noodles with eggs, oven baked chicken, veggies and other things to round them out.
Q: You put all sorts of things on your noodles, then you give them a rating. Your ratings are invalid.
A: What I do is I taste the broth, veggies (should they occur) and noodles BEFORE they are given a score. What some of you don’t understand is that I do eat these things; I don’t just have one bite and toss it. Usually these are my breakfast and my lunch. Check out the How I Review page for more on this.
Q: I got some of these noodles and they are horrible! Will you refund my money or replace them please?
A: As I said, I am not a distributor or manufacturer of instant noodles. However, I might be able to help you get on the right path to those who do deal with such things.
Q: There are some varieties I have here that you don’t have reviews of yet – can I send some to you?
A: You sure can! Thank you! Many of the reviews on The Ramen Rater wouldn’t be remotely possible if it were not for readers donating. Email me at [email protected] for more details.
Q: I represent and instant noodle manufacturer – would you take samples of our product line for review?
A: Definitely – not only that, if you are up for doing a short email interview about your company and send samples, I’ll do a ‘Meet The Manufacturer’ special about your company where I’ll spotlight you for up to 15 consecutive reviews. Email me at [email protected].
Q: I see you have gotten gifts, even a trip once to a noodle manufacturer. Does this change the way you review?
A: I answer to the highest authority I know of. My taste buds.