Aji WOW is my series of unusual Japanese food/drink reviews. 'Aji' (味) means 'flavour', and the name's also a pun on 'ajiwau' (味わう) - 'to enjoy the taste of'.
This time: chocolate yakisoba for Valentine's Day!
Yep, Valentine's is tomorrow. Here in Japan, it's the day ladies give chocolate to the men in their life. Including friends, coworkers, and possibly also your Dad. A month later, it happens the other way round. Maybe I'll do another writeup for White Day on March 14th.
Unless nobody gives me chocolate, in which case I'll go home and sob into a box of Pocky.
I found this sweet chocolate yakisoba at Village Vanguard, that cave of random awesome stuff. Bought 'garlic max' and 'coriander max' yakisoba boxes at the same time. Watch out for those at some point.
It's labelled 'giri choco', the kind you'd give to people you don't have any particular affection for. 'Obligation chocolate'. Seems fitting.
A delicious chocolate pattern covers the plastic pack. There's a small disclaimer on one side: 'this design is just an image'. If you were expecting proper Dairy Milk, tough.
Underneath, nothing special. Your average tray of dried noodles. The noodles themselves aren't made with chocolate. I think crunchy chocosoba snacks would've been mildly preferable.
The sauce packet doesn't mention the chocolate. For a brief moment, I thought I'd been trolled with normal yakisoba. As you'll see, sadly not.
To cook the moodles, you pour boiling water into the tray and wait 3 minutes. It's best to leave a fork on top so the lid stays down. A flap on one end reveals some holes for draining the water back out.
Stir in the melty chocolate sauce, and it's ready.
I wasn't expecting to enjoy this, so I made sure I'd already eaten.
The sauce is a thick, slightly bitter chocolate, and the smell was confusing. Like brownies, or hot chocolate without the marshmallows.
Even so, on the first bite the taste wasn't as strong as I expected. I can only guess there isn't enough sauce in the pack. Just in case I hadn't mixed it well enough, I gave the yakisoba a good stir and tried again.
The chocolate's subtle, and it honestly makes the noodles seem a bit bland. The taste doesn't linger, so you're left with a plain noodle taste once you start chewing. Not so much chocolate yakisoba as chocolate AND THEN yakisoba.
I persevered with a few more bites. Then I binned the lot and ate some proper chocolate.