The flavor of a Nagoya favorite finds its way into a cup of ramen and into our hearts.

Take a peek at the instant ramen section of Japanese convenience stores and supermarkets these days, and you’ll spot more than a few which are tie-ins with popular restaurant chains.

Sure enough, on our latest noodle run we spotted another — a collaboration between Sanyo Foods (most famous for the Sapporo Ichiban ramen line) and the restaurant Sekai no Yama-chan.

Here’s the weird thing, though: Sekai no Yama-chan isn’t a ramen restaurant. It’s an izakaya, or Japanese pub, and their flagship dish is their delicious Nagoya-style chicken wings.

▼ Sekai no Yama-chan’s Maboroshi no Tebasaki, or “Phantom Chicken Wings.”

Loaded with pepper and other spices, Sekai no Yama-chan’s wings are loved across Japan, and these noodles, the Sekai no Yama-chan Chicken Wing-style Ramen, is an appeal to the taste buds of the restaurant’s many fans.

Unable to resist this simultaneous targeting of two of our favorite comfort food cravings, we picked up a 232-yen (US$2.25) cup to take back to SoraNews24 headquarters for taste-testing purposes.

▼ And no, that’s not Sylvester Stallone on the package, but a caricature of late Sekai no Yama-chan founder Shigeo Yamamoto.

Unlike some instant ramen varieties with all sorts of extra oils and soup stocks that you need to mix in at various parts of the prep process, the Sekai no Yama-chan Chicken Wing-style Ramen is pretty simple and straightforward. Just fill the cup with boiling water, let it cook for three minutes, then pour in the contents of the included spice packet.

While we waited, we examined the package, which is kind enough to break down the calorie count for the broth separately from everything else, since not everyone drains the cup dry when eating instant ramen.

▼ 360 calories for the noodles and toppings, plus 99 for the broth,
so 459 if you consume everything.

When the three minutes were up, we peeled back the lid…

…and, we kid you not, it smelled exactly like a Sekai no Yama-chan had just brought a plate of wings to our table!

Remember though that this is “Chicken Wing-style Ramen,” and so there are no actual chicken wings floating amongst the noodles.

Ordinarily, the absence of a chicken wing is mark against a meal, but in this case we have to admit that finger food and piping hot broth wouldn’t really be a wise combination.

Flavor-wise, though, this was an excellent approximation of the Sekai no Yama-chan chicken wing experience.

The taste was more “spice” than “spicy,” though there was a piquant kick in the middle of the flavor profile. The finish, though, was all about the black pepper, and the focused intensity actually produced a crisp finish that immediately had us ready for the next bite.

The noodles’ wavy shape kept them coated with flavorful broth all over, and just like the food trance we go into when tearing through a plate of chicken wings, our chopsticks kept moving nonstop until we’d eaten the last noodle in the cup.

With no actual chicken wings as part of the package, the Sekai no Yama-chan Chicken Wing-style Ramen isn’t an exact substitute for the restaurant’s signature dish, but it’s still an extremely enjoyable cup of ramen.

Sekai no Yama-chan chicken wing image: Sekai no Yama-chan
All other photos: ©SoraNews24
● Want to hear about SoraNews24’s latest articles as soon as they’re published? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!
[ Read in Japanese ]