A mazesoba-inspired menu item full of hints of chocolate and pungent spices!

Valentine’s Day is coming up, and you know what that means: new chocolate-themed foods! While you might expect sweets companies and bakeries to produce new kinds of chocolates in celebration of the holiday, like KitKat’s chocolate bears, some restaurants also often incorporate chocolate in both sweet and savory dishes on limited-time-only menus. One of those restaurants is Japanese noodle chain Menya Musashi, which always celebrates Valentine’s Day by teaming up with chocolate-maker Lotte and releasing chocolate ramen dishes, among other things.

This year they’re offering a chocolate-flavored dish inspired by mazesoba–a dry noodle dish that comes with various toppings that you mix up before you eat. It’s called Maze-Ghana 2022 ~Spice Monblanc~, but while the name might make you think it’s a dessert, it’s definitely not. It also doesn’t have any noodles in it…so it’s full of surprises!

In fact, it’s a unique marriage of Lotte’s Ghana milk chocolate and spices. The dish uses a combination of dry spices and oils, including a powder of coriander, cumin, fennel, and cacao nibs, and a house-made oil made with the fragrances of star anise, cinnamon, bay leaves, and cloves.

These spices and oils are combined with a stir fry of lotus roots, burdock roots, shimeji mushrooms, and eringi mushrooms, ground beef seasoned with star anise, and chocolate sweet and sour pork.

Then the whole dish is topped with a spiced chocolate monblanc, which looks like noodles.

The dish is full of surprise chocolate elements as well as a mixture of sweet and savory spices, so it’s sure to be an interesting dish! It almost makes you wonder if it’s all too much, but given that last year’s chocolate Chaghana mazesoba (which actually contained ramen noodles, unlike this year) had an equally complex array of flavors and was still really good, we’re inclined to put faith in Menya Musashi’s experimental expertise.

▼ The Akihabara and Kanda branches of Menya Musashi

And anyway, as this is the 14th year that Lotte and Menya Musashi are collaborating in celebration of Valentine’s Day, it’s only fitting that this year they go all out! The Maze-Ghana 2022 ~Spice Monblanc~ is available now through Valentine’s Day at the Kanda and Akihabara branches only. It’s on the menu for 1,100 yen (US$9.52). But get there early–only 15 are available at each branch per day, so the longer you wait, the less chance you’ll have to try it. It also comes with a Ghana milk chocolate bar, though, so you’ll be set for dessert, too!

Source, images: PR Times
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