March 2021 Umai Crate Review

Subscription boxes are a great way to explore different items that may not be readily available to you in stores. Food subscription boxes are my favorite, and realistically the only subscription boxes I have tried so far. Who wouldn’t want to receive a box filled with edible goodies from another country? I have tried a number of them in the past couple of years, namely ones from Japan. After giving Japan Crate a try, I really wanted to try the Umai Crate. This month I decided to splurge on the March 2021 Umai Crate to see what kind of noodles I could get – as a noodle-loving person, it sounded like a great idea.

If you want to give Umai Crate a try, then head to their website and start your subscription.

March 2021 Umai Crate Review

Kitsune udon noodles

This was the first item that I tried and by far it was the best. While the broth had a light taste it complimented the noodles perfectly. The noodles were the perfect balance of bouncy and chewy. The fried tofu was the only part that wasn’t the best. The texture was a bit strange, though I would imagine that had it been freshly fried and placed on top it would have been better. It was a lot like eating a wet sponge. Otherwise, this was really good.

Kenko miso ramen

Miso is one of those flavors that people either love or hate, there doesn’t seem to be a middle ground. Unfortunately, this is not a flavor I enjoy. Despite that, I did give it a try and like all my previous experiences with miso, I was left with an unpleasant taste lingering in my mouth.

Vegetarian soy sauce ramen

Not much can be said about this one. It was ramen with a soy sauce-based broth which lacked all flavor of soy sauce. Adding some of the momi nori seaweed did help a bit but this ramen was seriously lacking.

Okayu seaweed

I’ve never had rice porridge or risotto but this is what this item was described as. What I ended up with was a whole lot of flavorless broth, a few grains of sad-looking rice, and some rehydrated clams. This is not what I was expecting at all. It was like getting a soup but half the ingredients were missing. Needless to say, I didn’t enjoy this one.

Soba Dappe

I love soba noodles so I was excited about this one. The noodles were great. While they claimed it came with a rich soy sauce broth, I was left wondering where the flavor of the said broth was. I don’t know if the broth was supposed to be so bland or not but it didn’t live up to the description.

Non cup kitsune udon

This one was alright. Udon, green onions, and some seaweed in a plain broth – that about sums it up.

Chikara udon noodle

This udon bowl came with mochi, green onion, and some other item that I still have been unable to identify – initially, I thought it was dehydrated meat but the texture didn’t match up to that plus it lacked any meat-like flavor. Much like a lot of the other noodles, the broth was good but lacked flavor. Had the broth been stronger I would have enjoyed it more. I don’t know if the mochi was supposed to soften or not, but it was surprisingly hard after everything had cooked – to the point that it was almost impossible to eat.

Sauce yakisoba

This was the one I was looking forward to the most. I absolutely love yakisoba, so of course, I couldn’t wait to try it. Ironically, I saved it to the end so I could finish on a high note. Imagine my surprise when I opened up the package and it was plain old ramen noodles! What the heck! Soba noodles have a very distinct color, flavor, and texture and I can assure you that what I got was not soba. The soba dappe included in this box had soba noodles in it, so I don’t understand why this one didn’t have them.

Ignoring the noodle disappointment, the sauce itself was okay. It vaguely reminded me of teriyaki sauce but if you left out 90% of the actual flavor.

Bonus item: Momi nori seaweed

One nice thing about Umai Crate is that they send a bonus item each month. This month’s bonus was the momi nori seaweed. It was a nice item to add to some of the dishes and I still have some left for future bowls of ramen.

Is Umai Crate worth it?

Admittedly, it’s hard to say for sure based on a single box. However, if I am to be perfectly honest based upon my experience this month, I would say no. For the price (about $50 USD), I thought the overall experience was a bit lackluster. Had the noodles, and especially the broth, been a bit more on the flavorful side I might change my mind – but when you can’t tell if it’s broth or simply water then that’s an issue. I would much rather get a multitude of snacks, candy, and a drink for the same price, so instead of getting Umai Crate, I would instead suggest going with Japan Crate – which is done by the same company.

I hope you enjoyed my March 2021 Umai Crate Review. Have you ever tried this subscription box or any others?

Other Japanese subscription boxes to try:

18 Comments

  1. This sounds like an interesting subscription box. I don’t have a sub box but this looks interesting. I do think that having subscriptions is a great way to try new things. Thank you for sharing your experiences.

    1. Author

      Subscription boxes can certainly be great, especially when trying new things. If you get a chance to try a subscription box, either this one or another one, then I recommend it. There seems to be a subscription box for just about everything these days.

  2. Thanks for the honest Umai crate review. I didn’t realize there were so many types of Japanese noodles. Now my horizons have been expended a little more!

    1. Author

      Thank you. I think it’s important to be honest even when things are a bit disappointing. Japan is well known for its many noodle varieties. Soba is probably my favorite among them just because of the distinctive flavor and texture.

  3. I LOVE noodles! Thanks so much for the review! While I may not get this particular subscription, I will definitely be looking for some new, different types to try out. I didn’t realize how many were available. That reminds me…I have some Udon in my pantry. Mmm…dinner!

    1. Author

      Noodles are probably my favorite food – next to chocolate. I definitely recommend trying a subscription box, whether it be this one or something else, as there are so many amazing ones out there.

  4. I think I need to give this umai crate subscription box a try! I love ramen!

    1. Author

      I hope you enjoy it if you do give it a try. They always have a different variety of noodles and flavors to try every month and some are seasonal specific which is fun.

  5. I’ve never tried a food subscription box (beauty and kids boxes are more my thing) but I can see how it would be a great way to experience different dishes. That’s such a shame about the yakisoba though. Thank you for such a detailed and honest review – seems like Japan Crate is the one to beat!

    1. Author

      I feel like I have only scratched the surface when it comes to subscription boxes because there are so many out there.

    1. Author

      I’m glad you were able to learn about some different noodles from this.

    1. Author

      Food subscription boxes are the best in my opinion. Who doesn’t like getting delicious food delivered every month, especially when it’s items you normally wouldn’t find in your stores. I certainly would recommend Japan Crate for a snack-inspired box if you are looking for one.

  6. I have found with most noodles that you have to drastically cut down on the water in the broth to get the flavor they tell you you’ll have. It’s too bad the Risotto didn’t work out for you since Risotto is actually really good when it’s thick and hearty!

    1. Author

      Yes, I think that would have helped with a lot of them, but I also am hesitant to mess with directions on something I have never tried before. It may have just been a fluke that the risotto didn’t work out or perhaps Japan loves a runny risotto.

    1. Author

      It certainly has the potential to be great depending on your tastes.

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