“Have a backup…” a friend advised when I told them about my plan to pack Nissin Breakfast Cup Noodles for lunch (or, considering their namesake, more like brunch). When they realized I wasn’t joking, they added, “Maybe buy some Alka-Seltzer and Pepto Bismol too.” But life is short, and how many chances does one get to try noodles that taste like pancakes with maple syrup, sausage, and egg? That being said, I did bring a backup lunch just in case, but to my utter shock and delight, I didn’t need it.
The design on the cup offered a sunny start. The bright blue backdrop and vibrant cartoony illustration of a heaping helping of syrup-soaked pancakes, with a side of fluffy scrambled eggs and plump breakfast sausage doesn’t resemble what’s inside at all, but it’s still lovely!
What you get after peeling off the lid, pouring water up to the fill line on the inside of the cup, and doing an excited/happy/”oh gosh, what have I gotten myself into” dance in front of the microwave for four minutes, is a pile of greyish-yellow noodles in a pool of greyish-orange broth, topped with pea-sized bits of greyish-brown sausage and egg that’s… actually a regular (if slightly fluorescent) shade of yellow. (Your mileage may vary, but my cup had SIGNIFICANTLY more egg than sausage.) Don’t let the murky appearance fool you, though: there’s a wonderful taste in store.
The first word that came to my mind to describe the broth was “mellow.” I was expecting it to be saltier, but this stuff was straight-up sweet: maple-y, a bit malty, and all in all, surprisingly so hearty that I almost forgot that it had been created by simply combining dry, seasoned noodles and tap water.
The handful of sausage pieces were certainly not the most beautiful specimens in terms of appearance or texture (they could be described as both “gristly” and “grisly”). But they did a nice job adding a burst of flavor—savory, again with a strong streak of maple, plus an interesting peppery aftertaste.
As for the fluffy but dense eggs, despite their abundant quantity, they didn’t really have much flavor on their own, thoroughly overpowered by the broth. Once more, their defining characteristic was mapleness!
The stars of the show, the noodles, were similar. They were warm and comforting, but I got the feeling that their sweet-and-a-lil-zesty flavor came more from the broth and toppings rather than the soft, gummy strings themselves. (Fun fact — and added bonus, if you’re anything like me — it also smelled exactly like Post’s Waffle Crisp cereal.)
This novelty really surprised me. Not only was I not expecting Nissin Breakfast Cup Noodles to genuinely taste like breakfast, but I was also not expecting it to genuinely taste good, and it delivered tremendously on both counts. I am slightly befuddled, slightly disturbed, and totally pleased to tell you that if you enjoy noodles, breakfast, convenient packaging, or the terrifying-yet-thrilling anticipation of a food that doesn’t taste how you think it will, you really should try this. Seriously!
Purchased Price: $9.32 (I bought online from a third-party seller, but the retail price is meant to be just $1.18)
Size: 2.93 oz
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 container) 380 calories, 15 grams of fat, 7 grams of saturated fat, 35 milligrams of cholesterol, 1020 milligrams of sodium, 54 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 10 grams of sugar (including 9 grams of added sugar), and 8 grams of protein.