Who has the time to purchase every single noodle from the supermarket, spend hours cooking and sampling countless empty calories, to find the answer? We do.
Our reviewer has put his body on the line for you, the impoverished student, the struggling newly single sitcom Mom, the widower who never learnt how to cook on his own. The cash poor, the time poor, the 2-minute-noodle-needer.
NISSIN – ORIGINAL
The odour is very unpleasant; makes one think of green beans and an old folks home. The taste isn’t as bad, but remains far from enjoyable. The powder sachet, if used in isolation, might have actually been commendable. The seasoning sauce, however, was pungent like a bad cheese.
NISSIN - TONKOTSU
Very bad. One might even say shameful. Stank up the entire office. Almost, but not quite, classifiable as food.
OTTOGI – JIN RAMEN (MILD)
Jin Ramen is a Korean product with abnormally high quantities of carbs and salt. This could be because:
– It is from North Korea, where meals are scarce and may have to keep you going for a while
– It is from South Korea, where you have to enjoy every meal as if it is your last, because thanks to your hungry, nuclear capable North Korean neighbours, it might be.
Despite the salt and carb content there’s nothing piquant about Jin Ramen. Tastes like bad Pho. Also, what’s worse, it requires the use of a pot to make. If you’re willing to go to the effort of boiling water, preparing ingredients , apportioning everything into a bowl – why wouldn’t you just go that little bit further and make a legitimate big boy dinner?
MAGGI – CHICKEN
Alone among the Maggi flavours, Chicken comes with cabbage in the vegetable garnish. Possibly this is responsible for the garish green colour of the broth. Combined with the taste, the green puts one in mind of dish-washing liquid, not poultry. Still, Chicken is not without merit. There’s a pleasant, zingy aftertaste. After all these years, Chicken still stands up to scrutiny.
MAGGI – ORIENTAL
Much like Barbecue shapes, Oriental noodles have always been a mystery. They have a taste, but what is it supposed to be? Soy sauce? Truly, an inscrutable dish.
‘Oriental’ isn’t a word you hear often these days, outside of a noodle context. Sadly, Maggi’s Oriental is in poor taste both literally and figuratively. To be recommended for ‘old time’s sake’ only.
(A plus, you can take the packaging off, and it sort of looks like the cool see-thru Game Boy.)
MAGGI – BEEF
One can discern, perhaps, the shadow of a hint of a whisp of a murmur of an allusion of roast vegetables. Yet something else here is prominent – one thinks it the slightly metallic ‘beef’ component. Definitely has more oomph, more foot-on-the-gas, more biffo, than the other, traditional Maggi flavours.
MAGGI – CHICKEN AND CORN
Harry Potter is a long series. Over seven books, J.K. Rowling explores many intricate and mature themes but, at its core, Harry Potter is about facing mortality. Voldemort tears apart his soul and must live a life without love – and Rowling demonstrates these are fates far worse than the abyss. It takes thousands and thousands of pages, but J.K. Rowling convincingly makes the case that there are indeed some things worse than death.
How much more impressive, then, is Maggi Chicken and Corn for achieving the same result in only 2 minutes. It’s bad, is what we’re trying to say.
WAI WAI – TOM YUM SHRIMP FLAVOUR
An absolute delight! Good news for vegetarians – it seems as though there’s no actual shrimp to be found here. The noodles are thin, crispy, and pre-seasoned.
One actually ate a few dry, fresh out the packet, and they were phenomenal. Possibly better, indeed, than the finished product. The completed dish was very spicy – but not unpleasantly so. Absolute commendations.
Do I detect a cheeky hint of tomato? No, that’s just the acidity regulator (330), but it goes down an absolute treat nonetheless.
WAI WAI – INSTANT RICE VERMICELLI
Props to Wai Wai for having a go on this one. The flavour is bold, and you can really taste that yummy artificial crab flavour (1.9%).
The rice vermicelli were a brave attempt – sadly, the instant cooking process works less well on these thin noodles than it does on thicker ones – you go to get a forkful, and you lift up the entire meal at once.
But at least they tried something new! You don’t hate Wai Wai’s Instant Rice Vermicelli for failing – you love it for trying.
MAGGI FUSIAN – HOT & SPICY
The Fusian range – Maggi’s new, sexy addition to its noodle line up – is unquestionably superior to the original choices. The flavours are at once more powerful and more nuanced. They are the Muhammad Ali of 2 minute noodles.
However, unlike the originals, you have to go to a longer effort to prepare them. You have to drain the water, and mix in several different sauce packets. It’s exhausting.
Hot & Spicy, is hot and spicy indeed. For delicate palates, it’s quite confronting, but enthusiastic spice-fans might well enjoy.
MAGGI FUSIAN – SOY & MILD SPICE
This flavour is similar, and slightly superior, to the traditional Oriental. It’s very soy-saucy; it just tastes like soy sauce poured onto noodles. Difficult to say more than that, as that’s all there is. If there is a mild spice, it is mild to the point of invisibility.
MAGGI FUSIAN – OW OW… SPICY COW
Spicy? Yes, but in a way that complements rather than smothers the overall taste. Ow Ow… Spicy Cow really stands out as the best Maggi noodle on the market, despite it’s awful, awful name. If you were to plot a graph where the x-axis indicates quality of name, and the y-axis indicates quality of flavour, then Ow Ow… Spicy Cow sits high and to the far left.
INDOMIE – MI GORENG
The undisputed instant noodle champion. So far ahead of the rest of the pack as to render this competition pointless. It’s a good thing we put it right near the bottom, ey?
SUPERMI – MI GORENG TRADITIONAL
One was tricked by clever font-work into thinking this was a different flavour by the splendid Indomie company. Instead. SuperMi is nothing but a cheap knockoff (although actually, they were slightly more expensive).
They’re just like Indomie, except greasier, with an ungenerous apportionment of dehydrated onions, and the noodles have a chewy, almost chalky texture. Nuance in flavour is eschewed for brunt spiciness. In the bin with you, SuperMi, along with all the other failed noodles.
1) Indomie – Mi Goreng
2) Wai Wai – Tom Yum Shrimp Flavour
3)Maggi Fusian – Ow Ow… Spicy Cow
1) Maggi – Chicken and Corn
2) Nissin – Tonkotsu Flavor
3) Nissin – Original