Shopping for food is hard. On a student’s salary (during exam period), it can seem horrifying. Basically, it’s time to throw away any idea you had of healthy eating and turn to the only food that can get you through the dark days ahead; 2 minute noodles.
2 minute noodles; they’re cheap, they’re quick and sometimes they even come with their own bowl. As far as convenience is concerned, the only way they could become more convenient is if they delivered to your door. But times are changing, and with even more brands jumping on the noodle bandwagon, it has again become hard to shop for the best noodles on the market. With this in mind, I searched the pasta aisle long and hard to find the top five noodle brands, and to judge them for your convenience.
I also brought a friend along, Jaimee, because I bore easily. Side note: We found that cheap wine is the perfect beverage to accompany a cheap dinner.
-Maggi Fusian Noodles (Soy and Mild Spice) 64g, $1.80
-Fantastic Noodles (Chicken) 70g, $1.60
-Maggi Noodles (Oriental) 60g, $1.80
-Indo Mie (Mie Goreng) 85g (Came in pack of 5) $0.55
-Suimin Noodle Cup (Hot and Spicy) 70g, $1.55
As Indo Mie was the cheapest by far, both Jaimee and I were hoping that it would be a clear winner for efficiency’s sake. With the hot water boiled and the foil lids pealed open, there was nothing left to do but to judge the noodles. Side note: all preparation of noodles was done in accordance with directions on packet, regardless of flavour/water preferences. In no particular order:
- Maggi Fusian Noodles (Soy and Mild Spice)
We were off to a good start. The noodles were brewed to perfection. It had an excellent texture that was not too stiff or too soft. The instructions were to drain the noodles and then add the flavouring, which made the soy flavour strong but not overpowering. Overall these were very yummy noodles.
- Fantastic Noodles (Chicken)
These noodles fell slightly less of fantastic. Maybe it was the vaguely nostalgic look of the bright yellow/green soup they sat in, or the rock hard vegetables contrasting the soft pasta goodness. Either way, they failed to impress us.
- Maggi Noodles (Oriental)
One thing Maggi seems to do well is the texture of a noodle. We both felt that this could not be disputed. Unfortunately Jaimee already had a predisposition for disliking noodles left unstrained (which the directions suggested we do), which gave an unfair bias to their strained brethren. With an already bland ‘oriental’ flavouring that was left diluted by the water, the overall taste was lack-lustre. A good meal for when strong flavours aren’t wanted e.g. for when one is hung-over.
- Indo Mie (Mie Goreng)
It pained us so much to stick to the 3 minute waiting period, as it was obviously undercooked when the instructions proclaimed them to be ‘ready’. As mie goreng experts, we would strongly recommend a sporting 4-5 minute waiting period. The extra two minutes are worth the wait. This is TASTY!
- Suimin Noodle Cup (Hot and Spicy)
For a ‘hot and spicy’ noodle, this was neither hot nor spicy enough to please us, the judges. Something was very off with Suimin. Maybe it was the texture, with was faintly plastic, or the odour, which was reminiscent of week-old Chinese food. If it’s all that’s left on the shelf, go hungry.
Slightly tipsy and more than a little bit full, Jaimee and I concluded that no matter how good the texture of Maggi noodles are, Indo Mie takes first place. As former Indonesian students, old habits die hard. In hindsight, I’m very glad that we bought the five-pack.
P.S. It was no wonder that these were on sale.