2008-07-17

Mr. KON "Thai Tom Yum"

Brand: Mr. KON
Flavour: Thai Tom Yum
Format: cardboard bowl
Packets: three
Identifiables: noodle brick, carrot bits, dried seaweed, swirly thing, spice
Sodium: 2.46 grams

I figured I'd wait to post anything at all until I had a good scary one to really hook my readers. The first two were pretty tame, though, so today I decided to go with one that I knew wouldn't disappoint.

Holy crap.

To start with, the lid has "X-Large" printed in friendly letters. Whatever was in there, I knew I'd be eating a lot of it. Also, a quick look at the nutrition facts indicated that I'd be acquiring one-hundred-three percent of my recommended daily sodium in this meal. Great googly moogly. Then, I opened it up to see a tiny plastic fork (you can see the orange chopsticks I turned out to not even need) accompanied by a mammoth cylindrical (well, a truncated cone, but whatever) noodle brick and three packets. The packets had absolutely no identifiable text (well, none that wasn't in Chinese), and bore the ominous numbers – 18a, 03c, and 10b – the last of which contained a viscous orange liquid. One of the ingredients listed in the difficult-to-read rung around the lid is "Sour flavor". This, friends, was a winner even before I added boiling water up to the barely-visible ridge and waited three minutes.

The spice packet had little black shrivels (you try finding a better word for 'em) that I guessed to be bits of seaweed. Upon opening the bowl after cooking, I saw that they did indeed unfold into satisfying, glossy olive-coloured leaves. Somewhere in the bowl is one of those little swirly discs with the zig-zag edge, you know the ones. I anticipated that the heat for this bowl would be a four based on its classification as tom yum, and if it were anything less I'd be disappointed. The yellow-orange oil floating on top was deceptive, as it shook my faith for a moment, but... well, the flavour was completely different from what I expected and thus exceeded my hopes.

Let's talk about the flavour. There's a sharp spice combined with a light but almost acrid taste. "Sour flavor", indeed. It smells and tastes only faintly of seafood, but there's a citrus note that overpowers like a sousaphone versus a wind quartet. The strange part is, none of it tastes particularly bad, just... very, very odd, and strangely bland.

A third of the way in, I found myself wondering if I'd be able to finish it. I started to get that puckering-throat thing that says, "You're drinking vinegar, or something akin to it." I downed some CFDDP (Caffeine-Free Diet Dr Pepper, and that's the last time I'll spell the name out) and found the tastes not terribly complementary. Two-thirds of the way in, I saw the swirly thing and also a little long rectangular thing which was a thin layer of dark pink on top of a white bar. It was either the world's smallest maguro nigiri-zushi, or the world's worst-dressed hyphen.

Then I got down to drinking the broth. Let's just do the numbers, shall we?

Numbers: packaging 4, preparation 3, heat 4, flavour 2, overall 2
Music: Blue Öyster Cult - Rock Band (X360) - Don't Fear the Reaper

5 comments:

Un said...

If I'm thinking of the right "pink swirly thing", it's a naruto, a style of kamaboko. The More You Know! =*

Jessie Tracer / Electric Keet said...

A naruto? Hey, all the kids've been talking about those things lately!

I was tempted to rip on you a little for using obscure terminology, but I'm the one who refferd to "maguro nigiri-zushi" instead of just saying "tuna on rice".

Relee Baysklef said...

I was going to say the jagged spiral thing was a naruto, but I think un beat me to it. ^.^;;

And yeah, that certain orange jumpsuit wearing ramen maniac is named Naruto Uzumaki, or Spiral Naruto. Neat huh? Now you're in on the pun.

Boss Goji said...

Good, Naruto, you look kind of cool.

Unknown said...

there's a pretty good chance that that bit of deep-green seaweedy stuff was wakame.

my roomies hate it, but I love it because it tastes deeply of the sea life.

it seems to be a common contender in instant miso soup, as well.