2009-01-19

Nissin "Cup Noodles: Chilli Crab"

Brand: Nissin
Flavour: Cup Noodles: Chilli Crab
Format: plastic cup
Packets: one
Identifiables: noodle frustum, veggie bits, soup sludge
Sodium: 1.41 grams

How long has it been? Too long, I hear you say. You didn't think this was over, did you? That's right, the Electric Keet is back with a whole new set of scary stuff. Photos later; first, I want to get a very special review underway.

Cup Noodles are a comfort food known to so many here in America. Popping oven a styrofoam cup, pouring in hot water, and chowing down on noodles and reconstituted bits of veggies... it's almost like a zen ritual to me by now. I don't have to think while I do it; the motions are as natural as tying my shoes. Then, I ended up with this cup from Singapore and everything I thought i knew was turned upside down.

First, the cup is plastic, not styrofoam. This is, of course, inexplicable. Next, the packaging has a markedly different tone in the way the text is printed on there, the introduction of French and Japanese writing, and the fire-engine-red background colour. Finally, a burst on the box insts that this will be my "new hot favourite". We shall see!

Opening up the lid turned out to be the first challenge. I'm accustomed to Cup Noodles with a thin paper lid, not a foil-lined one... and apparently, so is Nissin. The paper peeled away from the foil, meaning I had to go after it with a chopstick and mangle the thing to open it. Peering inside, I spotted a packet with red print, filled with some kind of black sludge. Since when do Cup Noodles have packets? It's as though this surprised everyone, because there is absolutely zero mention of the packet in the instructions. I thought for a moment that I heard the Twilight Zone theme music. As can be seen in the photo, I was so curious about the contents that forgot to take the photo before opening.

I squeezed the ichor into the cup and added water. I waited three minutes. I stirred the result and marvelled as little bits of imitation crab surfaced. Shrimp is one thing, but bits of imitation crab? Is this how things are done in Singapore? Were my IKEA chopsticks ready for such a thing? Was I?

The flavour was reasonably good, and certainly spicier than any of the made-for-America "spicy" flavours. The broth is thicker-seeming than usual, certainly owing to the sludge and the lower amount of water required to cook. The noodles seem slightly more wheaty, denser but thinner. The bits of imitation crab were... well, they were to crab as reconstituted shrimp are to shrimp, meaning surprisingly tasty but certainly not to be mistaken for fresh.

The verdict? I certainly would take it over even my favourite American flavour most days, but the packaging leaves plenty to be desired. This, of course, is merely the warmup. Stay tuned, friends, as Cheaper Than Food: The Ramen Break enters Round Three: Graceful Noodle Savior Ramen 7 SPLASH!

Also, mad props for the name of the next round go to... well as it was put, "With a strong back and a ferocious will, breaking through heaven and earth to reach tomorrow, I, the great and powerful Boss Goji, am responsible for this title!" You heard it here first, true ramen believers.

Numbers: packaging 2, preparation 3, heat 4, flavour 4, overall 4
Music: Yuzo Koshiro - Streets of Rage 2 (GEN) - Good Ending

1 comment:

bossgoji said...

Oi oi oi oi! You do well to pay respect to your fierce devil of a leader. We'll conquer these noodles just like yesterday's enemies!