2009-04-10

One More Cup "Kimchi"

Brand: One More Cup
Flavour: Kimchi
Format: cardboard cup
Packets: two
Identifiables: noodle frustum, veggie brick, veggie bits, flavour powder
Sodium: 0.88 grams

So soon after the U.F.O. BIG, I decided to try another package which had minimal English on it. This time, all the text was Chinese except for the word "Kimchi" in a purple triangle and big friendly script letters reading "One More Cup" across the picture of a bowl of the stuff. Now, the name "One More Cup" leads me to wonder about the possibilities. When I lived in Ann Arbor, MI, there was a coffee joint called "Not Another Café", and the question was whether that was a declaration of uniqueness or a pander to the common groan of seeing yet another trendy café pop up in the area. Now I live in a place where there are more cafés than stop signs...

...but I digress. My mind conjures a bizarre commercial for this product in which a group of Taiwanese office workers are readying to eat lunch. One says, "If I have to eat one more more cup of instant noodles, I swear I'll—" He is cut off by a flash of light and the ramen cup in his hands has miraculously changed to the One More Cup brand. He slurps some noodles, grins, and gives a victorious thumbs-up to the camera. Then a monkey steals his suit jacket and the whole group laughs about it in freeze-frame.

I mean... have any of you ever had that dream?

It took me a short time to decode the directions while I peeled the foil top away from the cup. I know what a few numbers look like in Chinese (hint: the first three are dead easy, as is zero) so I was able to deduce that I was to pour 320 cubic centimetres of boiling water into the cup. There is no line to assist in this. I also guessed, by looking at which characters in the instructions matched the packet, that the soup powder went in before the water was added. I simply assumed that everything in the vegetable packet was to be dumped in before the water. It turned out that the vegetable packet was not to be a group of loose veggie bits, but a single orange cake. By now, however, I'm kind of accustomed to that.

I searched around in the instructions for a number. My suspicions were confirmed, and I waited three minutes after pouring in the boiling water. Then, I had my metal chopsticks handy – they were only a dollar-fifty at Daiso! – and all that remained was to photograph and eat. (The truncated photograph is because either the camera or the memory card is on the fritz and I haven't bothered diagnosing which.)

While the flavour was somewhat reminiscent of what it claimed to be, it really came across more as barbecued pork with a little kimchi on the side, which is by no means bad but definitely not at all what I was expecting. The noodles are quite standard "cup noodle" fare, meaning just firm enough but nothing to write home about. The vegetables are a welcome addition, and the cabbage bits do have a vinegary taste to them which is pleasant to those of us fond of kimchi. I'll give the flavour a four because it is that good, but the cup really should read "Spicy Pork" instead of "Kimchi".

How will I get that commercial out of my head, though?

Numbers: packaging 3, preparation 3, heat 2, flavour 4, overall 3
Music: Shpongle - Tales of the Inexpressible - Dorset Perception