After scouring the aisles of both local and foreign supermarkets on our tiny island, we’ve finally come up with a list of instant noodles that’re worth the calories (and health risks). It was a tough task but hey, someone had to do it. Burp.
If you’re ever travelling to a place far away from home, be sure to stash a few packets of Prima Taste Laksa La Mian in your luggage. This DIY laksa comes with a generous helping of white noodles, laksa paste, and laksa pre-mix.
The springy noodles are fairly commendable (by instant noodle standards), but it’s the laksa broth that steals the show. The coconut gravy is rich and fragrant, and compliments the noodles well. Just add in some fish cake, eggs, and you’re good to go.
We were pleased to note that it tastes just like the real thing (and maybe even slightly better). Katong Laksa, watch out.
#2. Pagoda Minced Meat Noodes, Dry
$2.20 for a pack of 5, available at Fairprice Xtra and leading supermarkets
Despite the fact that the noodles hardly resembled the image on the packet, we were still pleasantly surprised by Pagoda Minced Meat Noodes. The noodles were chewy and springy, and proved to be much tastier than your run-of-the-mill Mee Goreng noodles.
The seasoning was slightly sour (kind of like that last dash of vinegar that the bak chor mee uncle adds with a flourish) and spicy – a magical concoction which tickled our taste buds and satisfied our bak chor mee craving for the week.
#3. Nong Shim Chapagetti Chajangmyun
$5.25 for a pack of 5, available at Fairprice Xtra
Yes, we know that anything above $4 seems a bit steep for instant noodles, but Nong Shim Chapagetti Chajangmyun proved to be one of those premium things in life that are worth paying a little extra for.
The quality and texture of the Chajangmyun noodles was highly commendable – moist, chewy and perfect to sink your teeth into. We also loved the accompanying seasoning and generous packet of vegetable bits to mix into your noodles. The satisfyingly thick gravy complemented the aforementioned chewy noodles well.
As an added bonus, one serving (or half a pack) is only 360 calories. No wonder Kpop stars can eat instant noodles in the middle of the night and still look good in a pair of leather pants.
#4. KOKA Spicy Black Pepper Instant Non-Fried Noodles
$2.35 for a pack of 4, available at NTUC Fairprice and leading supermarkets
Keep a stash of these noodles at home to stave off any midnight pepper crab cravings. Each packet contains a brick of noodles, two packets of seasoning and an extra sachet of garnish to add some pizazz to your meal. While the noodles are average at best, the seasoning features an interesting blend of spicy pepper and garlic that tastes almost like the real deal. And as an added bonus, the non-fried noodles are low fat, so they just might be a better option for weight watchers.
#5. Nissin Mentasu Itame Koumi Miso
$2.50 per pack, available at Meidi-ya Supermarket
The Nissin Mentasu Itame Koumi Miso was our favourite of the lot, and for good reason too. The miso soup was astoundingly good – packing a flavourful burst, not at all like the watered-down miso soup from local sushi chains.
The noodles, which were thick and chewy, soaked up the flavour of the miso soup and complemented the seasoning well. Nevermind if you can’t read the Japanese instructions on the packet – the clever drawings of the cooking process will guide you through the general steps, and you can agar agar the rest. Bonus points for the sparkle graphics on the noodles image on the packet.