23 September, 2009

Ramen Review 12: Asia Specialties Sesame Teriyaki Fresh Noodle Bowl

Today's ramen review is going to be a bit different, because Asia Specialties Sesame Teriyaki Fresh Noodle Bowl doesn't start off as a dried product but rather as a "fresh" noodle. Unfortunately, "fresh" doesn't necessarily mean "better." Or even "good."

Ease of Preparation: 3/10
First, open the vegetable packet and dump it into the bottom of the provided bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of water, then open the noodle package and top the veggies with the noodles. Then open the sauce pack, top the noodles with the sauce, microwave for 2 minutes, stir, sprinkle with the toasted sesame seeds, and enjoy. More steps than usual for ramen, but that isn't really the problem. The sauce packet is filled with thick, sticky sauce and it doesn't rip open evenly. I ended up with sauce on the edge of the bowl and all over my fingers. Messy.

Vegetable Packet: 2/10
Stingy. Even the cheapest standard Cup Noodles have a more generous veggie packet. This one contains green onions, a few bits of carrot, and a few tiny pieces of bell pepper. They got totally lost in the noodles.

Seasoning: 5/10
The sesame seeds lent a bit of nutty flavor, but the seasoning was almost exclusively found in the sauce packet - a thick, gummy drool of soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, and water.

Taste: 2/10
The heavy, overpowering sauce had more in common with a teriyaki glaze than with a true noodle sauce; it clung to the tough noodles and caused them to clump disgustingly. Vinegary sharpness was completely out of balance with the salty/sweet quasi-teriyaki notes, and the overall effect was like trying to eat some kind of bizarre candy-coated bundle of ropes.

Overall: 2/10 - Not Recommended
The worst noodles I've ever had, doubly disappointing because they're an ALDI house brand (the first ALDI product I've ever actively disliked.)

I hope the other Asia Specialties noodles are better than this, because I have two other flavors yet to review.

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