Do you ever find yourself thinking about the amount of knowledge you have accumulated over the years about random things – knowledge that one cannot quite put to good use resulting in an emotional wash of uselessness? (Yes, I’m talking about myself, what about it?) But thankfully, this dreadful existential crisis is now over because TLC exists.
I have been an insane instant noodles enthusiast since childhood. In fact, Knorr instant noodles were the first food that I ever learnt to make, but more on that later. A certain amount of my noodle preferences have greatly changed over the years, to which I’m sure many of you can relate, but one thing that has remained consistent is my love for noodles generally. (On which note, if I am ever invited over to your place, don’t even ask me what I would like to eat and just hand me a bowl of noodles; I won’t be bothering you for a while.)
Today, we shall be rating various instant noodles on a scale of Up Good to Down Cataclysmic, and if you’re unaware of these terms, a) you’re in luck because I asked someone to create a graphic for an apt visual representation and b) you really need to get on Reddit. Without further ado, let’s take a look at our ranking system.
If you are confused as to why our ranks are in a pyramid structure, don’t worry, it will make sense later on. If your confusion also includes wondering why one of the ranks is called ‘Down French Toast’, let’s just say that once upon a time, someone (we will refer to them as Person A henceforth) happened to be really, really, really down bad, and as a result of certain events revolving around a french toast (God bless that french toast, fr) we came to cherish this as an inside joke. Anyways, let us get on with the actual rating now.
- Shaan Shoop Instant Noodles (Masala)
Although I must admit that it has been a while since I last ate these noodles, I have a valid reason to be ranking them: they were just so bad that I could not bring myself to eat them again. To be more specific, they were down horrendous (I will never get tired of using these terms). My reasoning? None. You’ll just have to take my word for it. Don’t eat these unless you like eating terrible and bland tasting food, I guess. Moving on…
2. Nissin Gekikara Ramen Noodles (Hot Mushroom)
Only recently coming across these noodles, I was pleasantly surprised, to say the least. The tastemaker was such that it dissolved in water and had little effect on the noodles themselves, which created an interesting dynamic between the noodles and the soup. I had to frequently sip a little bit of the soup after slurping the noodles and although that’s not my usual eating style, I found it to be satisfying. Since these are imported from Indonesia, it is unlikely that you’ll find them at a local store so check out Jalal Sons or Al-Fatah. I shall be rating them up bad. They are definitely amongst some of the better noodles out there but not the best.
3. Samyang Ramen Noodles (2x Spicy Hot Chicken)
These are the most popular imported noodles that can be found in most grocery stores but the fact that they are so accessible is rather suspicious. My conspiracy theory is that South Korea sends us these noodles because they are the worst ones they’ve got and just want to rid themselves of it. Known for their insanely spicy flavour, these noodles are a pure scam. Not only are they expensive but also fail to make up for it with their taste. I was deceived by them quite often and bought them on several different occasions because I forgot the company’s name each time, thinking they were a different kind. Not anymore. Samyang will now always haunt my dreams. These are definitely down cataclysmic. If you like them, you’re just lying.
4. Maggi Cup Noodles (Masala)
These were some of the first few noodles that I ever ate and ever since they became unavailable in Pakistan, I’ve been quite sad. (Note: it’s been 3 years.) However, keeping in mind the medical controversy that led to the discontinuation of these noodles, I am unsure of whether to properly rank them or not. In my opinion, had there not been several samples of these noodles found to have higher-than-permissible levels of lead, they would be down bad. I mean, they still are, I suppose. Rather, even more so. Pros: they might kill you. Cons: you can’t find them anymore.
5. Knorr Noodles (Chatt Patta)
These are definitely the most popular noodles in Pakistan and rightfully so: not only are they inexpensive, but they also have the perfect tastemaker to snort (jk). Since these were the first noodles that I ever ate and the ones that I’ve eaten the most, they are definitely close to my heart and a quick-fix to my hunger-pangs. However, if you are someone who prefers the chicken flavour over the chatt patta one, I sincerely wish that you disappear off the face of this planet. Only sociopaths would prefer eating that gooey suspicious flavour over the supreme spicy one. I rate these noodles a delicious down good.
6. Kolson Cup Noodles (Fiery Chatpata)
Call these what you want but I think they are just Kolson’s failed attempt at being quirky and launching cup noodles in Pakistan. Although the trendy packaging may have attracted sales at first, people soon realised how awful they tasted. Since I will be rating them down french toast, I figured it was only fair to ask Person A their opinion on these noodles and this is how it went:
Me: “Thoughts on kolson cup noodles?”
Me: “Need for TLC article, don’t make a mom joke.”
Person A: “Dogsh*t.”
Person B: “Very bad. I’d rather eat plastic straws dipped in soy sauce.”
I certainly agree with them.
7. Nongshim Shin Ramyun Noodle Soup (Gourmet Spicy)
Ladies and Gentlemen, this is the moment you have all (read: me) been waiting for. I would be dishonest if I said that I did not come up with the idea of this article just so I could write paragraphs on how much I love these noodles. You know that feeling you get when you meet your favourite person after a really long time? Yeah, that’s the feeling I got when I ate these noodles a few days ago after trying to find them for more than a year. It is understandable that they would be as rare as they are considering how indescribably flavourful they happen to be. Their tastemaker is the best one I have ever tasted and I am not exaggerating when I say that once you eat these, you can never go back to eating Knorr noodles. I speak from experience.
However, not everything is perfect in life and this is what brings me to the disappointing revelation about these noodles. They are ridiculously expensive; so much so that you would go broke if you were to eat these consistently for a few months. The Daraz seller, where I ordered these noodles from, is not just doing God’s work in providing us with these exceptionally tasting noodles, but also the capitalist system’s work by ensuring that consumerism dwells in our minds (and stomachs) at all times. Does the pyramid structure of ranks make sense now? I rate these noodles a painful up good, which I hope serves as a reminder that most ‘up goods’ are not so good after all.
TLC Chief Reporter