I’ve noticed that there are about four kinds of packaging for these items: plastic tray (the previous entry), styrofoam cup (a la Maruchan Instant Lunch), styrofoam bowl (Nong Shim Bowl Noodle), and lastly, that chosen by today’s subject (from the makers of Thai Kitchen): the Chinese take-out style paper box.

Of the products I’ve evaluated for review thus far, this selection had among my favorite flavor. Despite a purple-flame icon labeled “mild” next to the instructions, it was actually pleasingly spicy for this spiciness-addict.

Simply Asia is also very innovative, in that, not only did they include a plastic fork, but the plastic fork included actually folds in half to fit in the box (and snaps into either folded or unfolded position!).

The noodle format chosen is slightly unusual: rather than the usual dry noodles, these noodles came in a soft, partially-cooked format, packaged in a sealed bag. For this reason, preparation involved the addition of a relatively small amount of water. Two other packets are included, one of sauce, and one of a quite tasty “crunchy shallot sesame seed topping.”

This is where my quibble with Simple Asia occurs, however: the instructions end up leaving you with some guesswork, and there is a strange inconsistency in the whole experience. Step 1 calls for, “Add 2 Tbsp. of water.” Sorry, but my office kitchenette doesn’t have measuring spoons handy, and I’m not in the habit of carrying around a set. Very odd that Simply Asia would include a fork, thus signifying that they expect the end user not to have utensils available, but then turn around and issue instructions that call for a measuring spoon. I guessed as best I could with a regular large soup spoon, however, and and perhaps I got lucky, because the results were excellent. Only two minutes in the microwave, and no “let stand for one minute” nonsense afterwards, and as I said before, it tasted great.

But they really need to work out whether or not they expect the end user to have utensils at hand. They’re really sending a mixed message there.

usability: 2.5 / 5 taste: 4.5 / 5

Charlie Schiz

Charlie Schiz
When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. I've been weird all my life. It's my time to shine.

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