Many people I know are already fanatical devotees of this instant noodle brand. For those of you who have yet to discover it, here’s a quick summary of the MyKuali legend so far.
There are a few sections with sub-heads, so you can skip the parts you’re already familiar with.
About The Ramen Rater
Before anything else, I guess I should tell you about The Ramen Rater, since I first heard about MyKuali on his site. Who is he, you ask? Well, he’s an American guy who has loved instant noodles since he was a kid, and is now probably the world’s foremost authority on instant noodles.
He’s so influential, his opinion so respected, that when his top 10 list of 2013’s best instant noodles did not include a brand from Taiwan, the story was featured on Taiwanese TV and many Taiwanese expressed outrage at the notion that their instant noodles are not considered good enough by the big man.
People and companies send him products to review. He’s been featured on TV and radio shows in multiple countries, including Japan: where instant noodles were invented.
What I’m trying to get across is, he’s not just some chubby white guy crapping out arbitrary opinions nobody cares about from his mother’s basement. No, when this chubby white guy craps out his arbitrary opinions, it affects people, incites strong reactions and could create shockwaves half a world away.
|And here’s a picture of this instant noodle icon – so you can spot him and ask for an autograph or something.|
He’s reviewed over 700 unique instant noodles to date and I’m just flabbergasted by two things:
1. How the heck is he still alive??
2. Why hasn’t he gotten a Wikipedia entry yet?
MyKuali got onto a Ramen Rater Top 10
As I said, I first heard about MyKuali when their noodles made it onto The Ramen Rater’s Top 10 Spiciest Instant Noodles of All Time 2013. I know, I know, the ‘2013’ is contradicting the bit that says ‘of All Time’ – but I’m not about to argue with the world’s leading Instant Noodle-ologist.
It came in at number 7, but it was the first time an instant noodle from Malaysia made it onto a Ramen Rater Top Ten list, and it received a perfect 5/5 stars to boot! Certainly something to be proud of.
Side note, because I’m still really sore about the state of things
Goodness knows I need things to be proud of, living as I am in a situation where a big group of us put money into a pot, only to have 99.5% of it stolen by a tiny group of rabid dogs. Said dogs then aggressively brandish kangkung in our faces and scream insults at us because we’re not sufficiently grateful for the 0.5% they left us.
|Yeah, I just had to get one more in.|
Sorry, moving on.
MyKuali, the seriously elusive
I don’t know if the Ramen Rater listing made demand for MyKuali explode, or if the noodles had been hugely popular all along before he did his review and top ten listing. All I know is, by the time I got round to Googling MyKuali, their Facebook page has already been inundated by frustrated fans crying out for their white curry noodles, demanding that they step up their production and improve their distribution network.
People willingly endured KL traffic to get to Sogo, where MyKuali claimed that the noodles were available, only to find them already sold out. A friend told me about spotting a last case of it in a sundry shop while running an urgent errand, and immediately stopped to buy the lot, errand temporarily forgotten until he could secure the noodles. They were being snapped up, not by the packet, but in bulk by the case – whenever anyone is lucky enough to get their hands on some.
|Take a good look – memorise what it looks like. Make sure you tell me if you spot it anywhere.|
As more people get a taste, the frenzy intensified. Rumours would spring up about where it can be found – sometimes proven true, other times not. Someone or other would know a guy who knows a guy who knows an agent for MyKuali who could secure a shipment of the stuff. Enterprising individuals would re-sell it at nearly a 50% mark-up.
And no doubt at some point a few of us would look up from our obsession just long enough to laugh about how ridiculous it must appear that we’re going to all this trouble over what, ultimately, are just instant noodles. But do not doubt that those same people would cheerfully punch you in the throat if you get between them and the last packet on the shelf.
|Rumour has it that a movie is being made about the fanaticism of MyKuali lovers - they're calling it World War Mee.|
So it’s a big deal. But really, how does it taste?
Short answer: it’s good. It’s really good. It’s fantastic for an instant noodle, and even holds its own against the curry mee you get from hawkers in Penang. Definitely a damn sight better than some of the curry laksa we find here in Klang Valley.
|Don’t let the less-than-premium look of the packaging design turn you off. This stuff is legit!|
For the long answer, well… let’s start with the contents of the pack. You immediately get a sense that this is not your regular Maggi mee because along with the noodles and seasoning powder, you also get a huge packet of potent-looking chilli paste that looked like it was freshly made by your grandma in her own kitchen; and they even managed to include the richness of santan in the form of a powdered ‘non-dairy creamer’.
|MyKuali Penang White Curry Mee unboxing.|
Then you start cooking and the smell just takes over the kitchen and spreads outward in an intoxicating wave that conjures up images of long-simmering claypots of seafood curry with 15 ingredients in them.
Now you pour the noodles into a bowl, and sinuous tendrils of aroma rise up out of the soup, caressing your senses and whispering salacious promises of the pleasures to come… soon, so very soon now.
|I just want to dive into a vat full of this stuff.|
You scoop up a spoonful of soup and bring it to eye level. It’s the deep, rich colour of saffron robes, with globules of chilli oil and dark flecks of pulverised herbs and spices floating on the surface. It’s also thick, with an almost sauce-like consistency that helps it to cling to every noodle strand.
|We couldn’t wait long enough to carry it to the dining table, and ate it right there on the kitchen counter.|
You take your first sip and your eyes close involuntarily as your senses are overcome – the richness of coconut milk and the briny sweetness of seafood crashing together on your tongue and filling up your entire mouth. Then, at the back of your throat, a subtle spiciness that gradually grows in presence, making your tongue and lips tingle deliciously, reminding you it’s there but never intense enough to make you uncomfortable.
You realise you’d been holding your breath all this while and sigh contentedly, and you get the heady aroma again in your nostrils – softer now, a fond farewell and an invitation to take your next spoonful.
Rinse, repeat, lick the bowl. I did.
Do I add anything?
The noodles are perfect and don’t need anything else. But you can always add boiled prawns and fish fillets, maybe a perfectly boiled egg with runny yolk. And replace water with a tasty seafood stock for an extra flavour boost.
I wouldn’t recommend doing anything more than that.
Most importantly, where can I score some?
Well, I don’t know of a steady supply source in Klang Valley or even in Penang. But if I did, well, I wouldn’t share it. Yeah, I’m selfish like that. But I’m really not all that big of a douche because…
Here’s your chance to win some MyKuali!
To thank you for reading this far, here’s an opportunity to win a bag of MyKuali with 4 packets of noodles. Just tell us which post in this blog you like most, and why. Submit your answers via e-mail at email@example.com by 14 Feb 2014.
Just one term: winners MUST collect their prizes from The Curve @ Mutiara Damansara.
All the best!
We’ve not been paid by MyKuali in any way to promote their product. Although MyKuali, if you’re reading this, a few packs of free noodles would be greatly appreciated. :)