Ibumie Penang White Curry Mee (Peris Kari Putih) $5 for a pack of four from 7-11
I don’t think that I can remember ever having a craving for instant noodles previously, but just last week it happened.
Don’t judge me.
I was about to head off to bed for a little read, when suddenly I was overtaken by this overwhelming urge to put on my winter boots, coat, and hat in order to traipse around the corner to the rather sad 7 – 11 at Dundas and Dovercourt. It’s depressing enough during the day when one needs to use the post office contained within, let alone late at night/early morning when it’s the only thing open in the neighbourhood, and hence attracts all manner of ne’er do wells, monged clubbers, and ramen-craving writers.
Quite what provoked this temporary lapse of sanity I am still unsure to this day, but in retrospect I’m so glad that that the noodle gods had chosen this particular late-night dalliance for me that evening, for I was to discover what I now consider to be the holy grail of instant noodles… well, for me at least. I’m still a bit of newbie when it comes to any kind of connoisseurship concerning instant soup noodles.
At around $5 for four individual packets, it obviously wasn’t going to break the bank. To be quite honest I didn’t realise that there were four contained within and, looking for the most “deluxe” offerings on the shelves, just thought that it was a much larger serving than one would usually find.
Each packet consists of four components : the noodles (which require three minutes in 375ml of boiling water), one sachet of a small amount of shrimpy seasoning, one slightly larger sachet of a non-dairy creamer, and a fatter sachet of curry sambal, which is what I think makes the dish, as it is really quite delicious. Being a big wuss when it comes to spice, I only use about one third of the curry sambal and that seems to be about right for my sensitive palate.
The assembled bowl smells immensely appealing, exotic, and as authentically Malaysian as inexpensive instant noodles could be (to these olfactory organs anyway). In the mouth the flavours seem considerably more complex than one usually finds in instant noodles, the creamer making the texture very pleasing indeed. The sambal’s funk continues on to the very back of the palate, and this is a very good thing.
A tip for those who are mindful about what they put in their bodies : don’t read the ingredients list. Just lie back and think of Penang as the synthetic additives toy with your senses…
I was so impressed by these particular noodles that I’ll be on the look out for further interesting options in the future.
Any recommendations from our readership would be most welcome!
Edinburgh-born/Toronto-based Sommelier, consultant, writer, judge, and educator Jamie Drummond is the Director of Programs/Editor of Good Food Revolution… And these are surprisingly good.