Food Review: Koka Noodles

I try to be impartial and unbiased when I do these reviews, but I’m going to start this one by saying that I’ve tried and tested a lot of noodles and that Koka Noodles stand out as being by and large among the best noodles out there.

Now a little bit about them and the company that makes them. Koka are a brand of instant noodles, available both as packets or cup noodles. They are manufactured by Tat Hui Pte. LTD, A company founded in Singapore in 1986. Koka Noodles are available in a variety of flavours such as Chicken, Curry, Masala, Mi Goreng, Mushroom, Prawn, Spicy Stir-Fried, Tom Yum, Tomato, Vegetable and Beef.

Koka Noodles - Various

Before I start I’ll say that as a 20-something writer and sometimes student I need meals that are quick, reasonably priced (cheap!!!) And tastes good and noodles tend to be a safe bet but you run the risk with many brands of only meeting the first two of the three requirements but Koka beats other brands out because when prepared according to their instructions you get something that you can actually taste and enjoy.

Koka Noodles - Chicken FlavourChicken
You can’t go wrong with chicken, or at least Koka can’t go wrong, flavourful, quickly prepared and not oily like some instant noodle brands can be and unlike own brand store bought chicken noodles you can really taste it, rather than just a bland stock that mostly stays in the broth rather than the noodles. Personally I think chicken can get a bit samey though but then again I did eat a pack every for lunch for three months last year and I still want to eat them which bodes well for the product as a whole.

Koka Noodles - Curry FlavourCurry
My personal favourite, and again the real praise for this dish is that it actually tastes like what its supposed to taste like, the flavour bonds well with both the broth and the noodles and leaves you with a tasty alternative to the chicken flavour. This one especially can be spiced up with a little bit of bacon or beef, just to push it over the top but really it’s great on it’s own. Additionally while having a nice curry flavour it’s mild enough to be appealing to a broad palate.

Koka Noodles - Beef Flavour

This was actually my first time trying this particular flavour, and I’ve got to say I don’t not know what I was missing because it is delicious, a subtle flavour that’s incredibly Moreish and improved upon even more by something as simple as a plain piece of buttered bread.

Koka Noodles - Masala FlavourMasala
I was in a mixed mind about this one assuming it might be too similar to the broader curry flavour noodles but it’s sufficiently different to be worth trying on its own. A little spicier straight off the bat and an interesting alternative to just the regular curry, they haven’t dethroned my current favourite by any means but they will certainly be added into the rotation.

Koka Noodles - Spicy Stir-Fried FlavourSpicy stir-fried
First thing I noticed was the aromatic scent of this dish, more pronounced than any other on this list, also much like Tom Yum this one requires just a bit more care in preparation due to the soup base and the oil flavouring but if you make it right then you get a dish that’s tasty without being overpowering, with just a little spicy kick to it and of course as with all the other products on this list its filling on it’s own, especially as a lunch time meal.

Koka Noodles - Tom Yum FlavourTom Yum
I had never tried Tom Yum before I decided to do this product review and I’m fairly ambivalent towards hot and sour dishes in general but I figured since I already like the product in general, a flavour I might not enjoy is the best place to pick up faults that my own personal bias might obscure. My first thought was that it was quite mild, but not lacking in flavour. It was sweet but not overly so and even though I went into it thinking I wouldn’t enjoy these as much I was pleasantly surprised. My only note is that because of the soup base and the flavour oil together this one requires a little extra care to get right.

Really flavourful and savoury, it doesn’t have a overwhelmingly seafood taste to it but comparing it to their other savoury flavours I’ve tried like curry or chicken, it has a distinct flavour. I’m curious how it will set itself apart from the other seafood flavours, namely lobster and prawn. Overall these are super tasty and I’d like to try them again.

Has a really nice aroma, you can pick up a distinct prawn smell, compared to the crab which just smelled more savoury. It’s tangy and tasty, it has a nice prawn flavour to it, that’s familiar enough to people who like prawn while still being warm and savoury enough that I think it would appeal to people who perhaps aren’t the biggest fan of seafood. Honestly though its got a really rich flavourful that’s incredibly homey and tasty.

So we have the last of our seafood medley, and another warm, inviting aroma. And while my experience with Lobster is limited it certainly smells like Lobster. The flavour is mild but not bland, it has a smooth, creamy umami savouriness that is very tasty. I’m truly amazed that they managed to make three crustacean flavours so different and tasty in their own ways. 

This has a robust earthy aroma that is really rich and that moves right into the flavour which embodies everything to like about mushrooms, the depth of flavour and richness, the subtle savoury tang. It’s all incredibly tasty and I will for sure be having these again.

Has a nice spicy aroma, which I didn’t expect, it’s salty and savoury and incredibly moreish. It’s not easy to pick out a specific vegetable flavour but it’s tasty and the broth of this one is especially flavourful.

So some quick final comments, all of the items on this list, as well as the entire Koka Noodle Instant Noodle Block range can be cooked both in the microwave or on the hob, with in my opinion, no discernible drop in quality. The only real difference is really the time spent cooking, but either way within five minutes or so you’ve got a delicious pack of noodles.

I bought all of the noodles on this list, as well as dozens of other brands from Tradewinds Oriental Shop, which has provided excellent service, value for money and selection each time I’ve shopped with them.

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