As someone who likes to make things from scratch, it’s very rare that you would find box mixes and instant noodles in my pantry. But after being gifted with a sizeable bag filled with all sorts of meal mixes and instant noodles from one of Golden Acres’ brands called Prima Taste Singapore, I learned that it’s actually nice to have an option for shortcut dishes for those days when you want to spend a little less time in the kitchen.
It’s even better for days when you have a sudden inexplicable burst of craving for things like laksa, which takes a lot longer than a pack of instant noodles by tenfold. I know because I’ve made it before. And to be honest, laksa is just one of the many noodle dishes I tend to look for on a regular basis. I’m a huuuuge fan of Asian noodles.
So when I got contacted to write a review for these, I said yes right away. And as usual, though the goodies were provided for by Golden Acres, all my thoughts are purely and honestly my own. So let’s get it on shall we?
Today I’m going to share with you the Prima Taste La Mian under their Easy Gourmet Indulgence line. La Mian (拉面) is Chinese for “pulled noodles” — literally stretched and pulled noodles. (If you’ll notice, ramen sounds a lot like la mian too.) When done right, this process produces some of the best noodles in terms of texture and bite. This is the type of noodle Prima Taste hopes to replicate.
As far as I can tell, this particular brand of instant La Mian noodles boasts four distinctly Asian flavours, and I was sent three flavours to sample:
Naming this La Mian just ups my expectations for it a ton. And to make things even more exciting I picked laksa from the line up to try first. FYI, that’s like a double whammy in terms of expectations because la mien and laksa are like two of my favourite things. I know I’m calling this a Prima Taste Instant Noodles Review post, but since I’m no noodles expert, this is going to be all about my experience cooking and eating these noodles.
Now let’s open her up!
The size of the noodles is impressive though I guess it’s hard to tell from the photo. It doesn’t seem waxy at all like many other instant noodles out there. As you can see the condiments include laksa paste and a Laksa Premix.
The instructions are written very clearly at the back too. Nothing complicated at all.
Although you can, I decided not to add any toppings because I wanted to really get to taste the flavour of the soup base without having anything alter it.
Step one. Bring to a boil 500mL water mixed with the laksa paste and the powdered coconut milk premix.
Step two. Drop in your noodles and let it boil for 7 minutes, or until the noodles are cooked through. I always go for al dente.
And that’s pretty much it! As mentioned on the pack you can add toppings to the noodles, but I didn’t because I wanted to dig into that soup already.
Laksa is known for being a spicy and rich dish, and this was certainly that! You can even see the globules of chilli oil on the surface of the soup! If you’re not a big fan of spicy things then you might find this a bit too hot for your liking, but I happen to love spicy food so I was all for the warmth this brought.
I looooove how creamy the soup is too. It clings to the strands of the chewy noodles quite well. The hint of coconut milk and shrimp flavours in it were lovely. The soup thickens considerably as it cools though so gobble this up while hot.
Next time I’ll make sure to add some toppings because this could very well be a wonderful dish to eat when the weather is cold out. Usually in laksa it’ll be shrimp, chicken, some fishballs or tofu, and bean sprouts. (Mouth is watering just thinking about it!)
Just to be clear, we’re talking about instant noodles here and I wouldn’t go so far as saying that this is a replica of the real thing made from scratch. BUT that’s not to say this isn’t tasty. In fact it can be quite delicious– especially when you add toppings– as proven by this second pack I prepared. Clearly I liked it enough to want some more!
Chilli Crab is a very famous dish in Singapore, and here we get it in the form of noodles! This is a soup-less version, more like a stir-fry minus the frying because obviously you cook the noodles here by boiling and just adding in the sauces. And just like with the noodles in the laksa pack, this has a big round of noodles with two packs of flavourings.
The instructions are clearly stated on the back of the package once again, and it’s quite a unique procedure, at least for me, because not only do you boil the noodles but the sauce packs too.
Step One. Bring two pots of water to a boil. The bigger pot is for the noodles and the smaller is for the sauce packs. You put the sauces, INSIDE their packages, into the boiling water to heat up for 3 minutes. Then the noodles go in the other pot for about 6 minutes.
Step Two. Once the time is up for the sauce packs, I put them under running water to cool them off for a bit so I can actually handle them once my noodles are cooked. I drain my cooked noodles.
Step Three. The noodles go onto a plate, then I pour in the two sauces, mixing into the noodles before adding the next one. And as promised, I put some fresh crabmeat into the noodles to add a bit more pizzaz. 2/3 of the crabmeat is mixed into the noodles while the last 1/3 is sprinkled on top. I feel like if I added some scallions and other things this wouldn’t even look like instant noodles anymore.
The combination of the sauce packs makes this dish a bit sweet, just lightly spicy, with some buttery and crabby notes. This time I decided to add some actual fresh crabmeat in the dish to up the yummy factor, and voila! We have a winner.
I must say, I think this broth-less type of dish is best in highlighting the quality and texture of the actual noodles in this instant noodle pack. The noodles are definitely of a higher quality than a vast majority of instant noodles out there, and I like the chewiness of it and the way the sauces/soup clings to every strand.
I shared both these noodles with my brother because the servings make quite a lot! I was pleasantly surprised by it actually. The more to gobble up, I say!
Like I keep saying: This Prima Taste Instant Noodles review is completely free of bias, and I seriously think they did an amazing job with these. It’s a far cry from most instant noodles I’ve tried! If they’re taking suggestions and requests, can they maybe make Jajangmyeon too? 😛
These instant noodles retail for Php 129 a pack in leading supermarkets like Robinson’s, SM, Rustan’s, Puregold, and Metro Market.
Apart from noodles I also got sent a couple of other things by Golden Acres, and the only product I have not tried so far are these Pocket Chef rice flavourings by Nithi Foods Thailand.
For the Prima Taste products, they also have the ‘Authentic Asia Cooking Sauces’ (Php 79). There are 9 in total in this product line, and apart from the ones below they also have cooking sauces for Laksa Fried Rice, Mee Siam Goreng, and Sambal Chilli, among others.
I have tried one of these sauces so far, particularly the Nyonya Sambal one I decided to use on squid, as illustrated on the package. It’s a bit sweet and a bit tangy, even a little bit spicy too.
All you really have to do is follow the instructions at the back of the package and in no time you will have a really good dish that’s perfect with a steaming bowl of rice!
Here are some of their ‘Best Singapore Favourites’ Meal Sauce Kits (Php 249), and though I have only four to show you, there are actually a whopping 14 meal packs in this line, including those for Rendang, Chilli Crab, Singapore Curry, Bak Kut Teh, among others. These are the ones I received, and as you can see, it stays true to the label ‘Singapore Favourites’.
I confess I haven’t been able to try out the boxes above yet, save for the Hainanese Chicken meal kit. We love that stuff so it was the priority. (By the way, the Rice Paste I just photographed together with the box because they’re a common theme, but you don’t have to use them together. The meal kit already has its own Hainanese Rice sauce inside. Pretty cool!)
The instructions are once again written at the back with illustrations to boot.
Dinner is served! What you’re seeing right there is the plate of Hainanese chicken literally MOMENTS before it was devoured on the dinner table. For a bit of decoration we added some cucumbers and cilantro, though typically the cucumbers are placed underneath to catch all that chicken drippings, and once all the chicken is gone you eat the tasty cucumbers one by one. Cucumber never tasted so good as when they’ve been sitting under Hainanese chicken.
The best part about this meal kit is that you get a legitimate full Hainanese Chicken meal with the rice and all the three sauces typically served with this dish. The chicken cooks into a very fragrant and flavourful one that really does taste similar to Hainanese chicken served in restaurants!
Quite an interesting selection of products isn’t it? This brand is not familiar to me at all so I was really quite surprised by the range and scope of the dishes available. I can tell that all these meal kits and cooking sauces and noodles were created with the idea of making our favourite Asian restaurant dishes more accessible at home, and I think they hit all the right marks. I’m really very very impressed.
Prima Taste products are available in Robinson’s, SM, Rustan’s, Puregold, and Metro Market. Give them a chance and I hope you’ll enjoy them as much as I do! 🙂
Full disclosure: Products were sent to me by Golden Acres for sampling, but all opinions stated in this post are purely my own.