Sunday, June 12, 2016

Indomie Real Meat Vs. Bakmi Mewah Rasa

Purple: Rendang flavor, Red: Chicken and Mushroom flavor.

Bakmi Mewah Rasa or The Scrumptious Chicken Noodle

For decades, Indomie has been dominating Indonesia's instant noodle scene and some of the international market share. Many brave contenders tried to challenge the absolute king yet little did succeed. The one being closest to Indomie's rival is Mie Sedap (from Wings Food) which has been building faithful followers over years, although there's still a huge gap of power between two. One day, another challenger from Mayora group, whose a well-known sweets producer, enters the ring. With its gold-over-black box packaging and "includes real chicken meat" catchphrase, Bakmi Mewah Rasa quickly garnered public's attention. The supreme ruler who wants to re-establish its dominance didn't take long to release their version of premium instant noodle, namely Indomie Real Meat. Will the challenger emerges as the champion or joining the silent minority in the shadow of instant noodle titan? We'll find out.


Indomie Real Meat: Rendang flavor

Spicy and oily are what best describe this noodle. I can taste a generous amount of white pepper and chili mixed in the seasoning. This mightn't the authentic Rendang cooked according to traditional recipe (which is cooked for so long to the point the meat went as black as charcoal and reeeeally spicy), this is actually tastes quite close to the rendang you can buy in most Padang restaurants.

This instant noodle do use real beef as promised, although I'm not sure which cut they use; it's so tough. There aren't many meat dices included in a single serving so the kidney bean is a welcomed addition. I think they made the right decision by adding kidney bean to reduce the production cost; kidney bean is one of the meatier variety among legumes and a good source of protein. Though, they were a bit undercooked for my taste. Edible, but hard. They should've used industrial pressure cooker and these beans will be cooked to perfection in no time, boiling just take too long! Another complaint coming from the sauce; it contains too much oil! So much that I can spoon it. Thankfully, oil is thinner than the sauce so for those who don't like oily food like me can make a small cut in one of the packet's corner to let out some of the oil.

At any rate, this is a commendable noodle and far better than the Mie Goreng Rendang Indomie released some time ago, which is pungent yet barely tastes anything close to rendang (well, duh. it costs one third to this!)

Indomie Real Meat: Chicken and Mushroom flavor

Rendang might've chosen for its popularity as a beef dish but Chicken and Mushroom flavor is clearly the unspoken challenge letter to Bakmi Mewah Rasa! They use flat noodle, the type they use in their premium line-ups as opposed to the usual round noodle; dried leek chips and not the usual shallot crisp. Chicken is cut into tiny chunks but I like how they cut the mushroom slightly thicker than regular slice. These chicken and mushroom are flavored by kecap manis and some other seasoning, they taste pretty much like the usual Mie Ayam's ingredients. It wasn't clear with the Rendang flavor but they cut the amount of MSG used in Real Meat compared to their regular line-up; the flavor is less harsh now but with nothing much to offer, it got boring. The dried leek flakes are somewhat less fragrant than the one used in Bakmi Mewah Rasa, I'd say it's an useless addition. Overall, this is nice to sate your late-night craving but if you've got a favorite Mie Ayam hawker, don't bother eating it. Fresh food is always better than processed instant food after all!

Bakmi Mewah Rasa

I'll be blunt here; I'm a fan of this noodle and may be biased. But really, does a human free from any biases truly exists? I strongly doubt so. I'll try to judge this noodle in the same measure as other noodles, pointing both pros and cons I see. Well, without further ado, here we go.

I have liked this noodle from my first encounter, so much that I made a hype post at facebook back in December last year. Bakmi Mewah Rasa is the first to use actual meat among national instant noodles, the first to use leek flakes, the first to use soy sauce and sesame oil. "The R&D people must've refined taste," I muttered to myself. In my opinion, Bakmi Mewah Rasa has better noodle than Indomie's. It has elasticity and better mouthfeel, while Indomie's noodle is limp and tastes floury.

The overall taste of this noodle is "light"; the chicken and mushroom are salted lightly, the soy sauce used in here must've mixed with monosodium glutamate although remains lightly salty, the leek flakes add a light grassy scent, and the noodle is springy. Eating a bowl of this noodle is like listening to a playful melody blown from a flute in a grassland during daylight. This noodle also comes with a packet of sambal, although there's nothing remarkable to write about it. It's sweet and doesn't contain any heat. If anything, it'll ruin the perfection in your bowl. It's only there to answer Indonesian people's obsession over sambal, our term for hot condiment.

A bit of trivia: This noodle is closer to Chinese-style chicken noodle, hence it's named Bakmi (Ayam). However, the term Bakmi in here is used erroneously as Bak in Chinese cuisine means pork yet no pork used in Bakmi Mewah Rasa. Personally, I'm using Mie Ayam to refer to Javanese-style chicken noodle while Bakmi Ayam to Chinese-style.

This noodle seems to be so balanced that despite the relatively small portion, it doesn't make me want to reach for another. Every part completes each other, forming the whole picture. Careless addition will ruin the balance, like adding a discordant note in the carefully written composition. Even egg which can improve many other instant noodles doesn't really quite belong in the ensemble. This noodle can satisfy your stomach and your palate. If you're a fan of Chinese noodle, you'll surely appreciate this.

Now let's talk about its downfall. Many people are commenting on how salty this noodle is. That's right, this noodle can be too salty for some. But I disagree! This problem can be solved easily by adding a bit of hot water to the finished noodle. It dilutes the noodle a bit, tones down the salt, and provide broth to the noodle. But seriously, your noodle won't comically explode just because you didn't follow the cooking instruction word for word. If anything, to have broth is in accordance to Chinese style! The R&D people must be under impression that people who lives in Jakarta prefer strong flavor, that's why they recommend to eat this noodle dry. Rather than that, my only complaints are they should've used the richer leg meat with its skin intact than this chalky breast meat and the mushroom were cut into bigger pieces. But even without that, I love this noodle so much I eat it at least once a week. Totally recommended!

To tell the truth, I bought both flavor of Indomie Real Meat twice before writing this review because I still have some doubts regarding its quality. The first time was when it was recently started their sale exclusively in Indomaret and the second time at Carrefour. Many new products are actually sold exclusively in convenience stores, like Indomaret or Alfamart, before finally available in hypermarkets, such as Hypermart, Carrefour, Giant, Lotte Mart, or the recently opened Lulu. Just like Beta Testing procedure in gaming industry, this practice serves so the manufacturer can make adjustments based on consumer's feedback and field test as things don't go exactly like what's written on paper. For example, Bakmi Mewah Rasa included a piece of paper inside its packaging for some periods after its initial beta testing which reads "This noodle does not need broth," to clear some confusion. Also, Bakmi Mewah Rasa and Indomie Real Meat had their meat cut in bigger chunks during beta testing to give a good first impression.

Between Indomie Real Meat Chicken & Mushroom and Bakmi Mewah Rasa, Bakmi Mewah Rasa comes as the better one, thanks to its noodle. However, I think it matters a little as each noodle has its own identity. Indomie Real Meat Chicken & Mushroom caters so Mie Ayam's fans and Bakmi Mewah Rasa serves the fans of Bakmi Ayam. All's well that ends well.

Well, what do you think? Are you with me or do you think my review doesn't do enough justice to the product? Write away your thought in the comment.
Don't forget to follow and share. See you at the next review.

Indomie Real Meat: Rendang flavor
Manufacturer: PT Indofood CBP Sukses Makmur Tbk
Price range: 9000 rupiah (Based on where I bought it. Your area might has them under different price.)
Net weight: 110 gram.
Worth to buy? Yes
Who'll love this: Rendang fans
You'll also like: Indomie Mie Goreng

Indomie Real Meat: Chicken and Mushroom flavor
Manufacturer: PT Indofood CBP Sukses Makmur Tbk
Price range: 9000 rupiah (Based on where I bought it. Your area might has them under different price.)
Net weight: 110 gram.
Worth to buy? Maybe.
Who'll love this: Mie Ayam fans
You'll also like: Indomie Mie Goreng Jumbo Ayam Panggang

Bakmi Mewah Rasa
Manufacturer: PT Dellifood Sentosa Corpindo.
Price range: 7500 rupiah (Based on where I bought it. Your area might has them under different price.)
Net weight: 110 gram.
Worth to buy? Yes.
Who'll love this: Bakmi Ayam fans
You'll also like: Shio Ramen

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