April 30, 2016 By

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Meet The Manufacturer: Interview With Urban Noodle

Interview With Urban Noodle * Product Samples From Urban NoodleUrban Noodle Authentic Street Food SatayUrban Noodle Authentic Street Food Thai Red CurryUrban Noodle Authentic Street Food Black BeanUrban Noodle Authentic Street Food Pad Thai *

As it always works, I got an email from someone asking if I’d like to try their noodles. These are a little different though – they’re from the UK, however they’re made in Thailand. Not only that, they’re microwavable – in fact, I think that’s the only way they can be prepared. Let’s find out a little more about this unique line of noodles from Ginette Monkcom, Commercial Executive from Petty, Wood & Co. Ltd. of the UK.

 

THE RAMEN RATER> Can you start by telling me a little bit about the history of Urban Noodle – how did you start?
URBAN NOODLE> Well, Asian food was becoming popular in the UK – many Brits go on vacation in Thailand and Bali – and the street food phenomenon was getting a lot of attention, with food trucks popping up everywhere in London, so we decided that the time was right for a new brand.
We felt like the authentic taste of street food wasn’t available in the traditional dry noodle pots which are available over here, we craved soft noodles and a proper sauce. Urban Noodle was launched last year and has been selling successfully ever since, having become a really popular lunch choice for everyone in the office.
By the way, “we” are Petty Wood Ltd, a company that selects fine foods from across the world and imports them into the UK. Urban Noodle is one of the brands we own.

TRR> For my readers who aren’t familiar with your products, can you tell a little about them?

URBAN NOODLE> We have five noodle-based meals/snacks, in Chinese-takeout style containers. The noodles are soft, not dried, and you just have to mix the noodles and sauce in the container, zap them in the microwave for 2 minutes, and you’re done.
The types are: Satay, Pad Thai, Thai Red Curry, Black Bean, and Chow Mein.

TRR> Your noodles come in a takeout box design; why?

URBAN NOODLE> Convenience, mainly; but also what Urban Noodle offers is different, it’s authentic, and we wanted to represent that with our design. Not to mention they are eye-catching on a supermarket shelf and they’re easy to store in your home or office cupboard.

TRR> Do you produce products other than noodles?

URBAN NOODLE> No, just these 5 items under the Urban Noodle brand, but Petty Wood markets a host of other brands, from tea to candy, some we own and some we distribute on behalf of their manufacturers.

TRR> How do you noodle products differ from those by other manufacturers?

URBAN NOODLE> Urban Noodle items are lower in salt and fat than competing products, and have cleaner ingredient listings. And we worked hard to ensure the recipes and flavors are more authentic.

TRR> Can your products be purchased outside of the UK?

URBAN NOODLE> Not yet, but we’re actively looking at the US market. There are some similar products sold in the US, but we believe ours are superior.

TRR> Where do you make your noodles?

URBAN NOODLE> All the varieties are made in Thailand, in a BRC-accredited production facility.

TRR> What was your first product?

URBAN NOODLE> The full Urban Noodle range was introduced at the same time.
Petty Wood however, has been running as a successful business for 200 years, launching the Epicure brand in 1891.

TRR> Are you involved in the local community/charity?

URBAN NOODLE> Every year Petty Wood employees vote for two charities to support throughout the coming year; one local and one national charity. This year we are proud to be supporting Hampshire & The Isle Of Wight’s Air Ambulance and Alzheimer’s Society.

TRR> How many of your unique noodles do you produce every year?

URBAN NOODLE> In our first year of trading we produced thousands of Urban Noodle pots, and since then our orders haven’t stopped coming.

TRR> Have you ever thought about varieties like macaroni and cheese or pizza flavored noodles?

URBAN NOODLE> Well…. Great ideas…. If we come across a street vendor in Bangkok or Jakarta selling macaroni & cheese noodles or pizza noodles, then we will come up with an equivalent!

TRR> Which is your personal favorite variety of Urban Noodle and what (if anything) do you add to them?

URBAN NOODLE> Mine is the Satay: the sauce is very peanutty (if that’s a word) and has little baby corns in it. A meal in itself. A second favorite is the Thai Red Curry: I have tried adding chicken to that, which is so easy to do and gives it that little bit extra.

TRR> You’re located in the UK – can you tell us a little about life where your company is located – local highlights and the like?

URBAN NOODLE> We’re in Andover, a town in the county of Hampshire, about 60 miles southwest of London. It was founded by Celts over 1,000 years ago: Andover was mentioned in the Domesday Book in 1086. It’s surrounded by beautiful countryside, and also hosts the Head Quarters for the British Army. Andover a great place in which to live and work.

TRR> Why the name Urban Noodle?

URBAN NOODLE> It’s a great name, isn’t it? (It’s trademarked by the way.) It means exactly what it suggests: city food, quick convenient, high quality.

TRR> Are there any new products on the way from Urban Noodle? Can you give my readers a ‘sneak peek?’

URBAN NOODLE> We are dedicating our focus to the current range of Urban Noodle right now but are looking at other flavors we might extend the range with in the future.

THE RAMEN RATER> Thank you very much for this opportunity! I and my readers appreciate it!

 

With that, let’s start Meet The Manufacturer! I want to thank Steve Dawson for reaching out about this product line, and Ginette Monkcom for the interview!

Products cooked according to package instructions. Product reviews done prior to adding any additional ingredients.
May 3, 2016 By

Meet The Manufacturer: #2024: Urban Noodle Authentic Street Food Pad Thai

Okay so here we go. Pad Thai. In an instant and quick prep scenario, pad thai has gone through the ringer. I’ve had pad thai that comes this way be pretty decent, however many I’ve had taste like peanut butter and black vinegar with some chopped nuts on top. It’s not a real tricky one to translate to a processed food, but it seems a lot of the time that companies will draw on certain flavorings and try to mimic the flavor but end up with something completely different. Let’s hit up this one and see how it goes!

Detail of the side panels (click to enlarge). Looks to be meat free but check for yourself. To prepare, empty contents of noodle pouch into box and separate with fork. Add in sauce sachet and close box back up. Microwave for 2 minutes at 650W (my microwave is 1100W with power levels of 1-10, so I’ll be using 6). Stir and enjoy!

The noodle pouch.

The large sauce sachet.

Some of the huge sachet of sauce.

Finished (click to enlarge). Added coriander, extra large shrimp, Salad Cosmo mung bean sprouts and crushed red pepper flakes. The noodles are flat and broad. They come out of the microwave nicely. The sauce has a flavor that is extremely sweet and has bits of what I believe to be carrot and definitely water chestnut. I would not call this pad thai, but more of a sweet and sour noodle. It’s actually quite good, but it’s poor resemblance to actual pad thai docks some score. Worth a try. 2.5 out of 5.0 stars. EAN bar code 5011673403024.

Jamie Oliver’s Great Britain

A recipe for cooking authentic pad thai at home.

Products cooked according to package instructions. Product reviews done prior to adding any additional ingredients.
May 2, 2016 By

Meet The Manufacturer: #2023: Urban Noodle Authentic Street Food Black Bean

I’m a little curious on this one. See, Jjajang is really popular in China and South Korea; basically noodles with a black bean sauce. I’m curious as to if this is leaning in that direction, or whether it’s something on the Caribbean side; maybe a little citrus going on? Well, one way to find out – let’s crack it open and cook it up!

Detail of the side panels (click to enlarge). Looks to be meat free but check for yourself. To prepare, empty contents of noodle pouch into box and separate with fork. Add in sauce sachet and close box back up. Microwave for 2 minutes at 650W (my microwave is 1100W with power levels of 1-10, so I’ll be using 6). Stir and enjoy!

The noodle pouch.

The sauce sachet – very large.

Some of the sauce.

Finished (click to enlarge). The noodles in this one were flat instead of round. They came out very nicely. The flavoring however was just strange. I expected maybe something of a Korean-Chinese fusion dish, but those are hearty and rich and not savory and sweet. In fact, this one was a little too sweet for me. The thinly sliced bamboo shoots don’t work for me either; leaving them whole would be nicer I think. What’s more, it has a kind of chemically aftertaste; like chlorine or soap. 0.0 out of 5.0 stars. EAN bar code 5011673403048.

Great British Cooking: A Well-kept Secret

[youtube url=https://youtu.be/IzcNjFqnrVg[Jamie Oliver shows some black bean cooking.

Products cooked according to package instructions. Product reviews done prior to adding any additional ingredients.
May 1, 2016 By

Meet The Manufacturer: #2022: Urban Noodle Authentic Street Food Thai Red Curry

This sounds like a good one! Red curry i sone I thoroughly enjoy; although I can’t think of a curry I’ve met that I’ve not enjoyed. When I think of curry and the UK, my thoughts immediately wander towards Red Dwarf episodes with Rimmer complaining about Lister reeking of last night’s vindaloo and stale lager. It also wanders to something I saw a couple years ago – in Britain, you can get takeaway boxes full of fried odd and ends – it looks like pure gut bomb amazingness. But I digress – red curry sounds good – let’s dig in!

Detail of the side panels (click to enlarge). Looks to be meat free but check for yourself. To prepare, empty contents of noodle pouch into box and separate with fork. Add in sauce sachet and close box back up. Microwave for 2 minutes at 650W (my microwave is 1100W with power levels of 1-10, so I’ll be using 6). Stir and enjoy!

The noodle pouch.

The large sauce sachet.

A thick liquid with a nice scent.

Finished (click to enlarge). Added spring onion, crushed red pepper, coriander and Salad Cosmo mung bean sprouts. The noodles were nice – decent chewiness and thickness. The flavor on this one was a slightly spicy and acidic curry. Long thin strips of bamboo shoots were abundant as well. 3.0 out of 5.0 stars.  EAN bar code 501167340301.

Traditional Old English (British) Recipes (Traditional Old English Recipes) (Volume 1)

Some short introductions to some neat British street food trucks.

Products cooked according to package instructions. Product reviews done prior to adding any additional ingredients.
April 30, 2016 By

Meet The Manufacturer: #2021: Urban Noodle Authentic Street Food Satay

To kick things off, we have the Satay variety. Satay is hugely popular, but I have a feeling most people don’t know the whole story – here’s what Wikipedia has to say about Satay:

Satay (/ˈsæt/, /ˈsɑːt/ sah-tay), modern Indonesian and Malay spelling of sate, is a dish of seasoned, skewered and grilled meat, served with a sauce.[1] Satay may consist of diced or sliced chicken, goat, mutton, beef,pork, fish, other meats, or tofu; the more authentic version uses skewers from the midrib of the coconut palm frond, although bamboo skewers are often used. These are grilled or barbecued over a wood or charcoal fire, then served with various spicy seasonings.

Satay originated in Java, Indonesia.[2][3][4] It is available almost anywhere in Indonesia, where it has become a national dish.[5][6] It is also popular in many other Southeast Asian countries, including Malaysia, Singapore,Brunei, Thailand, the Philippines, as well as in Suriname and the Netherlands, as Indonesia and Suriname are former Dutch colonies.

Satay is a very popular delicacy in Indonesia; the country’s diverse ethnic groups’ culinary arts (see Indonesian cuisine) have produced a wide variety of satays. In Indonesia, satay can be obtained from a travelling satay vendor, from a street-side tent-restaurant, in an upper-class restaurant, or during traditional celebration feasts. In Malaysia, satay is a popular dish—especially during celebrations—and can be found throughout the country. In Southern Philippines it is known as satti.

Close analogues are yakitori from Japan, shish kebab from Turkey and the Middle East, shashlik from the Caucasus, chuanr from China, and sosatie from South Africa. It is listed at number 14 on World’s 50 most delicious foods readers’ poll complied by CNN Go in 2011.[7]

Alright – let’s delve into this, the first of five different varieties I’ll be reviewing for this Meet The Manufacturer.

Detail of the side panels (click to enlarge). Looks to be meat free but check for yourself. To prepare, empty noodle pouch into box and separate with a fork. Add sauce sachet contents, close box back up and microwave at 650W for 2 minutes (I have an 1100W microwave with power settings of 1-10 so going to use 6). Stir and enjoy!

The noodle pouch.

The sauce sachet.

A thick liquid with a pleasing scent.

Finished (click to enlarge). Added Salad Cosmo mung bean sprouts and spring onion. The noodles had a great chew and gauge to them. Not rubbery from the microwaving, either. The flavor was really great – a nice bit of peanut and a rich satay taste. The omnipresence of baby corn was not only nice, it went perfectly and they were of excellent quality. 5.0 out of 5.0 stars.  EAN bar code 5011673403017.

British Food: An Extraordinary Thousand Years of History

A film showing street food in London’s Greenwich Market.

Products cooked according to package instructions. Product reviews done prior to adding any additional ingredients.
By

Meet The Manufacturer: Product Samples From Urban Noodle

Behold! The postman comes bearing gifts! Let’s see what’s inside, shall we?

All five varieties of Urban Noodle (click to enlarge)! I think this will be a fun Meet The Manufacturer!

Wait, shortbread cookies? Well, Steve (the fellow who sent them along) used to be a head honcho at Walker’s Shortbread and sent some along! Thanks! Can’t wait to try these great looking noodles (and have some cookies for dessert)!

Products cooked according to package instructions. Product reviews done prior to adding any additional ingredients.