Tingtop – Shanghai Beach Soup Cake

Shanghai Beach Soup Cake

Country: China.
Size: 210g.
Flavour: Horrible. Two sachets: nastiness (unidentifiable); evil (some sort of vegetable thing).
From: Friend.
Price: Unknown.

These are some of the weirder ‘noodles’ I’ve ever had. Come in quite a heavy packet (210g), covered in Chinese pictographs, very little to help the English reader here by way of explaination of just what you’re getting yourself in for, or indeed how to prepare them.

Thankfully I had a ‘semi-interpreter’ which in this case means ‘someone who’d sort of seen these be made before.

I opened up the packet and was met with a quite unpleasant odour, smells like some sort of bean or sprout which was gotten a bit damp.

CakesInside is a stack of what I must presume to be rice cakes, these are arranged in a sort of array, with the blobs of ‘rice’ stuck together, with a sheet of plastic between each layer of ‘cakes’. Each cake is about the size of the cross-section of my thumb.

Also inside are some scary as hell flavourings, including an unidentified vegetable looking thing, which is really big and scary, maybe some sort of seaweed, I don’t like the looks of it. In addition to that are a hostile oil sachet, and a foil sachet containing I don’t know what. The label on each of the last sachets is not welcoming, labelling them both ‘senior soup condiment bag’, which, uh, freaks me out just a little bit.

This little man is a liar.Also unwelcoming is the date on the back, which is 2005.4.18, as it’s currently the 27th of September 2005, I’m hoping that’s a manufacturing date rather than a use by date, but if it is the use by date, it might explain the smell.

To be honest, if this wasn’t for science and The International Noodle Review, I wouldn’t go any further.

Preperation was to break all of the ‘cakes’ off, peel away all the plastic, put them in a microwave safe bowl and cover well with boiling water, (plus an inch or so) then put in the microwave for 4 minutes 30 seconds.

Nasty looking vegetables.Not knowing any better, I then put the entire contents of each ‘condiment bag’ into the bowl and mixed it all up. It doesn’t look good. It doesn’t smell good. It smells like… Food from an alien culture. Very organic, leafy. But not nice.

It looks way too much like a jelly, all the water has turned to a thick glutinous substance.

The taste isn’t as bad as the smell.

The texture is pretty awful.

The soup tastes like, well, like a very very plain vegetable soup.

The rice cakes are like little lumps of low grade rubber, nearly flavourless.

I didn’t get through more than a bite or two. This is not fit for my lunch. The rest of it went in the bin.

Shanghai Beach Soup Cake

Overall, these ‘noodles’ are very upsetting. They scare me for several reasons. They taste bad to me, and they belong to a completely different culture in a way which I find hard to resolve.

Rating: Noodles 1/5, soup 1.5/5. Overall 2.5/10.

The nutrition information on the back is potentially misleading for two reasons:

  1. It’s possible that they’re dividing the totals by 5, which would be bullshit, but they might actually not be, so basically, if you can’t read the language, you won’t know what the hell is going in.
  2. There is no nutrition in food you couldn’t eat.
Nutrition Information
  Average per serving (500g)
Energy Maybe 960kJ, or perhaps 4,800kJ.
Protein Either 4.5g or 22.5g
Fat 1g or 5g

57g or 285g, depending on who you believe.

– Sugars 0g
Sodium 0mg
Calcium 0mg