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It's winter. It's cold. What better comfort food to reach for when you're in a rush than a pot of tasty two-minute noodles?

Sure, they may not be the best for us nutritionally (some of them are full of nothing that sounds like actual food) but when you're on a budget and in need of a full belly, fast, they always do the trick.

We took eight two-minute noodles, all found on supermarket shelves and costing under $2.80, and put them through the Trial and Error test.


The noodles came in a range of flavours. Our requirement was they had to be edible from their original cup and use only the ingredient sachets provided - and hot water of course.

So which noodle came out on top in this week super special "Noodle and Error"?

The taste test

Samyang hot chicken flavour

This spicy little number was very red compared to the other noodle offerings, which frightened panellist Mitch and left George and his white shirt worse for wear.

However, for fans of spice, this noodle cup certainly had a lot to offer.

Indomie Mi Goreng

A staple of many a university student's diet, one mouthful of Mi Goreng transported our panel right back to 2am exam cram sessions.

Although the noodle came with fond memories, it didn't pack the delicious punch the testers remembered from those late nights spent swatting.

Fantastic chicken noodles

A strong contender, the Fantastic chicken noodle cup was a tuckshop favourite in the early 2000s. And it's still an easy, cheap alternative for those feeling under the weather and in need of the comforting taste of chicken soup.

Nong Shim, noodle soup

George lovingly named these noodles "The Tank" and deemed them just the right balance of soy flavouring, mushroom and an added spicy kick.

They also won serious points for their large size and shareability, which makes them a great winter choice, and perfect with a few extra toppings.

Maggi chicken noodles

It might have been a coveted item amid the fish and chips and K'Bars of a Kiwi childhood, but the Maggi noodle failed to hit the spot with our panel.

The panellists were underwhelmed given their fond memories of the Maggi noodle pot. It was decided the product is probably best left for the younger generations.

Budget chicken noodles

These are a low budget option, but certainly still brought something to the table.

The Budget brand noodles had a great texture with a lot of "slurpability" and a subtle taste.

Nongshim Kimchi bowl noodle soup

Kimchi, about as on trend as you can get with cabbage and spices at the moment, meant this noodle soup certainly hit the hipster sweet spot for Mitch.

Points were also given by Rebecca and Mitch for the bowl's "fantastic shape".

Ottagi Korean style snack ramen

This noodle landed a top rating with our panel, thanks to its soup to noodle ratio and the best example of umami. The flavour was unclear but Rebecca described it as "maybe mushroom".

The verdict

After sampling eight noodle products, just three made it onto the noodle podium: Nongshim Kimchi bowl noodle soup, Nong Shim noodle soup and the Ottagi Korean-style snack ramen.

A second taste test - because clearly the panel still hadn't eaten enough - saw the Nong Shin noodle soup selected as the panel's top pick, noted for its large volume, the complexity of flavour and spicy kick.