Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Product Tasting: Cuttlefish and Dried Mango

I saw Agnes' Twitter one day about her love of dried mangoes, which then lead me to declare my love of dried cuttlefish. So we decided to have a meetup and do a tasting of a variety of brands of cuttlefish and dried mangoes. I-Hua was also interested and decided to join us for the tasting extravaganza. So Agnes, Alastair, I-Hua, Ling and myself met up and all brought a huge amount of items to try. For a very detailed review of the day's tasting, please read Agnes' review.

We met up at Old Town Kopitiam at QV, and ordered some delicious Malaysian food. Everyone ordered drinks, and since the advertised sugar cane drink that we all wanted was not available, we had some delicious Malt Shakes and Three Colour Drink. My three colour drink was layers of coffee with varying amounts of milk. It was very nice, but quite sweet. Everyone else got the malt shake which was milo milk with milo sprinkled on top. I ordered a Mee Rebus, which was very good. Everyone else also liked their meals of Curry Chicken, Mee Goreng, Laksas and even a dessert Roti.

Once we were all full, we kicked our second stomachs into gear and got into all the snacks. We tried a variety of cuttlefish, from flattened, to strips, to sugared, to chilli and they were mostly....BAD. I couldn't believe our luck. I had bought some cuttlefish that I usually eat but left them at home. So a last minute stop by the Asian grocery store in QV resulted in lots of rather bad cuttlefish. There was probably only one pack that was ok and had some flavour. I-Hua's sugar cuttlefish didn't really do it for me, although I-Hua really loved the sugar one. But the worst cuttlefish was also the most anticipated. I-Hua's "satay stick" cuttlefish was so foul that I had to spit it back out.

The Ken Ken cuttlefish needs special mention because on the packet it says it's the "Chewing Gum of the Orientals", how hilarious but true at the same time. I constantly chew on cuttlefish until my jaws ache.

Next it was onto the dried mango tasting. Some of the "mangoes" weren't really mangoes, but instead dried fruit or pickled mango. All of the other dried fruit were sickly sweet and no good. The pickled mango that I love from Box Hill was not with us, instead, we got some rather flavourless pickled mangoes. Finally, the saving grace of the whole day was Agnes' Costco bought Philippine Brand dried mangoes. They are the bee's knee, so addictively delicious. I've since bought three 850g packets from Costco and I'm still addicted to it.

Despite our awful luck with the cuttlefish and dried mangoes, it was still great to catch up with everyone. Next time, I think we need to taste test something a bit safer like chocolates. Maybe cuttlefish dipped in chocolate?


  1. I could manage trying dried mango but I struggle a bit with dried fish. I think it's because I don't know how to eat it or what to eat it with.
    Good effort testing all those things though!

  2. You should buy the ones from the korean mart. They sell very good dried cuttlefish.

  3. Cuttlefish dipped in chocolate might be better than the ones we tasted. ;p What should we do next? We could do chocolate, but c'mon that's far too safe!

  4. I walked past this place last week! Thanks for the review. Awesome picture of your Mee Rebus. Yeah, not so big on the cuttlefish. maybe one day :)
    Heidi xo

  5. Deb, the Costco dried mangoes are not super sweet and are really amazing. With dried cuttlefish, you don't have to do anything with it, just eat it as a snack.

    Michelle, I've never tried the Korean ones, must give that a go soon.

    Agnes, indeed the chocolate covered ones may be better. Chocolate is way too safe, need something with a bit more of an edge. What about we try eating different lip gloss flavours?

    Heidi, thanks. the Mee Rebus is very good and a huge serving. You have to give cuttlefish a go, it's super delicious.

  6. Good old ken ken... love it in any form.

  7. I never treally use dried fish, I think because I don't really know what to do with it, I love my dried fruit though

  8. Hurrah, something more to add to my Costco list when I visit Melbourne next month! Think I'll avoid the cuttlefish, though, particularly those that you spat out...

  9. I still stand by my sugar coated one!!!

    WHEN are we doing chips and M&M's?

  10. Penny, I'd never heard of Ken Ken until Agnes brought them, so funny.

    Sandra, just pure cuttlefish can be used in soups, but this type with flavouring are just eaten as snacks all throughout Asia.

    Hannah, you must buy the dried mangoes, so yum. The satay stick cuttlefish should definitely be avoided at all costs. But other types of cuttlefish are worth a try as they are delicious.

    I-Hua, you can hold onto your sugar cuttlefish, I don't like them. Must find the next thing to try and do the M&Ms thing as well. Let me try to organise it.

  11. Yeah, sorry I-Hua, you can keep the sugar cuttlefish. :p

    Other ideas... Asian biscuits. Asian chips. Ummm.... what else? Dumplings (we could buy frozen / prepared ones and eat until we go into dumpling comas!). Instant noodles. Err.... any other better ideas? :p

  12. Agnes, all pretty good ideas. I like Asian biscuits, especially if we knew how to make some ourselves instead of store bought ones. I also like the frozen dumplings idea, get to steam them all up and try all at once. But my favourite idea is definitely instant noodles. I'm seriously constantly trying different types as there aren't many I like. I found an XO sauce one that I liked and ate for two years before they discontinued it. Grrr. Nowadays I eat different brands of Korean spicy noodles, which aren't too bad. Would love to try more types that others like.

  13. Sweeet. Why don't we do instant noodles, and then the next ones can be dumplings and biscuits?

    PS: Visiting this page again to comment is making me crave mangoes! I wish I had taken some to work today!

  14. Agnes, that's settled then, let's do instant noodles, with additions of fish balls, squid balls, spam or whatever else we can think of.

    Aya, always have a massive bag of dried mangoes at work like I do. Whenever you need an energy hit, just grab a piece.

  15. I'm going to have to try the Costco dried mango now. Have you been back to replenish your stash since last time? He he.

  16. Emma, I've tried to be so disciplined and hence am nearing the end of pack number two. One more pack to go. I think in two weeks time when we're cooking the books again, it'll be time to buy some more.