The DSSC Blind Taste Test is back, and this one’s tossin’ up your world with the Noodle Edition. Bigger and better, the third edition went beyond the DSSC HQ to bring in an independent panel to find you yet another crackerjack dish in the capital city. #DSSCBlindTasteTest is the city’s most definitive and fun scout for top-of-the-pop savouries, sweets, and everything in between. After knighting Delhi’s ultimate margherita pizza and decadent chocolate cookie, we made our trumpet call for the noodles that can toss up our world, be it comfort food craving, hangover cure, or 3 am snack, and marched forth on this quest to find the noodle ninja of #OurCity.
All DSSC blind tastings follow a strict set of rules to ensure an impartial & objective result. From planning to ordering to delivery deadlines – all stages are kept under wraps from the jury and all participants are given one common brief. The parameters for the Noodle Edition ensured all brands are widespread names in the city & hover around the same price bracket. Not going down the gourmet road, this edition sought the noodles you’d go for when you need that feel-good, spicy, greasy food canoodle (fitness trainers, look away).
Meet the judges *drumroll*:
Chef Megha Kohli, Executive Chef at Lavaash by Saby: When not baking her coveted pide, Megha can be found engaged in mad banter with F&F and showering undying love on Shahrukh Khan.
Nikhil Mehta, Founder of Black Box Okhla: The gent enthusing colour into Delhi’s theatre scene, Nikhil boasts of a discerning palate that has travelled across the world (with him, duh).
Divya Puri, Marketing Whizz at White Rhino: When not taking over the country with the hot favourite craft beer, she knows how to own the boardroom and dance floor with equal panache.
Thomas Fenn, Co-Founder of Mahabelly: The man has gifted Delhi its own mini-Kerala. As he continues to serve up spectacular parottas and Prawn Mango Curry, he constantly tracks and examines food trends across the world.
DSSC: Known across the country for constructively honest & no-holds-barred feedback, the DSSC tasting team transformed into No-Nonsense-Nancy and was the fifth “person” on the panel.
Noodle 01 – Thai Crate
The Devilled Vegetables Noodles got a mixed response from the tasting table. Whilst everyone enjoyed the texture of the Flat Thai rice noodles (“Flat rice noodles be the bomb!” – Divya), other aspects didn’t wok the talk. Even as the aroma of basil wafted over to the neighbouring office, the jurors observed the noodles lacked the much-desired kapow punch. The other whammy was the fact that the bok choy didn’t seem fresh and the other vegetables seemed undercooked.
Score: 4.5 / 10
Side note: TC is a team-favourite and we order from their kitchen on a (more than) frequent basis. Other than losing good money on the winner-bet, their score on the palate-o-meter was heartbreaking. We’re pretty certain this was a rare one-off, and can’t wait to order soon.
Noodle 02 – Asian Haus
One of the most popular Asian delivery companies in the city, a noodle ninja contest would be incomplete without Asian Haus! And so, the DSSC HQ promptly ordered their Hawker Garlic Noodles (vegetarian) to put it to test. Whilst the aroma would do good to your olfactory senses, the spice and mix of ingredients was strikingly bland for this take on chilli garlic noodles (leading to an average 5 for the overall flavour profile). Although, if you prefer your noodles homestyle and on the mellow side of the flavour-spectrum, these might just be the ones for you.
Score: 5 / 10
Noodle 03 – 4S
If you’ve spent more than 24 hours in Delhi, you’ve obviously felt the 4S-ful tug for a beer / whiskey-soda / Old Monk-Coke at this dive bar (if you don’t know it, shame on you!). If you’ve finally made your way to this Defence Colony legend, you’ve obviously eaten their winning combination of Crispy Lamb + Honey Chilli Potato + Chilli Garlic Noodles. Team DSSC has a compelling allegiance to this resto-bar, after all Stevie came clean about her “identity” to the DSSC team here. Spiciest of spicy noodles, these are your go-to if you live for chilli in your chow. From texture to grease factor to drool-inducing aroma, these noodles tossed by this neighbourhood gem take ‘comfort’ in comfort food to the next level. So, if you’re looking for super refined noodles, we’d suggest a skip ’n’ hop, but if fire in your belly and smile on your face is what you’re looking for, make a stop at 4S.
Score: 6 / 10
Noodle 04 – Dirty Apron
This hidden gem sitting on top of the famous Piano Man Jazz Club, Dirty Apron brought forth their quirky take on Delhi’s chow – Eurasian Noodles. As the jury chowed both, vegetarian and chicken versions, the collated feedback judged the aroma to be faint, and the spice factor falling bang in the middle of the baby food-to-bhut jalokia spice spectrum. The chicken was succulent and the noodles carried a hint of lemongrass, topped with olives, burnt garlic, and chilli. Whilst the ingredients evoked our interest, and two jurors appreciated the inclusion of lemongrass; the consensus remained that olives don’t bode well when it comes to asian noodles. However, if your food spirit is calling for some mild yet flavoursome chow, this one hits the right ‘pow!’.
Score: 6.5 / 10
Noodle 05 – Wai Wai City
The Bang Bang noodles hit the spot with a bang! Chopsuey noodles in Schezwan chilli sauce, these reigned high on the spice scale and the powerful hawker-style aroma packed that extra punch. Though the melange of veggies was a generous mix of mushrooms, onions, capsicum, tomato, carrot, cabbage, and green onion, the chicken variant was preferred over the vegetarian one unanimously. Getting brownie points on nostalgia and familiarity, the tasting room was filled with “aaaaah’s” of “ohhhh, of course!” when the brand was revealed to the jury. A midnight snack or proxy for your cuppa joe to charge you up, stick your chopsticks in ‘em Wai Wai City noodles and they promise to stick with you.
Score: 7.5 / 10
Noodle 06 – Wok Me
Wok me to noodle heaven – yep, you can finally use that sentence as Wok Me will happily abide. Because that’s just what happened at this blind taste test! Their Rice Flat Noodles topped the charts for that faultless interplay of ingredients – shiitake mushrooms, broccoli, burnt garlic, peanuts, and perfectly prepped tofu and chicken for the veg and non-veg boxes, respectively. As their aroma made the room swoon, the great texture and on-point spice factor came together to form what we call the winner of #DSSCBlindTasteTest: Noodle Edition! The uncontested choice for the top of the pops noodles in #OurCity, we say you bring in a box pronto.
Score: 9 / 10
Please note that all opinions are relative and belong to the judging jury. We encourage you to order noodles from all the participants and form your own opinion, because no one should tell you what to eat or not, without you even trying it. More importantly, no inch of this feature is sponsored.
If you’d like to apply for a seat on the #DSSCBlindTasteTest jury, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Featured Image Courtesy: izismile.com