Review: Instant Cheddar Cheese Tteokbokki

Review: Instant Cheddar Cheese Tteokbokki

Coming back from my holiday in New Zealand was bittersweet. The views, the fresh air and the freedom to wake up in the morning and do whatever I wanted came to an end! The bright side though, was that I was back in my beloved bed and could start making that bread!

It was also time to get back into routine. So – although a day late – we went on our weekly grocery run! I picked up this instant tteokbokki from our local Asian grocer and was curious to try it. I’ve had rice cakes before, but never with it’s own marinade.

Unlike my last review, I’ll focus on these three categories:

  1. Convenience.
  2. Flavour.
  3. Worth it or not?

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intokk

My score: 7/10

As I get older, I notice my time is more limited. Although I try my best to cook something fresh each day, the weekend is usually a hit-and-miss when it comes to eating at ‘traditional’ breakfast and lunch hours. This instant tteokbokki is perfect for someone like me who tends to get lazy every now and then.

On this particular day, I woke up at 8AM and stayed in bed for an hour before actually getting up.Out the packet, it seemed super straight-forward! Good news. A sauce packet and a packet of mini tteokkbokki.

I tried to peel off the nutritional value sticker to see the cooking instructions on the cup. Since that was a fail, I watched a few YouTube videos which was really helpful!

Step 1: Add boiling water (50ml), sauce and tteokbokki into the cup. I added more water as I felt the amount wouldn’t cook the rice cake.

Step 2: Microwave. Time may vary. The only problem with this step?

We don’t actually own a microwave.

Step 3: I set up my portable electric stove and poured everything into a stainless steel saucepan. I simmered the rice cake for about 5 minutes or so, mixing it every so often so it didn’t stick to the bottom or burn.

 

It was starting to smell good! The rice cake gradually got softer. Once it was done, I turned the stove off and mixed the cheese through. I then transferred it back in the cup for an “authentic instant tteokbokki experience” — that was a mouthful!

Besides having to use a saucepan, throwing the two ingredients in to cook for a few minutes is still convenient to me!

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pottokk

My score: 7/10.

Initially, I tried the rice cake when it was done. It was quite sweet with a slight kick of spice. The cheese level was at a 6/10. It tasted more creamy than it did “cheesy”. For a little more flavour, added more cheese, sesame oil, Togarashi (Japanese 7 Spice Blend) and a pinch of chicken stock. Totally optional!

For an instant form of rice cake, the overall flavour was impressive. I haven’t tried anything like this before, so I don’t have anything to compare to. A few additions of my own did bring up the flavour though!

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tokcupMy score: 8/10.

For approximately $4.00, this microwavable snack is worth it! I wouldn’t say this is the healthiest snack to eat or that it would be appropriate for a whole meal, but it does satisfy hunger enough to get you through to lunch/dinner.

If you enjoy cheese-flavoured food, then I would say this instant tteokbokki would be a good product to try! Add some fresh spring onion and shredded cheese for extra flavour!

I hope you all had a wonderful, productive and relaxing weekend!

What’s your favourite savoury snack?

thanku2

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Review: Away Travel Luggage

Review: Away Travel Luggage

A month before I departed on my trip to New Zealand, I bought two new cases from Away Travel online both in the colour “sand”:

  1. The Carry On
  2. The Medium

I bought these two as they were essential sizes that I needed to replace old bags. I considered buying The Large luggage, but didn’t think I’d need that much space. I spent a few nights measuring the bags against my old ones, making sure they were the perfect size. The lifetime guarantee was another factor that drew me towards Away Travel; I prefer to buy items that will last, rather than buying something that I will need to replace after a few months.

After months of hesitation, I finally bought them! Altogether, these bags cost $625 AUD. The carry on was $295 and the medium was $375. Purchasing the bags in a luggage set, I saved $45. Shipping was free. On to the review!

I’ll score these bags out of 10, based on these 3 criteria:

  1. First impression.
  2. Durability.
  3. Overall function.

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My score: 8/10. 

On my work break, my sister messaged me and sent me a photo that my new luggage arrived! It took about 10 days shipping to Australia. I assume they have a warehouse in one of the major cities which ensured quick delivery. So far, so good!

One of my concerns buying online, was that the bags could get damaged, lost or stolen on its way to me.  However, my bags were encased in hard foam to keep from denting or damage in transit. And the fact that these boxes arrived without getting lost, was a good sign.

Out of the box, these bags felt quite light. The exterior material is grainy but not tacky upon looking at them. However, the feel of the exterior lost marks as it is rough and made it feel cheap despite it’s expensive ‘look’. The colour was one of the many reasons I went with Away Travel Luggage. I got both bags in the colour “sand” and it was just as beautiful in person as they looked online!

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My score: 7/10.

At first, I was really careful when rolling my bags around. After a week or so and especially when I began packing, I used quite a bit of force to open and close the bags. So far, they haven’t cracked or damaged when I’ve turned the bags sideways or sat on them to zip the bags shut!

When picking up The Medium luggage at bag collection, I noticed a few scuff marks. Other than that, the bag held up well throughout the international flight. The two electronic appliances I took were intact.

Despite stuffing my luggage with thick sweaters and making my bag bulge slightly, it closed relatively easily! For some reason, I worried constantly about buying a new luggage bag and then breaking the zipper on the first go. This did not happen!

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locksyst

My score: 7/10

As you can see in the image above, both The Carry On and The Medium have two compartments: one side with a mesh zip flap and the other with mesh storage and two tightening clips.

Both sides were equally easy to use, fill and re-open when needed. I found the two-clip side really useful for my bulky sweaters and jacket. I could compress the sides down by pulling at the clip tail.

Both bags had a locking system at the top of the bags for security. They also came with luggage tags attached which I only filled out half-way through the trip. Oops.

Both the Carry On and The Medium had four wheels which was essential when purchasing new bags. I didn’t want to worry about having to drag one or both cases with me. Convenience is essential when traveling, especially overseas!

A few things I would note:

  • Overlap: If one side is heavier than the other and you flip it to zip the case up, it can overlap, resulting in a bit of strategic manoeuvring in order to close.
  • Top handles not catching: Both the handles can be temperamental. Particularly, when going through security – especially during peak time – you’ve got to grab your belongings quickly off the scanning belt and continue walking or else you’ll hold up the people behind you. However, the handle of my carry on would not “catch” and I’d end up carrying it out of the way to avoid a hold up. I’ve now learned not to worry about the perfect height of the handle and simply pull it up with some force so it locks in and I can roll away smoothly!
  • The wheels: I found if my carry on was 7-8kg, it would wheel, but sometimes get lost in a different direction than the one I am pulling it. Similarly, at 24kg, my medium luggage bag would wheel but I needed to add force and keep a steady grip so it wouldn’t roll in the wrong direction. This could be because I filled my bags to capacity — I still haven’t completely learned to pack ‘light’! 

All in all, I am so happy with my purchase. These bags got me from A to B AKA Adelaide to New Zealand. Through the road-trips we took, and having to re-pack each time into a small boot space with other luggage, they did exactly what was advertised. My belongings were safe through it all and I wasn’t afraid of anything breaking! Plus, they look stylish AF when rolled together. Totally worth the money spent!

I hope this review gave you an insight to Away Travel carry on and medium luggage bags. Happy travels!

thanku2

You can stay connected for updates, quotes and general life-happenings on my Facebook pageInstagramEbay and Twitter!