Meal Fourty-Four – Crunchy Munch Chicken Rice Meal

Cost – £3.80

Being the final (anti-climatic, I know) meal of the Munch Commitment, it was only fitting to have something that reminded me of home, a rice meal. The old idea that “mother cooks best” rings true with this son, and I certainly do believe that when it comes to my own mother. (I wouldn’t tell her that though, as her ego would shoot off our working-class roof, and we all know that working-class people can’t afford roofs)

In retrospect, Munch Munch has always welcomed me to the family like a mother would, and many of Munch Munch’s meals do taste fantastic. The Crunchy Munch Chicken Rice Meal in first glance, smells fantastic, hosting rice, chopped strips of chicken and salad – all served on a dish of tupperware complete with a drink of your choice. Perhaps what is surprising is that the rice itself is a sort of orange colour which is not to say it’s poisonous, but instead spicy. Like every meal in Munch Munch, the rice is no expection to the rule of spice. What I find the most important in rice is the texture, poor texture of rice (for example, too mushy) means that the rice is not cooked properly which is possible if you’re a noob in cooking rice like me. I’m not the best role-model when it comes to being an Asian. Fortunately for Munch Munch, they do have an expert in rice (probably Uncle Ben) as the rice itself feels fine, with the right care and detail taken into the rice and surprisingly the spice and it’s orange colour blend in nicely with the rice, not making it soggy. The spice however, whilst making the overall odour of the meal smell great, can be largely overwhelming after so many “bites” of the rice – making the salad and the chicken’s taste nullified. It’s large quantity also does not help this factor overall, but the first several bites of the crunchy munch chicken rice will taste great.

The fragrance of the Crunchy Munch Chicken Rice is like a pretty lady.

The chicken and the salad come largely what you expect from past meals that involve the salad and chopped strips of chicken. The chicken strips taste great, and make a great compliment to the rice and the salad. The chicken here is also spicy, which doesn’t help how overwhelming the rice’s spice is – but is deep with a fresh, juicy taste which thankfully, the Munch Munch team have not comprised in terms of quality and quantity. The salad by itself is woefully medicore, but however do compliment the overall meal nicely and adds nicely to the three-way palette that is this meal. The salad does taste like something you would get out of a standard kebab store, and let’s just hope Munch Munch improves on this standard, on where it can on so many other levels.

There’s a lot to experience here.

It’s an enjoyable meal to have that is very, very different then Munch Munch’s other offerings. It is also one of the better value meals within the chicken branch, as the meal itself will leave you full, and not hungry for more (but probably on a later date). The only real let-down is the sheer overwhelming spice of it and the very mediocre quality of the salad, but if you’re looking for something different or want to go wildly experimental with your next Munch Munch visit, then the Crunchy Munch Chicken Rice Meal will do you fine and is a great value for money.

As a wise man once said – “The way you cut your meat reflects the way you live.”

Rating out of MUNCH MUNCH

MUNCH MUN

8/10

With a value score of 10/10

Week Fourty-Two – Munchy Taco Meal

Cost – £3.50

I approached this taco meal with anticipation. In retrospect, the vegetarian taco meal was no joke, with the taste of the overall meal being great with all the ingredients blending in to form something truly unique unlike any other meals at Munch Munch.

With the old adage, “no meat, no win” – one would highly assume that the meat brother of the vegetarian taco is superior then that of it’s vegetarian sister. However, this train of thought is wrong with the taco meal.

Before I start with the negatives, let’s discuss the actual meal itself. The taco meal itself comes with the chicken taco with fries and a drink – but the chicken taco is where the taco lets itself down, with two taco’s included. Inside these taco’s are just a singular full size strip, some salsa and some salad.

The lack of amount in this meal (which isn’t what Munch Munch is famous for) is questionable.

You may think, “hey wait!” after reading the strips review, where the strips are given a glowing review and if you’re a long time reader of the blog, the strips are always an added bonus to any meal. It’s odd to say the least, that the strips here, plus everything else is a downfall, considering all of these ingredients individually are pretty good.

It’s just an average meal but what bothers me the most is the fact that there’s very little thought and creativity given to the chicken taco meal. The strip is lazily thrown on, and given a bit of salad and salsa sauce to fill in the taco to make it feel complete. This kind of heartless thought process can be tasted within the food, with the taco meal tasting decisively average. There’s nothing fundamentally wrong about the chicken taco meal but however unlike the vegetarian meal, the ingredients really do not go well at all and it is very much a case of a chicken strip being thrown onto a taco, like you would do when you were younger in terms of experimenting with food. It just tastes very average. (wouldn’t it be funny to see what skittles would taste like with rice?)

Great parts doesn’t equal a great product.

It’s a shame, because the ingredients separately are wonderful, and taste great. However, this doesn’t mean by throwing them all together that it creates great tasting food. Do you really want vanilla yoghurt in your burger? Obviously no (unless you’re a nutcase) – but they both taste good separately. When combining this with the price (£3.50), you’re very much getting two chicken strips thrown into a taco with a bit of salad and salsa. You can get a three strip meal for 50p less, and a six strip meal for 50p more. Either way, you’re getting a much better meal of the two with more chicken involved. I’d highly recommend you stick with those, and I have no idea what or who the chicken taco meal is appealing to.

As a wise man once said – “The whole is greater than the sum of it’s parts.”

Rating out of MUNCH MUNCH

MUNCH

5/10

With a value score of 5/10

Meal Thirty Seven – Vege Taco Meal

Cost – £3.50

With the rather disappointing selection of vegetarian meals so far in the commitment, I did not have much hope in the world for the Vege Taco Meal. Indeed, whilst I was interested in the Taco itself, it has been proven time and time again that if Munch Munch step out of their comfort zone (chicken) then the end product is something that isn’t great.

This negative thinking theory was automatically assumed as soon as the Vege Taco Meal was presented to me. It has a long preparation time – taking nearly over five minutes and the meal itself is pretty much the insides of a vegeburger “filling” – the standard hash brown with vegetables inside, but much smaller to accommodate the taco itself as well as a small amount of salad and what I assumed to be more ketchup. In terms of value and taste, it did not look promising. The only saving grace, one would assume – was the nice presentation of the meal.

This thinking was quickly dispelled when the first bite was taken. The taco itself is very crunchy and also tastes great, and when applied to the well applied salsa and vege filling makes a great combination that vegetarians that want to try something different should at least look into. The salad is applied with the right amount, and the filling itself also tastes good but is exactly the same as the vegeburger filling. The best part of the meal by far, and the most unique is the salsa, which unlike the BBQ/Ketchup sauce of the vegeburger meal is expertly applied, tasting great and just enough that keeps the overall taco’s tasting great, but not overbearing enough to make the sauce taste sickly by the end.

Looks great and thankfully, tastes great too.

It’s the salsa that makes this meal worthwhile as it is personally one of the most unique sauces I’ve tasted at Munch Munch. It tastes very much a base of a salsa dip, but with a great bit of spice on it that gives the taco meal an extra pull. It gives the taco’s a great taste of warmth and heart and helps all of the ingredients within the taco and the taco itself tasting fresh and exciting.

The salsa within the Vege Taco Meal is a real delight.

It’s a shame therefore, that the only major setback of this meal is that of size. In comparison to other taco’s served in other competing restaurants it’s very much a standard size but however when larger meals can be bought at Munch Munch for the same price then the question can be raised again – “is this worth the value?”. However, I suppose that style of logic does not naturally come with the vegetarian dishes, where meat alternatives cannot be made. Let’s hope Munch Munch review how much they are giving to the vegetarians of Leicester. Despite these setbacks, it’s well worth eating and gives a very good sense of what Munch Munch is all about.

As a wise t-shirt once said on a man’s body – “If there’s no salsa in heaven, then I’m not going there. Hell is right below!”

Rating out of MUNCH MUNCH

MUNCH MUN

8/10

With a value score of 7/10

Meal Thirty Five – Panini Wrap Meal

Cost – £3.50

A long long time ago in Munch Munch land, lived the Panini Meal and it’s three flavours. The Chicken Tikka Panini, the Sweet and Sour Chicken Panini and the Chicken Keema Panini. These three lived harmoniously with one another, until the evil Munch Munch corporate overlord man pulled the plug. “These things aren’t selling!” cried the Munch Munch boss to his underling. “What do you think Munch Munch is… Cafe Nero!? Costa Coffee?! No we’re a fried chicken shop! Just get out of my sight!”

But sir… the chicken tikka is selling okay. Plus, we have the Chicken Tikka Burger, which means we can use the tikka in both meals and therefore justify having the Tikka meals! I know tikka meals are your favourite sir, and you refuse to accept the tikka meals don’t make any mone—–”

Don’t even go there! They– they are my favourite. We are not axing them. Axing the Tikka meals is not an option.”

But—-”

NO.”

—————

That’s how I envision the state of the Panini meal anyway. Whilst there are technically three choices, the Sweet and Sour and Keema are not available anymore, only leaving the Chicken Tikka. It’s one of those meals at Munch Munch that take much longer to prepare then usual, like the Masala Fish due to it’s unpopularity (I suppose?) so if you want fast food that’s mega fast, just go with fried chicken. Another issue is also size, and the issue is that the panini is just an ordinary size – which is not the Munch Munch standard as burgers are bigger then “normal” burgers of society in the UK.

The Panini meal, presented in a burger box. The Panini is not wide enough to fit the box.

The chicken tikka itself is surprisingly not the giant train-wreck that is the Chicken Tikka Burger, and while it looks unappetising and doesn’t look tikka-ish at all, the meat itself captures the tikka taste quite well. It’s not the greatest tikka you’ll ever eat, but it’s far from the worse and the onion peppered throughout the panini is a saving grace, and really helps with the dryness of the tikka itself as well as giving the panini an extra layer of taste. It comes together quite nicely and was rather enjoyable to eat. It’s as one says, “never judge a book by one’s cover.” Often overlooked grossly in today’s society, but my ranting of that will be for another time.

A part of this enjoyment came from the fact that the texture of the panini feels good. The bread itself is toasted to a nice degree and is rather wholesome – and quite filling for a panini. It feels like something you would get from much more “posher” (as one would argue) eating establishments/cafes and feels good to grip. Never at one point did I feel that the panini would ever break.

Nice and sturdy, but presentation-wise doesn't look too fantastic.

However, on the grand scheme of things panini is probably not the first piece of food you would think when you enter a fried chicken shop. Whilst the panini is enjoyable, it’s also very noticeable that it is not Munch Munch’s speciality, with rather poor presentation displayed throughout the panini, with some sauce smeared on the actual panini bread itself (pitta? I don’t know). Whilst filling, the Panini is very small in comparison to other, more tastier and enjoyable meals at the same price point. Whilst it’s a lovely alternative to have, it also doesn’t match up to the Munch Munch menu well and on the grand scheme, is just over average. On the other hand, it’s a great alternative and if you want to eat something at Munch Munch that is on the lighter side and captures a sort-of nice chicken tikka taste and not on the “oh god my interior is going to burst” then this is a great way to go.

As a wise man once said – “Panini’s are all good and everything, but a fried chicken shop speciality lies in…. fried chicken.”

Rating out of MUNCH MUNCH

MUNCH MU

7/10

With a value score of 6/10

Meal Thirty Four – Vege Wrap Meal

TEN WEEKS LEFT OF THE COMMITMENT.

——————————————————————————————————————–

Cost – £3.50

What a strange weird wrap to review.

If not noted in the title, this is a vegetable wrap meal. Which basically means, no meat. It’s kind of messed up.

Doth eyes, there are vegetables?

Now, for all of you vegetarians out there you’re all probably thinking: “What a dick!” or “Boo-hoo, he can’t deal without eating meat!” It’s not to say that I frown upon eating vegetarian food, just eating it at Munch Munch, the home of meat. I hope it’s understandable in the fact that after eating meat for the last thirty-three weeks that it’s kind of freaky to eat something without meat It’s something I’ve got to deal with for later weeks as vegetarian season quickly approaches.

Similar externally to that of it's meat cousins.

With that in mind, let it be known that I have a slight basis to this week. Firstly, the contents of the vegetarian wrap meal externally has the same (pitta?) bread as that of the previous wrap meals. It fits in nicely with the vegetarian wrap meal, which seems to consist of a very large hash brown effectively substituting the meat, followed with standard salad as well as vegetables themselves. Vegetables that I could taste and were noticeable were that of carrots, peas and sweetcorn followed by a nice layer of mayonnaise that was not too powerful but just right enough to hit that sweet spot. The vegetables themselves very much look like they’ve come out of a freezer and ‘oven-ed’. It’s not the worst thing in the world, but it’s slightly disappointing considering Munch Munch’s detail to care is usually quite high.

Brimming full of vegetables and a giant hash-brown.

Another look inside the intestines of the Vege Wrap Meal.

These flavours come together in quite a surprisingly enjoyable way, as the mayonnaise blends in well with the hash brown and the vegetables. It tastes super clean and was literally the first time in Munch Munch where I could not taste the grease, as the hash brown and the wrap entered the universe that is my mouth. Whilst enjoyable, it’s slightly bland as the hash brown and vegetables don’t make up enough taste to make the overall meal compelling enough. However, the crisp hash brown, the taste of the crispy mayonnaise and the vegetables make the meal filling and in terms of value, it’s fairly great. It’s useful therefore, that the mayonnaise helps the taste, and works well with the hash brown and in consequence, the vegetables. It feels healthy and definitely tastes good. If you’re a vegetarian or in fact, want something that isn’t greasy or just in the mood not to eat Halal meat, then the Vege Wrap Meal isn’t a bad way to swing.

As a wise man once said – “Every vegetable has it’s time.”

Rating out of MUNCH MUNCH

MUNCH MUN

8/10

With a value score of 8/10

Meal Thirty Three – Masala Fish Wrap Meal

Cost – £3.50

Outside the sun is shining. It’s literally summer but minus the “it’s really too hot” heat and the drought that follows. I do not look forward to that. But this is nice.

It’s also the perfect weather to eat Munch Munch! The previously reviewed Masala Fish meal itself is fantastic and personally for me, a absolute sun under the star of Munch Munch. (I highly recommend it with mayonnaise, it’s absolutely gorgeous.)

It’s not suprising therefore that this week did come with some expectations with the Masala Fish Wrap Meal – the masala fish but in a wrap! Part of those expectations were hype, part of it skeptism.

Let’s just start with a preface. It tastes great.

Read on, my child.

The Masala Fish in the wrap tastes superb and is brimming with all the best parts of the Masala Fish that you want, from the wonderful texture to the strong, rich flavours that are apparent within the Masala Fish. On top of this, it’s filled with mayonnaise on top (which helps dramatically) and salad as well as a few other healthy green extras which make this a wrap that feels great and fresh. All of these factors come together and make the end product taste great and is what you expect, amazing tasting masala fish with great succulent taste as well as great tasting extras that really mesh well.

Well formed, succulent and tasty.

Now when you’ve just seen that, you would expect a 10/10 score right? Alas, that’s what I would love to give this feat but there is a small issue that I have that unfortunately brings this meal down and it’s to do with the fish itself. The fish cannot handle the extras and as you eat the wrap, it progressively loses the first taste as the fish is being drowned by the mayonnaise. Whilst I did mention that the fish and the mayonnaise are indeed heavenly and are from a place on earth – the mayonnaise overtakes the fish taste as this penetration of the sauces occur, dumbing down the taste effectively. It’s not a huge issue as some of that taste remains, but it’s enough just to make it lose the superb first taste it has and is no longer the perfect meal. It should also be noted that this meal is significantly smaller then that of the Masala Fish meal itself, yet a charge of £3.50 is the cost for this meal is as same as the Fish meal. In terms of value wise, this is questionable.

Whilst tasty, compared to the Masala Fish meal the wrap falls in terms of value.

Taking these factors into consideration, it’s hard to reward this meal the perfect ten. However, I assure you that the first bite is very much Munch Munch at it’s finest and it pains me that I cannot give it a ten because of this first bite alone because the faults just let it down ever so slightly. The value is also questionable, losing just over an approximation of 1/3rd of the fish itself because it is in a wrap. However, if you want a great tasting wrap that doesn’t involve chicken, then this by far is the biggest recommendation I could give you with no regrets.

As a wise man once said – “Live…. without no regrets.”

Rating out of MUNCH MUNCH

MUNCH MUNC

9/10

With a value score of 7/10

Meal Thirty Two – Chicken Tikka Wrap Meal

Cost – £3.50

We return back to our normal written schedule in which the written review makes a come-back! It’s not all doom and gloom however (or is it?!) as we are joined by the Chicken Tikka Wrap Meal.

The Chicken Tikka Wrap Meal is like the odd sibling that you have in your family. (there’s always one) It’s a lovely wrap, but really not as good as it’s other sibling, the Chicken Twista Wrap Meal. With every yin, there is a yang. I will go into more explanation.

Oh hello, I didn't see you there!

The Chicken Tikka Wrap contains all of the same raw ingredients as the Chicken Twista Wrap. Apart from coming with the standard Munch Munch fries, the wrap itself is also similar – coming with the same pitta (? – I’m an expert) bread as well as what we discussed in last week’s review, what we believe are the chicken strips within the wrap.

Strips?

With this in mind, they’ve already got the amazing 80% of the formula that created the chicken twista wrap. Where the meal however falls apart, is that of the tikka sauce inside the wrap itself. It never really ever reaches the heights of greatness that last week’s meal captured with the sauce itself. It’s not to say that the sauce itself is bad as it is rather relatively good, but in relative to last week’s meal, it’s poor. The sauce itself tastes like tikka, but it’s not as spicy as one would expect tikka would be. This could be accounted for the fact that there isn’t enough tikka sauce applied on the actual wrap, making the wrap itself taste rather dry and flat. This pales in contrast to that of the mayonnaise in the chicken twista wrap, which is given very generously in the said wrap and tastes great as a result.

Tikka sauce, where art thou?

It’s an imperfect wrap, but however one that does have some merit. The chicken itself tastes incredibly bad-ass, and when the tikka does meet the meat it is enjoyable. The wrap that was also reviewed was extremely well-crafted unlike last week’s wrap and if last week’s wrap was built to perfection like this week, it would have received the full 10/10 accreditation. It felt right, looked superb and was incredibly satisfying to eat.

The tikka wrap is nicely realised and well constructed.

The flaws of this wrap really let the wrap down overall. It’s still a quality wrap boasting great chicken and a great build, but however is sorely let down by it’s dryness due to the lack of tikka. The tikka itself is also flawed, not tasting exactly great. Should you however be in the market for a wrap that has great chicken and tikka inside it, then you could go a lot worse as the core wrap and chicken tastes great. However if you’re going to Munch Munch, there’s also a lot better you could go for. (like the chicken twista wrap if you really want it!)

As a wise man once said – “Mediocrity is excellent to the eyes of mediocre people.”

Rating out of MUNCH MUNCH 

MUNCH MU

7/10

With a value score of 8/10