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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Tuesday, March 5, 2024

The Art of Good Soup: Are udon(e) yet?

Graphic-by-Lily-Davis

This is a message for Shanghai Moon Restaurant in Medford, Mass. If you are not Shanghai Moon, or our Uber Eats driver, Diamond, keep scrolling. This does not concern you. 

An eternal struggle in life is waiting: When something’s too hot, when you need news, when someone’s doing you a favor and you’re waiting for it to be finished. Better yet, when you’re doing someone else a favor and waiting for it to be finished. Millennials, stop spreading propaganda. Patience is NOT a virtue. 

Here’s why. It was a frigid Friday afternoon. Evening maybe. Does anybody really know when one becomes the other? Or, like, care? Anyway, it was some time around the hour when one has that feeling in their gut; it’s insatiable, some might say. We were certainly ravenous. 

The day was long and hard, oh-so hard. We needed something to take the edge off, so we took a silly little phone and went on silly little Uber Eats. The evening was fast approaching, and time was of the essence. We needed a quickie. We settled on you, Shanghai Moon Restaurant in Medford, Mass. You seemed quick, easy and a reliable service. 

Little did we know that even when you wait, some good things do NOT come. Now, to be clear, the udon noodles did, in fact, arrive. What we mean to tell you is that they took a long time, and they did not do a good job.

We both got the chicken udon noodle soup. Upon its arrival, we noticed a few key features. For one, the noodles were loooong yet soft, like a garden hose without water. Second, the chicken was … rather pale. Unfortunately, the chicken also turned out to be the best part. Don’t judge a book by its cover, or something like that. 

Still, it was nothing exciting — certainly not the best thing we’ve put in our mouths. In order to get through the event, we needed to bring in some extra help. If you’re ever in a pinch, garlic salt and Japanese barbecue sauce will go a long way. Thank us later. 

At the top of our containers floated some ambiguous members: They were round, pale, a little squishy to the poke. We’ve never been one for mushrooms, so we steered clear. Something about how they taste when you bite down…

In any case, here’s the tea: Some things look much better on your phone screen than they do in person. Soup is soup is soup, unless it is bad soup, in which case it is bad soup and probably not worth your time and money. There are better things to do with a burgeoning evening than waiting for something really mediocre to come that you only finished because you felt obligated to. 

At the end of the affair, we said our goodbyes, looking down at the pale and sad looking substance lingering in the bowls beneath us. Ew. 

We rate this soup two spoons, because it takes two. Don’t ask. Patience is a virtue.