29 October, 2011

Fish Sticks - Cairo, Egypt - June 2008

In the summer of 2008 I visited McDonald's twice during my two week trip around Egypt.  At the time, this was the only promotional item on the menu.  Regrettably, I have lost the photo of the receipt, so I cannot remember how much I paid for it, and I cannot find any information online regarding the promotion (other than what I posted on Wikipedia about it).   What I do remember is the taste, though it was the only item I ordered ordered during this visit, I remember I had to wait at a table with a number for it to be brought out as they didn't have any prepared at the time.  The breading was thicker than the fillet-o-fish sandwich breading, and the fish inside resembled proper fish, rather than the unidentifiable paste that is often inside a fillet-o-fish. Being essentially cooked to order, they were very hot, and therefore were quite nice, but I could tell if they were to sit, and end up being served lukewarm, they wouldn't be nearly as nice.  Not being a fan of tartar sauce, I didn't enjoy the dip, which wasn't 100% tartar, but mixed with something else (not sure if this was an Egyptian thing, or just a poor McDonald's attempt at tartar).

Google searches have told me that fish sticks are a common Happy Meal item in the U.K., but photos show them to be slightly different than these.  If anyone can help me find McD's promo photos from Egypt at the time, or can remember the price of this dish, please send me an email, or post a comment here.

Consumed on - 24 June 2008
Price - Unknown
Location - McDonald's 'City Stars Shopping Centre'
Rating - 4/5

27 October, 2011

Twisty Pasta Breakfast - Hong Kong - Various Dates

Back in 2005, I made my first trip to Hong Kong.  I remember sitting in the Shun Tak Centre (Sheung Wan) waiting for a ferry to Macau with my classmate Roger. I wasn't hungry, I was tired and jet-lagged, but the Twisty Pasta Breakfast caught my eye.  I think this was the first time I had McDonald's outside Canada and the U.S, and though I didn't take a photo of the meal (I started photographing my McDonald's meals in 2006), I remember wondering how many different meals McDonald's had around the world.  I didn't become serious in hunting for McD's items for another year or two, but I will always remember this as the start.

As you can see from the official photos, the Twisty Pasta is not a limited edition meal, its a regular menu item, and its available at all HK and Macau McDonald's but only for breakfast. In HK you can get a Sausage&Egg McMuffin 24-hours a day, but you can only get this during breakfast hours.  Therefore, I have had the Twisty Pasta many times since that first taste in 2005, trying the sausage&egg, grilled chicken, and more recently, being able to add 2 HKD (25 US cents) and have cheese on top. The photo is from my trip to HK with Mini (my girlfriend) in 2010, and its the only photo I have that has both variants.

HK people love their soup noodles, and McDonald's does it rather well.  The noodles are always cooked well, and the broth, isn't overly salty at all.  The sausage & egg are the same you would have on a McMuffin, and the grilled chicken is 'GCB' patty. Strangely, the chicken comes pre-sliced, and the sausage does not. Trying to cut the floating sausage into bite sized pieces with only a plastic spoon, is harder than you would think. Also, you add cheese to the ONLY to the sausage version, but not the chicken, I asked, and they won't add it to the chicken. For the price, its a very filling meal (soup, hashbrown and medium coffee), and because its soup, you might even get a little vegetable in you. It's a much better value than a McMuffin set, which costs about the same and is much less filling.

Consumed on - 21 August 2010
Price - Sausage&Egg Combo - 24HKD (~$3 USD).  Grilled Chicken Combo - (~$3.25USD)
Location - McDonald's Times Square, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
Rating - 4.5/5

26 October, 2011

Pumpkin Triangle Pie - Seoul, Korea - October 2011

Just in time for autumn, McDonald's Korea is promoting the limited-edition Pumpkin Pie, using a big banner on all its Korean store fronts.  McDonald's Korea often uses Triangle Pies for the promotional pies, but this is the first time they have had a Pumpkin filled one. It was small, and rather bland.  The Pumpkin filling was nothing like the promotional photos.  For the size, at 1200W, it was rather pricey.

Consumed on - 11 October 2011 (Written on 26 October 2011)
Price - 1200KRW (~$1.10USD)
Location - McDonald's COEX
Rating - 2/5

Shanghai Spice Chicken Deluxe - Seoul Korea - September 2011

This is the 2nd Limited-Edition 'Deluxe' variations McDonald's Korea has had in 2011. It is the standard McDonald's Korea 'Shanghai Spice Chicken', but the 'Deluxe-ing' is to add bacon, a special mayo. and a slightly bigger bun.  The Deluxe edition costs 1,000-1,500W (depending on lunch or dinner) more than the standard.

Consumed on - 18 September 2011 (Written on 26 October 2011)
Price - 5,900KRW (~$5.50USD) - The promotion 4500W is only for lunch.
Location - McDonald's COEX
Rating - 4/5.  The standard Shanghai Spice already being a favourite of mine, I really enjoyed this Deluxe edition.  I don't think bacon and a bigger bun are worth the 1,500W premium during lunch time, but the 1,000W premium during dinner prices make it worth a try.

Ayam Goreng McD & Milo Supreme McFlurry - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - September 2011

A regular menu item at Malaysian McDonald's, the Ayam Goreng McD is 2 pieces of fried chicken. You have the option to have the Spicy (which I picked), and a Regular version.  I was in the busy lunch-time rush at this McD's and it seemed that 4/5 people were choosing this over the other options.  Like other Asian countries Malaysian McD's had special lunch-time pricing.  The Milo Supreme McFlurry was a Limited edition McFlurry having crushed milo powered mixed throughout, and then topped with large Milo balls.  Like other South-East Asian countries, you can self-serve chilli sauce for dipping.

Consumed on - 12 September 2011 (Written on 26 October 2011)
Price - McFlurry 4RM (~$1.25), Ayam Goreng McD set 8.5RM (~$2.70USD) [Lunch Hour pricing]
Location - Berjaya Times Square

Rating -
Milo Supreme McFlurry - 4/5.  It was cheap and tasty.  It was a very hot day walking around Kuala Lumpur, so an ice cream was just what I needed.
Ayam Goreng McD - 2/5.  It was cheap, but that's pretty much all it was.  I'm usually a fan of anything 'spicy', but this was not spicy at all.  There was a tonne of batter, and hardly any chicken underneath.  I was disappointed, and threw most of it away.

Banana Shake - Tokyo Japan - August 2011

Every McDonald's I passed on my one-day trip to Tokyo, had a big Banana Shake promotional poster in their window.  I don't think Banana is a standard milkshake flavour in Japan, so I had to try it.  As I had Chicken Tatutsa just a few hours earlier, I opted for the smallest size, and much like everything 'small' I order in Japan, I was shocked by how small it could be, yet costing so much. I think I finished it in about 25 seconds, and though it was nice and refreshing (I had been walking around Tokyo for about 6 hours at this point), I was still thirsty when I finished it.

Consumed On - 29 August 2011 (Written on 26 October 2011)
Location -  McDonald's Akihabara Tokyo Japan
Price - 120JPY = ~$1.55USD
Rating - 3/5

Unfortunately, I would not be in Japan for the upcoming promotional item that they were promoting on the tray inlay. The Egg Burger.

Chicken McMuffin - Narita, Japan - August 2011

After sleeping on the floor of an Internet cafe in Narita Japan in order to get my 8am flight from NRT (NRT-KMQ on IBEX) I hit the McDonald's across the street for breakfast.  The limited time menu item this time was a 'Chicken Muffin'.  A standard McMuffin bun, but with a piece of fried chicken instead of sausage or egg.  I found they put a bit too much mayo for my taste (and far too much for being a breakfast sandwich), but the chicken was lightly breaded and had a big piece of white meat underneath.  Also, Japanese set menu coffee was TINY. Unfortunately, I don't have a photo of it, but it probably only held 150mL.  When the promotional period for this finished, McDonald's Malaysia has begun to sell the same thing, but at 1/2 the price.

Consumed On - 30 August 2011 (Written on 26 October 2011)
Price - 440JPY (~$5.70USD)
Location - McDonald's Narita Station, Narita Japan
Rating - 3/5

Chicken Tatsuta Sandwich - Tokyo, Japan - August 2011

The Chicken Tatsuta was apparently a popular McDonald's Japan menu item back in the 90's, and they have been bringing it back for one-month limited time promotions.  Unlike the linked CNN article, mine actually looked quite appetising, and very close to the promotional photos.  According to Wikipedia, Tatsuta is a special way of deep frying.  The bun was the softest, and freshest bun I have ever had at a McDonald's, but unfortunately, the chicken was a bit of a let-down, as it had a breakfast sausage texture and was rather chewy.  At 640 Yen, it was a very expensive lunch.

Consumed on - 29 August 2011 (Written on 26 October 2011)
Price - 640JPY = ~8.40USD
Location - McDonald's Akihabara JR Station - Tokyo Japan
Rating - 3/5

Taro & Oreo McFlurry w/ Others - Macau, Macau - August 2011

McDonald's Macau is a little strange, they always have the exact same menu and promotional items as neighbouring HK, and the prices are always the same (as the MOP is pegged to the HKD), so even though I visited Macau 4-5 times before I had never been to a Macanese McD's.  I was transferring through Macau in order to catch a MFM-PVG flight, so I spent my day looking around the Casinos (all my previous visits to Macau were either quick airport/ferry/border transits, or I did the tourist things without visiting the Casino's.  Upon entering the Venetian Casino they gave me a coupon book for the restaurants, and one was a 5MOP off, discount and a free sundae coupon.  I had also noticed the promotional item at the time being a Kung-Fu Panda 2 tie-in, that you could get 4 special types of dipping sauce with your nuggets, Honey Mustard, Cheese, Sesame, and Garlic Chilli, but I was so busy in HKG this time, I didn't have time to visit a McD's.  I also bought the promo Taro&Oreo McFlurry, even though I had a coupon for a free sundae because it was another limited time promo.

After ordering and paying for a 6 piece nugget meal, they informed me they were out of all the special dipping sauces.  I told them I didn't want the meal any more then, but she managed to find me one Honey Mustard, but none of the others...  You can see what I should have had here. The honey mustard was terrible, I really would have preferred to try the others.

Consumed on - 20 August 2011 (Written on 26 October 2011)
Price - 6 Piece nugget combo - 22.50MOP = ~$2.90USD.  Taro&Oreo McFlurry - 10MOP (with meal purchase) = ~$1.30USD.  Sundae - Free
Location - McDonald's in The Venetian Macau
Rating = Honey Mustard Sauce 1/5.  Taro&Oreo McFlurry - 3/5