|Not the creamiest Mac & Cheese I've ever had|
|Slightly odd consistency of the Mashed Potatoes|
|Chicken McDo Plus Meals|
Consumed on 14 September 2014
Location - SM Mall Manila, Manila, The Philippines
Price - Mac & Cheese - 39PHP = $0.87USD. Mashed Potato - 29PHP = $0.65USD
Calories - Unknown
|I have only my wife to blame for the focus of this photo|
|Even as a 'side' that's still a pretty pathetic amount of food.|
Although this is the first review I'll be doing for The Philippines, this was the second time I've been there. The first was way back in 2006 when I had a short overnight transit. I wasn't writing the blog at the time and didn't even think to step into a McDonald's at the time, so I have no idea what they were serving back then although I have a pretty good idea...it was probably fried chicken. All the branches I peaked into were shockingly busy, and most of the locals were eating fried chicken and rice dishes. They also serve Spaghetti, but I've reviewed both in Indonesia, I didn't have any interest wasting stomachspace trying it again, even if the chicken was served with gravy. The gravy didn't come in a packet, so I couldn't buy it to save for a later date.
I ordered the sides on my last day in Manila, which meant they were only available for 3 days. I must have been the first customer they encountered that ordered these ala carte as they ended up calling over a manager to confirm that I did indeed only want the sides, and not any meal. I was shocked by the price, not because it was all that expensive, but since chicken + rice + fries + drink combo was 99PHP where the small cup of Mac N Cheese on it's own was 39PHP, that's almost 40% the cost of the entire meal! I knew these were only intended to be sides, but I was rather let down by the size of the cup. You could tell they re-purposed their gravy cups for these, but there was hardly 3 spoonful of product inside each. Neither was even full to the top, and both were served lukewarm. Not a good start.
I started with the Man N Cheese, since it actually resembled what the dish should look like. It must have been made at the start of lunch service, since I ordered these at around 12:45pm, and there was a clear separation between the noodles on the top, and a pool of cheese at the bottom so I gave it a good stir before I took my first bite. Apart from being lukewarm, this tasted exactly like boxed Mac N Cheese should taste with that standard salty and tanginess you'd come to expect. The noodles were also better than you would expect from McDonald's, but that probably has to do with them cooking spaghetti already. I doubt any other McDonald's would be able to get the noodle consistency this perfect.
The Cheezy Mashed Potato had a strange, artificial yellow/orange colour which didn't really look like any mashed potato I had tried before. But however it looked in real life, it had to be better than whatever they used in their promotional images (go back to the top of this review to see) where it looked like Cheese Whiz/Easy Cheese in a cup. As strange as the colour was, the consistency was even weirder. It wasn't hard, it wasn't soft, it wasn't even potatoey...it reminded me most of scooping ice cream. For the taste, well, it wasn't horrible, but it wasn't good either. It was pretty easy to tell what they did. They took the powered cheese mix from the Mac N Cheese and mixed it together with whatever was supposed to be potato. If it did indeed use the cheese, I don't know how the Mashed Potato could have been 25% cheaper than the Mac N Cheese. I've travelled to many countries, and I've yet to find one where 3 spoonfuls of macaroni noodles would cost more than potato.
Mac N Cheese - 2/5
Cheezy Mashed Potato - 1/5