|Tastes of America New York Bagel Burger|
Consumed on 20 April 2015
Location - McDonald's Wanhua, Taipei, Taiwan
Combo Price - $129NTD = $3.92USD. $89NTD ala carte
Calories - 540kcal
The day after the Japanese Pork Burger ended it's one month run, McDonald's Taiwan announced the first of two "Taste of America" promo burgers. Although this promo runs in various countries, all with unique burgers, the most famous has to be the "Big America" line in Japan. This New York Bagel Chicken Burger would have fit nicely on the Japanese menu, as it fit the idea of a premium burger, with a unique "American" twist. The idea of a Bagel Bun was actually quite interesting, I've had a Bagel Breakfast sandwich before in Canada, and I was really excited to give this dinner menu item a try, but after my first bite, I quickly came to realise why you this isn't a more common promotion.
Ok...maybe they had Bagel Buns once before in France, but there's a reason why proper-burger-eating-nations never offer a it!
Those long time readers of the blog will know that I've lived in Hong Kong and Korea before moving to Singapore. None of these countries, nor any other Asian country I've visited, really offer bagels for sale, and when you do find them, they are of mediocre quality and vastly overpriced (think $2+ per bagel). I half expected this bagel bun to be a bagel shaped bun, kind of like the football buns they offered during the World Cup period. I was pleasantly surprised to find that this was a proper, very thick, bagel, perfect for toasting and lathering in cream cheese (another item impossible to find at a decent price in Asia). What this bagel wasn't good for, was surrounding a grilled chicken thigh, lettuce, tomato, pickles and a slice of cheese. The inside of the bun had been pressed on a grill, just like a normal McDonald's bun would have been, but it wasn't nearly not for long enough.
The problem with the bun was that the bagel was far too hard and chewy (like any un-toasted bagel would have been) to be a bun. The bagel I had in Canada was completely toasted, and I'm not sure about the general population, but I only eat bagels toasted, so eating an essentially "raw" bagel just seemed a bit off. It was also shockingly white. There wasn't any hit of grain, or flavour in the bagel, it was white as it could get. I feel a little bit of flavour, or wholegrain would have gone a long way. After about eating 1/3 of the way through the burger, it eventually started to fracture and break into small pieces falling off. This meant that the chicken was hanging outside the bread, and more often than not, you would get a mouthful of meat, nothing else...
The rest of the burger wasn't anything special. The chicken was surprisingly not that greasy, but that's primarily because of the lack of skin on the meat, which would be a change I'd like them to make everywhere in Asia. The cheese was being promoted as something 'new' but it was just a slice of white processed cheese, nothing really premium. Like the Salmon+Beef promo burger I had in Taiwan a couple months ago, this looked better than it tasted.
Rating - 2/5