05 May, 2012

Bulgogi Burger - Seoul, Korea - May 2012 (and 2008)

2012 Bulgogi Burger Set 

Consumed on - 4 May 2012
Price - Free with Coupon
Calories - ~397kcal
Rating - 2/5

McDonald's Korea - Bulgogi Burger Receipt
I had originally tried the Double Bulgogi Burger when I visited Korea as a tourist back in 2008.  Since it was so long ago, and I could not accurately rate I thought I would have it again before I leave Korea in order to give it a proper review.  I was given a coupon for a free Bulgogi Burger Set so my girlfriend and I split the combo for dinner last night. But before I talk about it, I want to share something I noticed when looking over my old photos.  Not only has the price of the Double Bulgogi Burger increased 2,000W (~$2USD) in the last 4 years, but you'll notice between the photo I took in 2008 (shown below) that they have also eliminated the middle bun.
2008 Double Bulgogi Burger Set with the middle bun
2012 Double Bulgogi Burger - Missing the middle bun

Now onto the review - After trying the burger in 2008, even after I moved here, I've never had the Bulgogi Burger since then, because after trying it the first time, I never had the urge to have it again. It's not terrible, it's just really boring.  First, it's small, it's not filling, its costs the same as everything else on the menu, and the flavour just isn't there.  IF I were to get McDonald's for lunch in Korea, I would chose (as most Koreans do) the Shanghai Spicy Chicken Burger, over the Bulgogi Burger, it costs the same, is much bigger, and you actually get some flavour.

After we unwrapped the burger last night, my girlfriend immediately called it 'the ghetto burger'.  It looked limp, only had a few pieces of lettuce on it, and a drop of Mayo, no tomato, no cheese, just lettuce and mayo. You are paying for the sauce, which I'll say again, is pretty boring. The sauce doesn't taste anything like 'real' Bulgogi sauce.  If you aren't familiar with what Bulgogi sauce is, you can read the Wikipedia article on it for some more information.

Another unique point is that McDonald's used a pork patty instead of a beef patty in the Bulgogi Burger. Not sure why, but probably since they are making the flavour of the meat with the sauce, they can save money, as pork is 1/5th the price of Beef here.

Sadly, since McDonald's Korea eliminated most of their unique items over the last few years, this is one of the few remaining items that are unique in Korea, so if you are here as a tourist, you might want to give it a try, but don't be expecting anything great.  If you do want to spend the money, go between 11am-1pm, where you can get the combo at the lunch special pricing.