12 March, 2013

American BBQ Shakers - Japan - March 2013

McDonald's Japan March 2013 - American BBQ McShakers

Consumed on 10 March 2013
Location Consumed - Johor Bahru, Malaysia
Location of Purchase - Tokyo, Japan
Price - Free with Big America 2013 Idaho Burger Set, or Large Fry
Calories - Unknown
The fries in the bag, pre-shake.
The American BBQ McShakers (or Shaka Shaka Fry, as they are called in Japan), are currently a free promo being offered in Japan, along with the other Big America 2013 items.  I wrote about them, and how I was originally going to have my mother bring me some, back when I wrote the review for the Texas Burger that I tried in 2011.   My mother was unable to bring me one of the burgers from Narita, but I was able to get my mate Erik to send me one of the seasoning packets for me to review, so last weekend when I went over to Malaysia to see my co-workers new house, I stopped into the McD's down the street to grab some fries.

My friend even sent over the original shaker bag! 

The first difference I noticed was before I even opened the packet.  The American BBQ packet only held 1.5g of seasoning, compared to the 5g packets that I had recently in Singapore and Malaysia.  Sure, Japanese fries are smaller than ones you get in western countries, but they are similar in size to the fries you get throughout the rest of Asia, so I'm not sure why how the seasoning size could vary so much.  Luckily, since I was sharing the fries with my colleague, I only put half the fries into the bag to shake up, though it still seemed that there wasn't enough seasoning to even cover half the fries, you can see the photos below that the left side was the coated fries and the right, non-seasoned fried.  

At first I was a little afraid that the American BBQ would be too similar to the Smoky BBQ McShakers but as soon as I opened the packet, it had a completely different appearance and smell.   Whereas the Smoky BBQ shakers was a finely ground powder (almost like a curry powder), the American BBQ seasoning had larger pieces of herbs mixed in with chunky salt-like seasoning power.  Though there was only 1.5g of it, it still had a VERY strong flavour.  My first bite was not my favourite and I felt it was too salty, my colleague only tried a single fry before moving back to the non-seasoned ones.  The number one ingredient in the Malaysian one was sugar, but as I can't read Japanese I don't know what know what these were mostly made of, but I suspect it was salt/MSG.  I fought my way through it, and because I was also sampling a new Malaysian burger at the time (review to come soon, keep an eye out!), the more I ate, the less the saltiness was noticeable (far from a good thing, I know).  I ended up finishing the fries, but it wouldn't be a flavour that I would go for again.  

Rating - 2/5