28 March, 2013

Double Choco Brownie (더블초코 브라우니) - Seoul, Korea - March 2013

McDonald's Korea - Double Choco Brownie

It actually looks surprisingly tasty

Consumed on 24 March 2013
Location - McDonald's Jongak Station, Seoul, South Korea
Price - 1500KRW = ~$1.35USD
Calories - Unknown

For January & February my travelling was VERY light, I've been keeping very busy in Singapore for the first couple months of the year, and the trip to Seoul last weekend was the start of some heavy travelling over the next couple months, so I had been looking forward to it for quite some time.  

Yet again, I missed the Australian BBQ burger (and this time they also had a wrap) by a couple of days. McDonald's Korea had been selling it for most of February and March, and since wife had been back in Seoul since the beginning of March, and I asked her to buy me one and freeze it, but she resisted, thinking I was insane. Just as it did last summer when they offered it as an Olympic Promo, the Australian BBQ promotion ended about 10 days before I arrived, so I wasn't able to try it.  I was disappointed, but luckily a couple days before I arrived, the McDonald's Korea website had been updated to show their new promo item, the Double Choco Brownie. I hoped it wasn't a McCafe item, so I would be able to write a review on it, and luckily, it wasn't.

Sunday was the only day I had some free time to meet up with my friends still living in Seoul.  We planned to meet at the Gangnam McDonald's branch, similar to what we did when I was in Korea last and I reviewed the BLT McMuffin.  We met there, and found that this branch did not offer the brownie.  My wife and I just had a massive lunch with her family (20+ side dishes), so we opted to just sit and have a coffee so we could chat. It worked out, as the McDonald's had an empty table big enough for 5, and coffee was on promotion for only 1000W (which was much cheaper than I used to pay back when I lived in Korea).  The Starbucks right next door was completely full, and they charge more than 5000W for a coffee. Later that evening, after we had dinner together I forced everyone to make the walk over to the nearest McDonald's to where we eat, to try and hunt down the brownie.  The McDonald's on the north side of Jonggak Station had it, so we stopped in to give it a try.  My wife and friends went upstairs to find a table, and I did the ordering. It's been a while since I ordered in Korea, and even after I spoke Korean for the entire order, paying with my Korean credit card, and using the Korean McDonald's point card, she looked at me with a little confusion, and finished our conversation with "Take away or take inside?".  I opted for "Take Inside".  

When the girl who took my order placed the brownie on the tray, it was comically small.  For 1500W, I wasn't expecting something so pathetic looking.  It would have been a little better if she just handed it to me, as on the empty tray it just looked overly small.  When I carried it upstairs, my wife and friend had nearly the exact same reaction "That's it?".  What I compared it too, was those bite-size brownies you get on United Airlines domestic first class flights, but that was lost on them (and probably most of the readers of this blog).  I tried to take some comparison photos next to a 1000W note, and the McDonald's point card, even the photos don't really show how tiny it was. It was about a thick as a deck of cards, and as large as a credit card.


It was small enough that I could have finished the entire brownie in a single bite, but I left enough to get a photo of the inside, as well as enough left over for my friend to give it a try. I was expecting since this was a regular menu item, and not a snack that you would get at the McCafe kisok, that it would at least be served warm, or look to be baked fresh, kind of like how the muffins back in Canada are, taken off a tray and placed in a bag, not pre-packaged as this brownie was.  I guess you could say it used promo packaging, but the clear plastic bag just made it look cheap. My friend Andrew, who took a bite asked a pretty interesting question, "why is this called double chocolate?"  Sure, it was made of chocolate, and it was soft like a brownie, but usually double chocolate means there is fudge or some other type of chocolate on top, this was nothing but a standard chocolate brownie.  The Korean name is the same (더블초코 브라우니), I'm sure it wasn't just us who noticed that little oversight.  I'll admit, the chocolate brownie was thick and chewy for Korea as most of their chocolate items like muffins and brownies are pretty light and tasteless, but it wasn't anything special for a brownie in another country.  


Though they had a huge poster promoting it, I was the only person who I saw order one, and it was the first time that I saw something in Korea that wasn't being served at every branch.  It wasn't disgusting, it just wasn't worth my time to hunt down, nor the money.  I thought at most it should have been 1000W, 1500W was far too expensive. What made it even worse, was the following day my my wife and I were 45 minutes early for an appointment, and since we were in Apgujeong, a normal cafe would have charged us 6000W+ for a coffee, we went into Burger King (blasphemous, I know) to have a cheaper coffee. For 2500W they had the "Black Delight" combo, which was a coffee double the size of the McDonald's coffee, and a Brownie Caramel Sundae, which the brownie inside was roughly the same size as the one at McDonald's.  This might be the only time you heard this on my blog, but in this case - go to Burger King instead.
Burger King Korea - "Black Delight" Coffee + Brownie Sundae

Rating - 1/5