13 May, 2013

Norishio Shaka Shaka (シャカシャカのりしお) - Tokyo, Japan - May 2013

Sorry about the shadow, this McDonald's had horribly bright overhead lighting

Purchased on 3 April 2013 - McDonald's Ichigaya Station, Tokyo, Japan
Consumed on 12 May 2013 - In City Square Mall, Johor Bahru, Malaysia
Price - Free with large fry
Calories - Unknown

She's hungry, but still wanted to pose for a photo.

My wife and I made a trip over to Malaysia to try a couple new items they had on offer.  Now that she has her Singapore residency card, we were able to apply for the Malaysian auto immigration card, and because I recently renewed my passport (since the old one was full, and we need a handful of visas for our honeymoon in July) I had to queue up to get my new passport 'chopped' = stamped with a Malay entry stamp before they could issue the auto immigration card.  I got stuck in the slowest moving queue ever, and it took nearly 30 minutes to get through and back to the application office, and by the time everything was settled, my wife was starving.  We made a beeline for the City Square branch to get our lunch.

How the little packet made it's way down to Singapore.
My Uni friend from back in Canada recently moved to Japan to start teaching English, and though I had to press him a bit to get these picked up for me, after a couple of friendly reminders, they finally arrived to our flat in Singapore - Thanks Nick!  He's my first close friend living in Japan, so I'll be able to bother him to send me the new shakers/sauces as they appear which is nice, since I won't be visiting Japan nearly as often as I did when I lived in Korea.  My other friend Erik, who used to live in Japan, and had previously sent me the American BBQ shakers, which, strangely enough I also reviewed ate in Malaysia.

The packaging had a simple, "Shaka Shaka" on the front, and this is the first time I've seen the packaging without any reference to what flavour was actually inside. Aside from the American BBQ, I've had many other Shaka Shaka packets in Japan, and this was the first like this, maybe it's the original flavour?  I knew from searching the McDonald's Japan website that it was "norishio" flavour, which is a essentially seaweed and salt.  This would explain why my wife loved it, normally she is pretty turned off by the Shakers, but she absolutely loved this one.  Whenever I would visit Japan from Korea, she would expect me to bring her back the Calbee Seaweed potato chips for her, and these tasted exactly like the seasoning on those chips.  I was disappointed with the American BBQ flavour, but I found myself strangely attracted to this flavour.  At first I was a little under-whelmed, as some of the promo items I was eating had a bit stronger flavour to them, but the more I ate, I found myself enjoying them more and more.  I eventually ended up dipping everything I could find in it, as it accompanied not only the fries well, but also the burger I was eating.  These weren't the same as the Hong Kong Seaweed version I had a couple years back (my first review of seasoning from McDoanld's), but an even better attempt.  Yes, they were extremely salty, but it tasted like salt should, rather than MSG. 

One of the 3 promo items I tried from Malaysia was also another Shaker flavour, so keep an eye out for the next review in a couple of days to find out what it is! Also, just today McDonald's Japan started a new flavour - "Butter Soy Sauce Shaka Shaka", and as soon as I mentioned it to my wife she fell in love with the thought and said "Awesome! He has to send you one~"

McDonald's Japan Norishio on the left, and the new Malay promo on the right.

 Rating - 4.5/5