10 November, 2013

Ebi Burger - Singapore - November 2013

Even the box has Japanese design, nice attention to detail.

Consumed on 07 November 2013
Location - McDonald's Scape Branch, Singapore
Price - $7.75 in Ebi "Feast" combo
Calories - Unknown

My full intention was to continue writing reviews of items that I reviewed on my last trip, but on Monday, McDonald’s Singapore posted a cryptic ‘music video’ on their Facebook page.  It was over-the-top Japanese women dancing…they didn’t say what was coming, but it was clear this was mean’t as a teaser for the next promo.  On Wednesday, the Ebi Burger, Banana Pie, and Mango McFizz was launched, and since a good majority of my readers are in Singapore, I’m going to post these before continuing the older reviews.

I met my wife on Orchard Road after I finished up work on Thursday, and we decided to give the new promo a try at a branch we’ve passed a number of times, but have never actually visited before.  A few McDonald’s in Singapore have outdoor seating, and they always seem to do a decent enough job cleaning the tables quickly so there isn’t a bird problem.  You have to understand that here in Singapore, customers are not expected to clean the tables after themselves (some people do, but the majority do not), a member of staff is roaming who cleans the tables and throws away the rubbish into the bins.  It’s important for tables outdoors to be cleaned of leftover food quickly, since Singapore is a tropical country, and you will get birds, lizards, giant cockroaches, monkeys, hungry students or a number of other things going after the leftovers if they sit outside too long.  One customer left their scraps, and a swarm of pigeons made their way to it within 60 seconds. Once they ate all the leftovers, they started approaching other customers trying to steal their food, this gang of 4-5 pigeons bothered one girl so much, she gave up on eating her meal, and left it for the birds.  They spent a good 5 minutes finishing her burger and fries, and finally a staff member came outside and started cleaning the tables (of which 4 would have had rubbish on them). It was the dinner rush, so the staff should be a little more proactive in getting the tables cleaned, so other customers can sit down, and so it keeps the birds at bay.  Not sure we’ll be sitting outside of this branch in the future.

I probably should have gone a little closer on that batter, it was different.

My wife always takes terrible photos of me eating...Yes, my shirt is a photo of Kyrgyzstan.
But now that my bird rant is finished, I’ll get back to the review.  I’ve mentioned a couple times recently, that I refused to have the last promo in Singapore, the Chicken Samurai burger because of its high price, and that it was only a chicken variant of their annual Samurai Burger, after over 2 months of Samurai marketing, I’m a little surprised that McDonald’s did another Japanese promo with the Ebi Burger.  Ebi is Japanese for shrimp and other than that the Shrimp Burger is a regular menu item in Japanese McDonald’s I’m not exactly sure why it needed the Japanese style marketing push.  

This would actually be the 4th different country I’ve had a shrimp burger in.  The first was in Taiwan back in 2007, when I had the shrimp burger with a rice bun, which has been discontinued since around 2008 (please make a comment if this it was earlier, but I think it was around 2009).  I then had the shrimp burger in Japan a couple of times, and then again when I moved to Korea. This used to be my favourite burger to get at Korean McDonald’s and I was very disappointed when mid-2010 they discontinued it in favour of…Chicken McNuggets…I believe that the time Korea was the last country without Chicken Nuggets.  This promotional Singapore version had the standard sesame seed bun, like the Japanese and Korean version, but had full shrimp inside the patty like the Taiwanese version.  Both the Japanese and Korean version only had minced meat (like a fillet o fish), but this had a mince with full shrimp mixed in. 

Also, this was unique in that it had mustard, as well as Thousand island sauce, which must have been the same as on the Thousand Island Fillet O Fish promo earlier this year.  Though the sauce wasn't all that flavourful, I will never complain about anything that includes mustard, and it was a nice change from the mayo/tartar sauces that I've had on other shrimp burgers.  The patty didn't have an overly fishy taste to it, and both my wife and I appreciated the quality and the of the shrimp inside. I was also expecting the batter to be similar to a fillet of fish, but it had a thicker, almost shrimp tempura style battering which I really enjoyed.  We ordered a McChicken alongside this burger (because they are my wife’s favourite, and we she often doesn't enjoy the promos), and we both regretted not just getting 2 Ebi Burgers, they were that good.

A double patty version is also available (and I saw a number of locals ordering it), but personally, I think the bun and other toppings would be a bit too small and tasteless for a double, and you’d would only be taste the patty and not the sauces. Since the bun was standard, and the only veg was a small sprinkling of lettuce, it won’t get perfect a perfect 5/5.

Rating – 4.5/5