25 April, 2014

The Spicy Challenge - Fiery Mala Burger - Singapore - April 2014

Consumed on 25 April 2014
Location - McDoanld's Launch Party, JEM Mall, Singapore
Price - Free!
Calories - ~575 kcal

I'm going to try to keep this short, since its now past midnight, and I have a 6am flight...

About 2 weeks ago, McDonald's Singapore Facebook page had a contest where you could win an invite to the launch party for the final "Level 4" burger of the Spicy Challenge Promotion.  McDonald's Around the World does have a Facebook page, so I entered the "contest".  Received a call last week inviting me to the event, not sure if I was just lucky, or invited because of the blog, but either way, I happily accepted the invitation. 

Unfortunately, the event was being held at one of the furthest McDonald's from our apartment, in Jurong East, so it was rather a long trek to get there and back.  We arrived to a rather long queue to "register" where they checked my ID to make sure I was indeed, myself.  Even though my wife wasn't an invitee, they happily gave her a name tag, and she was treated as a guest for the entire event.  Along with nametags, they also provided us with an entry form to guess how many peppers in the jar below.  I believe we chose 73, and the real answer was 134. The 3 closet guesses won a fully stuffed gift bag, but since they were sealed, I didn't get to see what they won.

They had closed off the 2nd floor of the branch for the launch party, and it was decorated in and out in red.  In fact, they had a "red" dress code on the invite, although I may have been dressed all in black, some may have noticed I did indeed wear red shoes and socks! All the tables had red table cloths and the restaurant had different pepper decorations scattered throughout.  

We scoped out a seat furthest away from the "action" so to speak.  My wife and I are not the most social in groups, so we happily took the furthest possible table we could find.  There was actually a small section for "Bloggers", but since I didn't get an official invite as being a blogger, so I didn't want to sit there.  The main seating area was where the MC's were running various interviews, games and just general filler until it was time to eat. They actually had a number of different Singapore celebrities acting as MC's, but since neither me or my wife are Singaporean, it was a bit lost on us. I think we had seen one in an advert before, but not sure who anyone else was.  They, including the rest of the entire staff at the event were very friendly and welcoming. Since we were somewhat off to the side, numerous staff (and even one of the MC's) came over ask us how we were enjoying ourselves and if there was anything they could do for us.

After about 45 minutes of filler, it was time for the main event, the release of the new burger!  Sadly, this was undoubtedly the corniest part of the night, but it was all in good spirits.  A parade of staff members marched out the burger to some cheesy music.  The tall man in the centre, actually wasn't McDonald's staff, but a Korean model?  My wife being Korean had a small conversation with him later in the evening, and you might find our photos on the McDonald's official Facebook page in a couple of days.

Since we were somewhat off to the side, we were the last to receive our burgers, but it was well worth the wait.  Granted, this was a promotional event, so I would have expected the burgers to be hot and fresh, which they were, and the piece of chicken was exceptionally large.  I don't doubt they specifically looked for the largest pieces for us. I must say, as often as I do complain about the Singapore promotional burgers not being spicy, this was easily the spiciest burger I've ever had at McDonald's Singapore, and probably just below the levels of the Grand Spicy we had in the Arab Emirates.  I happily finished mine, and gladly finished off the remainder of my wife's when she had enough.  Unlike the previous burgers, the chicken patty was grilled, rather than fried, which allows you to taste the seasoning just that much more, both of our patties had a bit too much chicken skin, but it was easily removed. I would happily try the other burgers again with a grilled patty, just to see if I could taste spice this time around.  

The only downside to this burger would have to be the taste of the Mala Spice itself.  Sure the burger was spicy, and I applaud McDonald's for that, both my wife and I were impressed by the actual amount of spice in the burger, but the actual taste of the Mala seasoning wasn't deserving of 5 stars, simply because it's been done before, a number of times.  The Grilled Chicken Mala Burger has been released in Hong Kong, Taiwan and China before, and I've had it it 2 or 3 times.  I never did a review since I had one long before this blog started, but as soon as I took my first bite, I was disappointed that it wasn't anything all that "new"

Rating - 4/5
McDonald's Hong Kong 2009 Mala Burger