31 May, 2014

Tomato Basil Shaka Shaka - Japan - May 2014


Purchased in Hitachi, Japan 
Consumed in Johor, Malaysia
Consumed on 25 May 2014
Price - Included in Shaka Shaka Chicken purchase
Calories - Unknown

The first half of this year has been very light with travel for me, but the 2nd half of this year will include trips to Dubai, France, Sri Lanka, Korea, Kazakhstan, Japan, Taiwan and wherever else I can squeeze in.  My sister is going to be flying me up the Australian World Cup promos in a couple weeks as well.  So keep visiting for many more reviews to come!

In the meantime, here's another item from Japan sent down to Singapore for me to review from my friend Nick.   The Tomato Basil Shaka Shaka seasoning started as soon as the Tomato Herb nugget sauce finished, and this only looked to run for about 10-14 days before the latest World Cup promos started, so it didn't last very long.  I'm a bit surprised that they ran this promo so soon after the last tomato promo, and it seemed both rushed to launch, and rushed to finish, which was not a good sign.

In Japan, they have shaker seasoning for both fries, nuggets, and for chicken, this one was for the Shaka Shaka Chicken, although Singapore/Malaysia doesn't sell the chicken patty on it's own (please pretend the Tom Yum Cutlet promo is finished, I just ordered nuggets to try this with.  Since Singapore nuggets are ridiculously expensive, I waited until we were in Malaysia to try these out.   Both my wife and I both really enjoyed the Tomato Herb nugget sauce, and she thought this was just going to be the shaker version of that flavour.  When we tore open the package, I gave it a smell before pouring it out on the empty side of the nugget box to take a closer look.  I couldn't place the smell, but it wasn't noticeably tomato or basil, it had unplaceable zezty, almost metallic, scent to it.  You'd think with basil being so fragrant, and with it being in the name, that it would at least smell like basil...

We only used about 1/2 the packet on our 4 nuggets, and once they were sufficiently coated, we gave it a try.  The smell was impossible to pin down, and the taste was even more confusing.  It didn't taste like tomato or basil whatsoever, and where the Tomato Herb dip was love at first bite, this took a bit getting used to.  That tangy smell carried over to the taste, and have a very faint tomato taste to it if you thought about it hard enough. Personally, I wouldn't have called it Tomato Basil at all, since basil was completely non-existent.  Maybe "Tangy Tomato" failed the focus group test or something.  If you've ever had Ketchup chips in Canada, its like they used the seasoning from this, and added a but it sugar to make it sweeter.  

After I ate the single nugget, I actually tried to tap as much of the seasoning off it as I could.  We used the remaining power to coat a portion of fried, and it actually tasted marginally better on the fries than it did the nuggets.  I think the crispness hid the tanginess of the seasoning, and the chicken inside the nugget just couldn't hide it.  Once I tried these I knew exactly why they disappeared so quickly, and it wasn't because of demand.  I actually have a 2nd packet of these which I now don't know what to do with.  If anyone can source me the Shakers on trial in the US or the middle east, I'd be happy to do a swap.

Rating - 2/5

Did you know that I post links to other McDonald's Around the World items that I can't review on my Twitter account?  Follow me @TravellingMcDs for everything I can't post here.