14 October, 2014

McParfait (with Pandan Sticky Rice) - Bangkok, Thailand - October 2014

Consumed on 13 October 2014
Location - McDonald's Big C Rajdamri, Bangkok, Thailand
Price - 29THB = $0.89USD
Calories - ~280kcal


My wife and I spent last weekend in Thailand.  Although I used to go transit through Bangkok 5-6 times a year when living in Korea, but since moving to Singapore, even though it's much closer (a 2 hour flight, v. 6 hours), I've only been a single time, and my wife had never been to Bangkok before this trip.  "McThai" (The registered company name is actually McThai, and not McDonald's Thailand) has had a number of interesting items over the last year, none of which I had been lucky enough to try.  One item which wasn't really promoted on the official McThai website at all was the McParfait, so I didn't know much about it before arriving in Thailand.  I saw the McParfait being promoted at a BTS Skytrain station on the morning of our arrival, but since I didn't want McDonald's as my first meal, nor ice cream at 9am, I decided to give it a pass.  I had to visit at least 4-5 branches throughout the weekend before I found another that offered it.  I had initially though that it might only be offered at the station kiosks, but I did find it available at a proper branch a few days later.

The ice cream kiosk I ordered the parfait at wasn't busy when I arrived, there was only a single person in front of me, and she was ordering 2 simple sundaes, but as soon as it was my turn, a group of 6-7 people had just arrived behind me. It was only then that I was able to approach the counter quickly review the 13 different available toppings, and make my selection of only 3.  I'll list them in order:

1)  Corn Flakes
2)  Strawberry Sauce
3)  Pandan Sticky Rice
4)  Sweet Corn
5)  McBubble
6)  Ovaltine Crumbs
7)  Chocolate Wafer
8)  Chocolate Chips
9)  Oreo Crumbs
10)  M&M's
11)  Honey Almonds
12)  Cherry Jelly
13)  Twin Chips (Half Dark/Half White Chocolate Chips)

Naturally, I skipped the standard toppings like M&M's, Oreo's and Strawberry Sauce and anything Chocolatey.  I also passed on the Corn Flakes, since I've had them on a McFlurry before, and the Ovaltine was too similar to the Horlicks items I've had here in Singapore.   The McBubble would have been on the list, but my wife and I had a Ice Coffee with McBubble the day before (review to come!).  I ended up choosing the Cherry Jelly, as it was on the promo photo and looked so bright red it was scary, Honey Almonds, and Pandan Sticky Rice.  I fully regret not choosing Sweet Corn over the Honey Almonds as they would have been a more interesting topping to review, but I was in a rush to quickly chose, and since Sweet Corn is a regular menu item here in Singapore (you can substitute your fries for corn), I didn't think about how different (read: gross) it would have been on ice cream.  Plus, I've never been a fan of the Corn Pie.

Yep - That's rice.

The Ice Cream itself was standard McDonald's soft serve.  The savoury Honey Almonds were placed at the bottom of the cup, and the ice cream was poured on top.  They then scooped a decent amount of both Cherry Jelly, and Rice on top. The cup itself wasn't all that big, but it was less than $1USD, so I had nothing to complain about.  The contrast between red and green was unlike any McDonald's ice cream I've had, and the thought of having rice on top of ice cream was a completely new idea to me.  You might be asking why the rice was green to start with - Pandan is a pretty common dessert flavour in this part of the world, but at least here in Singapore and Malaysia, it's usually in bread/cake, and not rice (but I have seen it served before in deserts, just never McDonald's).  It's a really difficult flavour to try and describe, but my first impression is always coconut and this pandan rice was no exception.  True to it's name, it was indeed 'sticky' and I ruined the appearance of my parfait trying to break up the large chunk (see the photo below).  My wife was instantly turned off of the idea of having rice on ice cream, and ate around it.  I was surprised by how little it tasted like rice, they must have had tonnes of sugar mixed together to be able to hide the starchiness of the rice.   Unfortunately, the Cherry Jelly was a pretty big let down, as they were nether chewy enough to be proper jelly, nor cherry flavoured enough to be cherry, they were pretty bland, but at least they had a decent size to them.  The few balls which were buried under the ice cream slightly froze, and the texture became even worse - They weren't gross, just I wouldn't want to order these again.  The Almonds turned out to be quite nice surprisingly enough, and had a nice honey roasted crunch to them but also seemed to be a generally higher quality than most McDonald's nuts.

This one is pretty difficult to give a definitive score too since it can vary so much depending on which toppings you order.  I'll be in Thailand next week, if you want to leave a comment here, or message me on Twitter, about which flavour combination you think would be the best & worst, I'll do my best to recreate one I find the most interesting!

As I ordered it this time around, I'd probably give it a:
Rating - 3/5