21 April, 2015

Japanese Pork Burger (和風豬排堡) - Taipei, Taiwan - April 2015

McDonald's Taiwan Japanese Pork Burger (和風豬排堡)
Not Chicken.  Pork!
Only available for just over a month.
Purchasrd on 14 April 2015
Location - Taipei, Taiwan
Combo Price - 99NTD = $3.12USD. 79NTD ala carte.
Calories - ~346kcal

I know I usually rant on this blog about how unlucky I am when it comes to McDonald's promo items, but during my last trip to Taiwan, I really did luck out. More often than not, items will finish right before I arrive, or start right after I depart.  This last trip, I caught 2 promos on the day they finished (this review being the first), and another when it started the very next day!

The first item I was able to try was the (nearly impossible to translate), "Japanese Pork Burger" with special, "Japanese" sauce.  It launched alongside the Japanese Curry Pork Burger, but strangely, the curry variant is going to run until September, and this version was only going to run for just over a month.  No idea, and no explanation why this was the case. I have a number of Taiwanese friends, and not one was able to give me a straight answer about what this burger should be called in English, but the general consensus was the that it wasn't a donkatsu burger, since it didn't use the correct batter, but it was served with a pork patty.  It was also served with the "typical" sweet Japanese sauce, which apparently is a standard on all "Japanese" style sandwiches in Taiwan.  This wasn't the first time McDonald's Taiwan promotes their burgers a vague way, as I had the "Korean BBQ" burger a while back.

Since the burger was on the value menu, I expected it to be pretty simple.  Apart from the McChicken sized Pork patty, it was only topped with decent squirts of sauce, and cabbage on a standard bun.  Speaking of the patty, it wasn't just the same size of a McChicken patty, it also had the same batter, and same consistency of the meat inside.  McDonald's pork burgers have been hit or miss for me in the past, but this was one of the better tasting pork patties I've had, not only was the meat lean, it wasn't oily like most of the patties in South East Asia.  The quality of the patty reminded me more of McDonald's Japan, than say McDonald's Singapore (where pretty much all of the of the non-fish patties are oily).  The cabbage didn't really add all that much excitement to the burger, and although I find cabbage actually adds a nice bit of flavour, this one was on the weak side and a bit of a letdown.

The biggest surprise on this burger had to be the sauce.  Although I enjoyed the patty on it's own, the sauce was heavy on the ginger, and actually had small bits of garlic mixed throughout.  Garlic really does make everything taste better, and this sauce made the already-tasty pork patty even better.  This was one of those sauces, that if it was an option on every burger that's what I'd go for.  I tried Googling for what this sauce might actually be and apparently there is something called Japanese Ginger Steak Sauce, which is a common sauce in Japan.  I have a feeling this was the sauce they were trying to recreate, next time I'm in Japan, I have to find me a bottle.

That is one very Taiwanese image. Bubble Tea + Oyster Noodles + Oolong Tea + Beef Balls + McDonald's

 Rating - 4/5