10 June, 2015

Cherry Blossom Pink Seaweed Shaka Shaka - Japan - May 2015

McDonald's Japan Cherry Blossom Pink Seaweed Shaka Shaka
Purchased in April 2015, in Osaka, Japan
Consumed in May 2015, in Singapore
Price - Free with Large Fry purchase.
Calories - Unknown

For the last couple days in March, and most of April, McDonald's Japan went absolutely crazy for pink.  They usually roll out a burger with an egg on it as a part of their "Spring" promo, but this time they released that burger with a Pink Bun topped with Pink Cherry Blossom Infused Mayo. Also joining the pink-menu was a Pink Cherry flavoured Sprite, a Cherry Milkshake and last but not least, these Cherry Blossom Pink Seaweed Shakers!  Seaweed Shakers (or Shaka Shaka as they are known in Japan) come and go in Japan, and they've pretty much made it to every other Asian country at least once by now, it's by far the most common shaker flavour, but this new variant sounded very interesting to me, since even the standard seaweed flavour can vary in quality depending where you try it. That, and I hadn't had a Japanese shaker in quite a while.

The Wife and I tried these shakers on the same day that we sampled the Salt and Pepper Crab flavour from Hong Kong. Since we only ordered a single fry, we only used half of each shaker packet, which allowed us to pour out the rest and compare the two visually. 

Japan Left. Hong Kong Right.

Although the look pretty similar in colour to my colour-blind eyes in this photo, the Pink Seaweed shakers were pretty noticeably pink when I was eating them.  You could also make out large, almost sesame seed sizes seaweed flakes.  I wasn't able to find a translation of the ingredient list, so I can't really be sure about the other ingredients, but there were at least three or four other styles of seasoning in there.  What I am sure of though was the ingredient that made them pink was Sakura (Cherry Blossom), but I have no idea were dried flakes of the flower, or if they used a Sakura Salt. My biggest gripe about shakers is that they are usually too salty when topped on already-salted fries.  These however, were not salty whatsoever, and each bite allowed you to get a hit of both seaweed and sakura without feeling you are going to exceed your daily sodium intake.  Every single ingredient used in these shakers was larger than anything that came out of the shaker from Hong Kong, so when they were mixed onto the fries they were clearly the more appetising option between the two. It also made it easier to coat on the fries, and to lap up the pieces which never took hold.

Most of the time when the wife and I try shakers, we have our cursory 1/2 fries seasoned with them and don't really have the urge to season the rest, even when the flavour we were trying was pretty good. The hardest part of this review would have to be how I can describe the sakura flavour, as I think this was the first time I've ever had it, even though it's a relatively common ingredient in Japan. It wasn't sweet, it wasn't tart, it wasn't even herbal, it almost reminded me of Jasmine, soft and smooth. This Cherry Blossom Pink Seaweed shaker had a punch of flavour from the seaweed, was extremely fragrant from the sakura, and the blend together on a fry was a perfect combination.  We even saved the 1/2 of the packet we didn't end up eating for future use as we didn't want it to go to waste.

Rating - 5/5

Oh, the Sakura McFlurry they had in Singapore does NOT count as trying Sakura before. Since the only "Sakura" about it, was the name.  It was simply a Blackcurrant McFlurry...