16 June, 2015

Chicken Vegetable Burger - ベジタブルチキンバーガー - Japan - June 2015

McDonald's Japan Chicken Veggie Burger - June 2015
That's one unappetising looking burger.

Purchased on 10 June 2015
Location - McDonald's Narita International Airport
Price - 440JPY = $3.56USD
Calories - 293kcal

As I'm sure most of you are well aware that McDonald's in many western countries has a stigma around it for being, ugly, disgusting looking food. That's not exactly the case in the rest of the world, especially in Asia, where many of the burgers look properly good and almost scarily, exactly like the promotional photos. Japan is usually the best in this regards (not just for McD's but for everything it sells) where the burgers can look exactly like they do in the photos. When first I saw the first promotional photos for the new Chicken Vegetable Burger, I was excited because it looked so appetising with it's premium bun, and chicken patty "infused" with supposedly lots of vegetables.  I certainly wasn't disappointed with of the number of ingredients.  It was an all-white meat chicken sausage patty stuffed with green soybeans (edamame), corn, red pepper and carrots. Under it's whole wheat bun was lettuce, along with fresh tomatoes, and onion, and topped with a all new tomato+lemon+paprika sauce. Unfortunately, this was the first time I had a burger from Japan that I was severely disappointed with how it was served...

This doesn't look good at all...

If I had to judge the burger completely on it's appearance, it would have easily been a 0/5, since it was served crushed, the patty had a disgusting coating of burnt grease on it (although it was chicken, it was still a sausage patty) and the new sauce was a pretty gross looking orangish-red. But living in Asia, I've had my fair share of food which looks disgusting and actually turns out to be amazing, so I didn't want to judge the burger completely from it's first appearance.  Thankfully it didn't taste anywhere near as bad as it looked.

The first, and strongest taste in the burger was the sauce.  I didn't know what it was made from when I first ate the burger, and it tasted almost like a carrot ketchup, which long team readers will know that I think ketchup can ruin pretty much any burger. I would have never in a million years guessed that it was a tomato+onion+lemon+paprika sauce.  I could taste the tomato, but nothing else listed there.  The patty was a bit on the chewy side, I'm not sure if the airport branch was rushed and just burnt this one, or if they are always like that.  But the biggest disappointment would have had to have been the lack of vegetables stuffed within the patty.  The promotional photos show it stuffed edge to edge with large pieces of corn, carrot, peas and pepper.  In reality there were probably 10 kernels of corn, 5 peas, next to no carrot or pepper.  That said, the corn and peas were large and surprisingly crunchy, but there was so little of the other ingredients, I couldn't taste them at all.  The chicken sausage didn't taste nearly as bad as it looked, but it could have had a bit more seasoning to it.  McDonald's Japan sells this same patty in a breakfast sandwich, as well as a kids meal (with a marketing push saying that it's a great way to get kids to eat veggies), so I can almost understand the lack of seasoning when it's going to be served to kids.  When I added a bit of black pepper, it made the patty almost enjoyable.

Rating - 2/5

The first time I've had the new bags @ McDonald's.  The ones in SG look like they are straight out of the 90's