10 August, 2015

Burger Balado - Jakarta, Indonesia - August 2015


Consumed on 9 August 2015
Location - McDonald's Thanrin, Jakarta, Indonesia
Combo Price - 39,500IDR = ~$2.91USD
Calories - Unknown. Estimated ~450kcal

Last week The Wife and I booked a last minute trip to Jakarta, I had been there once before, and I was able to review 2 of the stranger regular menu items, Chicken + Rice, Bubur Ayam and the since discontinued Spaghetti. The last time I was in Indonesia I wasn't so lucky as there weren't any promo burgers for sale (so I grabbed the promo McFlurry instead).  This time I lucked out and was able to try the "Burger Balado", which was introduced earlier in the week to celebrate Indonesian independence day.  The last couple promo burgers in Indonesia were a Curry Burger, and the Korean McSpicy, which were both regular burgers with a new sauce.  The Balado, not only introduced a new Garlic Chilli sauce, but also was topped with cucumber, which was a first in Indonesia.  

When I placed my order, I was quickly reminded how cheap Indonesian McDonald's was.  The entire combo (which also included 2 other promotional sides) was only $2.90USD, but after it was served I could see why it was so cheap.  The burger used the larger sesame seed bun, but it only used a very small beef patty, the ones you'd see in the $1 hamburgers, although I was quite surprised with the quality and amount of the veg!  Where McDonald's in Asia usually falls a bit behind, is with the amount of veg toppings include on their burgers, this burger had a tonne of lettuce, as well as 2 slices of cucumber (one of which was almost too thick), and a huge slice of tomato.  The cheese, well, was standard McDonald's cheese, and was nothing to write home about.

Although the veg was nice, the star of the burger was the "Balado" sauce.  McDonald's here in Singapore usually goes all out with the 'spicy' promos, with ridiculous ads saying with people flapping away at their mouths after taking a single bite, or even with giant WARNING labels on the burgers box - these sauces usually are lacklustre at best.  This Balado sauce made no mention to it being spicy in any of it's promotional imagery, but it blew away any "spicy" burger Singapore has ever had.  It probably had to do with the actual chilli seeds and full pieces of chilli pod still left in the sauce. It wasn't tongue melting hot (nothing at McDonald's ever will be), but it was good.  It was similar to a sambol sauce

I tried to get a shot of the pepper - just didn't work out.

The biggest problem with the burger in general, was that I felt the flavours didn't work that well together.  The sauce was a bit too tart for my liking, so when eaten together with the veg, didn't really taste all that great on the McDonald's beef patty. The sauce would have made an absolute PERFECT dipping sauce, but it just wasn't something that should be served on a burger.  So despite the burger having great potential, it was pretty middle of the road.

Rating - 3/5

There was one other disappointing item about this visit, and that was they were sold out of the "Minions" Banana McFlurry.  I was originally debating getting McDonald's delivered to our hotel as we weren't walking distance from a branch, as they are few and far between in Jakarta (A&W is the fast food of choice here) and it was still available on the website, just not in-store.