29 April, 2016

Halloumi McMuffin - Oman - March 2016

Sadly that's grease soaked through the bun
When the mangled bun is hidden it doesn't look as bad
My cheese was probably thicker than the promo photo!
Consumed on 27 March 2016
Location - McDonald's Al Kuwair, Muscat, Oman
Price - 0.8OMR = $2.08USD
Calories - 320kcal

McDonald's Oman Receipt. Ask for take away and save 4% VAT!
No special packaging here.
The Haloumi McMuffin is the last item I was able to try in Oman in March 2016.  I had first stumbled upon the Haloumi McMuffin a couple years ago when I was transiting through Abu Dhabi airport during breakfast hours, and at the time it was a limited time promo item, so I was hoping I could give it a try. This is when I learnt that the Abu Dhabi Airport branch (along with Hong Kong, Dubai and Singapore) serves the Lunch/Dinner menu 24/7, so I wasn't able to order it.  Then I lost track of the sandwich for a while, as I'm not totally sure if it disappeared after that and has since become a regular menu item later, or if they permanently extended after its initial limited time offering.  Even though it became a regular menu item, it's still something I was eager to try since I've been a fan of the goat + sheep milk halloumi cheese for many years now, and apart from the McArabia, this is one of the few 'arab' items on the McDonald's Arabia menu.

McDonald's Oman Halloumi McMuffin 2016
Halloumi is a cheese found all over the middle east, and it's not sharp nor overly creamy like western cheeses.  For those of you that have never had it, I would say it tastes more like cream cheese, but it has a firm, yet 'squeeky' texture, almost like cheese curds you'd find in Poutine. It's often served grilled as it doesn't really melt, and rather than slices they are typically eaten in large pieces. One might think that using such a thick slice of cheese would be too heavy for a breakfast sandwich but it really is one of the lighter cheeses you can have. Since this McMuffin was replacing egg or meat for the slice of cheese, I expected this to be one of the lighter breakfast items I could have tried, oh how I was wrong.

McDonald's Arabia Halloumi McMuffin 2016
Something is wrong when the cheese is thicker than the bun.
It took surprisingly long to get my food, I'd say a good 5-6 minutes which really felt like a long time, when I was the only person ordering or standing around waiting for food.  When the finally placed my sandwich on the tray I could see grease absorbed through the wrapper, which was not a good sign....I half expected the slice of halloumi cheese to be about as thick as the sausage patty, but the piece I was given was at least 2.5-3 times as thick.  I ordered this right at the tail end of breakfast so I'm not sure if that's the standard amount (judging by the promotional photos it is) or if since it was the end of the breakfast run, they just stuck whatever was left on my Muffin.  All that grease I mentioned? It wasn't from the gigantic slice of cheese but rather the oily sauce they piled on, coupled with a mangled top bun where only 1/2 the bread survived (take another  a look at the first photo).  As soon as I unwrapped my sandwich I knew I was in for something unpleasant as I immediately was hit with a strong olive smell. The sauce was made of olive paste soaked in olive oil...The only thing on this planet that approaches my level hatred for mushrooms... are olives, I have no problem with olive oil, but that paste had to go.  I used my mangled half-bun to scrape off as much as I could, but each bite was still tainted with olive residue.  Since I lost what was supposed to be the top bun, the massive hunk of cheese ended up being a bit too cheesy for me, so I didn't end up finishing the muffin.  

The sad thing was the cheese itself was actually really good, it tasted exactly like halloumi should, and that's expected when the cheese was sourced from Saudi Arabia, but only really needed to be half as thick as it was.  If someone is a fan of olives, I'm sure the paste the used probably would have been a solid addition to a pretty solid new regular menu item...it just wasn't for me.

Rating - 2/5