22 May, 2016

New York Onion Shrimp Burger (뉴욕 어니언 슈림프 버거) - Seoul, Korea - April 2016

New York Onion Shrimp Burger - Korea - 2016

Consumed on 20 April 2016 
Location - McDonald's Shillim, Seoul, South Korea
Price - 4500KRW = $3.77USD
Calories - ~471kcal

McDonald's Korea 2016 Receipt

As I mentioned briefly in my Alfredo Chicken Burger review, in April I made a trip up to Korea as The Wife had to have a minor surgery.  She flew up about a week earlier than I did, and at the time she left, the promo burger was the very interesting, Ricotta Cheese Chicken Burger. It would have been my first time trying a McDonald's burger with Ricotta, and my first "very unique" promo burger from Korea, as my last trip wasn't that exciting.  The Ricotta Cheese Burger was on sale for about a month, and I expected to give it a try when I would arrive, but as is expected with my luck, this burger finished The Day I arrived in Korea. It was replaced with the somewhat more boring, but still interesting enough, New York Onion Shrimp Burger.

I guess there are so many Shrimp Burger promos lately, they have a standard wrapper now.
Long time readers of the blog will know of the Shrimp Burgers tumultuous recent past at McDonald's Korea.  The Shrimp Burger used to be a regular menu staple in Korea, and was so even when I was living there, until about mid-2010 when it was suddenly, and completely unannounced, replaced by Chicken McNuggets.  At the time, Korea was one of the few countries around the world that didn't sell nuggets, and the Shrimp Burger lost it's place on the menu.  It stayed off until about the end of 2014 when they "relaunched" new promo burger using whole shrimps rather than the mince it used in the original.  Even though I visited Korea at the time this promo was running, I skipped it as whole shrimp burgers are on the regular menu in Japan, , I've had them before in Singapore, over and over, and even a few "flown in" promos from Japan.  They made yet another appearance in late 2015 with the same patty, but with Spicy or Lemon sauces.

Spicy & Lemon Shrimp Burgers from 2015
Since I was staying in Korea for a couple weeks, I have the burger the day I arrived, as I knew it was just released so it would stick around for a while, and the official McDonald's website said it would be running until a week or so after I left.  That was until one morning The Wife had a big laugh, and started teasing me as the following was posted on the official McDonald's Korea FB page - 

Due to "lack of stock" the New York Onion Shrimp Burger would no longer be sold effective immediately, about 2.5 weeks earlier than expected.  All mention of the burger was pulled from the official McDonald's website, and the only item they were promoting were the Churros, which since I reviewed them in January 2016, made it onto the regular menu. I had a hunch there had to be a few branches with stock left, so that night I insisted The Wife and I make a circuit of every McDonald's we could walk to, trying to find one. It actually was easier than expected as only the 2nd branch we visited still had them for sale.  For the next week I would take a peek into McD's all around Seoul that I would pass just to check if they were selling it or not, and I'd say a good 50% still had the posters up, up until the date I left Korea.

As mentioned, the burger used a Shrimp Patty made up of whole shrimp and was breaded in the same type of style as a McChicken, so it's thin and doesn't distract from the the light tasting fish inside.  I had tried the minced shrimp patty that McDonald's Korea used to sell (in the pre-blog days) and it really does taste better with whole shrimp, as the minced fish really didn't taste all that different from a Filet-o-Fish.  It was actually more difficult than I imagined to get a decent photo of the shrimp within the patty.  There is a light flour filler that fills in the gaps between each small shrimp, (otherwise you'd have oil filling in the gaps) so after cooking they aren't as distinct as they are in the promotional photos. I tried to take at least 4-5 photos to get a clean shot of the shrimp and none really turned out that well, so I just dug a piece out and took it on it's own.  Trust me, it was better than it looks in the photos below...

Many were bigger, but this was the average "whole" shrimp used.
The "New York" in this burger is apparently from the additional Onion Ring on top of the patty, as nothing says New York like an Onion Ring!  Onion Rings on a burger isn't that new to McDonald's as it's popped up in Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and a few others.  The other "New York" topping was a very strange Thousand Island. In actuality, it was more like Thousand Island dressing was mixed together with mustard and bit of mayo as well.  The strange sauce was used on both the top and bottom buns, and since it was tart, yet sweet at the same time, was far too much and overpowered most everything else in the burger.  They are charging a premium for this, so it was stacked pretty which with the onion, patty and veg (2 thick slices of tomato and lots of lettuce).  The sheer amount of sauce also made it a very messy burger to eat, which is never fun in my book, but despise the strange taste, it wasn't that bad, but I definitely didn't find it good either.  

뉴욕 어니언 슈림프 버거 - Seoul, South Korea April 2016
But what was really bad on this burger was the Onion Ring.  On the outside, it was big and crispy, but in an onion ring, you should expect to taste some onion, but the tiny, lettuce-thick sliver of onion inside was so paper thin, it just couldn't hold up to all the frying it needed to cook that large outer batter.  It was easily one of the worst onion rings I've ever had, and after a first bite, I threw the rest away immediately.  

Rating - 2/5