29 August, 2016

Salsa & Nacho Grilled Chicken Burger (莎莎玉米片鷄腿堡) - Taipei, Taiwan - August 2016

Salsa & Nacho Grilled Chicken Burger (莎莎玉米片鷄腿堡) - Taipei, Taiwan - August 2016
Salsa & Nacho Grilled Chicken Burger (莎莎玉米片鷄腿堡) - Taipei, Taiwan - August 2016
Salsa & Nacho + Grilled Mushroom Burgers @ McDonald's Taiwan July 2016
Purchased on 2 August 2016, in Taipei, Taiwan
Consumed on 14 August 2016, in Taipei, Taiwan
Price - $79NTD = $2.48USD
Calories - ~590kcal

One thing that McDonald's Taiwan does that I really like, is that they post both a starting and ending date for all promo burgers on their official website.  This means if I know if I'm going to Taiwan I can ask my friends there to save me a burger if it happens to complete it's run shortly before I'll arrive (I've thought about asking them to freeze a whole range, but I can't bring myself to ask), and this is exactly what happened this time.  McDonald's Taiwan released their Salsa & Nacho Burger together with a Grilled Mushroom burger in late June, and it was stated to finish it's run on 2 August, two days before I would arrive in Taiwan. My friends bought me one on its final day and stuck it in the freezer for me, as the promo burger scheduled to replace it was an Onion Ring topped Shrimp Burger, identical to the one I reviewed in Korea earlier in the year so I felt a new frozen burger was better than a burger I already reviewed.  Although this burger was purchased and frozen before the Steamed Veggie Nuggets were announced, and had I known about those before that happened, I might have asked them not to bother. 

Frozen Salsa & Nacho Chicken Burger
Baked Salsa & Nacho Chicken Burger

Since my friends have an oven, something I never had in Singapore when people used to fly me in items from other countries, it was pretty easy to stick the frozen burger in the oven and a couple minutes later, it actually came out pretty respectable.  I'll admit, the bun was a bit on the crunchy side, but the rest of the ingredients ended up tasting not that much different than if it was served relatively fresh.  Nachos aren't something totally unknown to me on McDonald's burgers, but I can't seem to dig up an old review where I have photos of them. I know for certain I had them on a pre-blog "Big America Miami" burger in Japan way back in the day and on my recent trip to Singapore I opted for a burger with Apple on it rather than Nachos & Guacamole.  Salsa on the other hand is a very common topping and I've reviewed 8 burgers with some type of salsa on it, the latest being the in Hong Kong back in June.

The nachos on this burger lost a bit of their shape in my initial "bake" but once I opened the top bun and threw it back in the oven for a couple seconds they crisped right back up.  One interesting thing I noticed was that these nachos did not have any salt on them, and according to the promotional material on the side of the box, were 100% corn flower.  My burger had 5 Doritos-sized chips on there topping the patty, which meant each bite would get a piece.  As expected, they weren't that easy to eat as they are a hard and crunchy item stuck in between softer ingredients which made for a messy eating experience if you tried to bite one in half. In the end I resorted to pulling them off as they really added much to the flavour of the burger as they were easily overpowered by the cheese and salsa (which I'll take more about shortly).  I think they were just used a something to make it a little more interesting than just a "Salsa Burger" and Chips always go with Salsa don't they?  To touch on the other ingredients briefly, the Chicken patty was a standard skin-on Grilled Chicken Thigh which is served all around Asia, but has never been my favourite as I find it overly oily, this one was no different, although it was one of the smallest pieces I've ever had.  However I'll still take this over the fried Chicken Thigh patty McDonald's Taiwan served me last time on the Alfredo Chicken Burger.  The cheese and lettuce were standard McDonald's fare and not really worth mentioning. 

The salsa was the only real positive here. It was both flavourful and exactly like you'd expect salsa taste like, being both heavy on onion, lime and even cilantro (which is often avoided in Asia).  Served on it's own and I'd be happy to dip some of those nachos in there and eat it as a dip. The biggest surprise was for a burger not being marketed as "spicy" in any of the promotional material, it had a really nice kick to it, and I've definitely had burgers called "spicy" which weren't this hot.  The huge issue I had with it however was the tiny squirt of salsa that my burger was topped with, this was made exponentially worse by how good the actually salsa was, I just wanted more!  My photos are a bit misleading and actually make it look like there was a decent amount on there, but it really was disappointing how little was on there, as it would have been just enough for 1-2 nachos, not an entire burger. They could have gone for at least 3X more and it might have helped this sandwich earn a passing rating.... 

The burger really crushed down. This was only after 2 bites.
Rating - 2/5