27 December, 2016

McCreamy Chicken Soup & Chicken with Nam Jim Jaew - Bangkok, Thailand - December 2016

Consumed on 27 December 2016
Location - McDonald's Ekkamai, Bangkok, Thailand
Price - Soup = 39THB ($1.08USD) ala carte. Soup and Chicken set 69THB ($1.91USD)
Calories - Unknown

Apologies again about the lack of reviews. After a number back-to-back trips over the last few months, The Wife and I purposely avoided booking any personal travel over the Christmas/New Year holiday period since flights were pretty expensive, even when departing from historically cheap Bangkok.  We also have 4 trips over the next few months starting in mid-Jan so this downtime is just temporary.  Since I haven't had a review from right here in Thailand in a very long time I'll use this opportunity to review a few new items that have popped up on the menu in recent months.  The first two of which I'll be reviewing today will be the limited time item, McCreamy Chicken Soup and a new sauce variant of the regular menu Fried Chicken & Rice. 

I'll start with the Soup, since that's what I went searching for being a promotional item.  The Wife and I actually attempted to go have a bowl of this soup over the long weekend, but the branch we entered at the time was absolutely full of mosquitoes, so we opted to leave it for another day (Thonglor J-avenue, for those interested). That branch was promoting the soup with both posters, and cutaways on the registers, but this Ekkamai branch had neither, so I was worried it wasn't even sold there, or worse yet, that I missed it by a day. I had to ask, and they confirmed it was available, but I had to wait a few minutes for it to be prepared.  It took about 2-3 minutes to be served, but even with the wait, it wasn't served piping hot. It was hot enough to still be edible and not disgusting, but not hot enough for soup. The soup itself was served in nearly identical sized cup to soups I've had at other McDonald's in the past, and that portion size didn't seem too large, nor too small at the pricepoint they were selling it at.  The Wife got a new phone since my last review so we both have a working camera now, and the soup colour was indeed as gross as it looked in the photos. But as offputting as the colour was, the flavour itself was pretty decent.  Since it's called the "McCreamy" I knew it was going to be cream based, and since I'm not generally a fan of cream soups I liked this more than I expected going since it wasn't all that creamy in reality.  If you expect something thick and chunky, this soup isn't for you.  After my first bite, I went in search for a packet of pepper because it needed some, and despite the branch offering salt, ketchup, chilli sauce, and three kinds of sugar (white, brown and syrup) there was no pepper to be found anywhere.  The strange bit was the chicken - it wasn't processed chicken meat, it wasn't a cut up chicken patty either, but rather small pieces of shaved chicken, similar to what's served in the morning porridge.  One could never say they skimped on the amount chicken, because each spoonful had a lot, but there was a lot of chicken skin and fatty pieces mixed together with a few pieces of white meat.  Not my favourite, but probably added some flavour to the bowl.  There were a token few shavings of parsley, and croutons, which became soggy pretty fast.

This second dish, I never even planned on trying, but they had a promotion where if you bought one of the "value" rice dishes, you could get the soup for 1/2 price.  The newest addition to the rice options was a piece of fried chicken served with a Nam Jim Jaew dipping sauce, so it was an easy choice which I'd go for. Jaew is traditionally Northern Thai, but you'll pretty much find it served at any restaurant that serves Chicken, fried or grilled, even those street vendors selling meat-on-a-stick will often have it.  It's primary flavours are fish sauce, shallots, sugar and chilli. Sometimes it also with roasted rice, which tastes slightly like roasted sesame but not in this case.  Although you could tell it's not something they could make in-house, there was no playing around with this sauce, it was made for Thai's, by Thai's.  The sauce tasted exactly like you would get outside, right down the the spiciness. When you got some of the chilli seeds, it was definitely "proper" spicy, and perfectly acceptable sauce for both the rice, and the chicken. 

A few months back McDonald's Thailand ran a marketing promo saying their chicken was now bigger than before, and it was clearly noticeable. The photos don't really do it justice, but the drumstick was just about as big as the bowl of rice. The Wife and I could each have a couple bites from the single piece.  If you are looking for a piece of fried chicken from McDonald's this is certainly the sauce you want to eat with it. It's easily the best option on the menu right now, the soup, you could probably give it a pass.

Rating - 
McCreamy Chicken Soup - 2/5
Fried Chicken with Nam Jim Jaew - 4/5