04 June, 2017

Minion Potatoes & Spicy Bellow Burger - Bangkok, Thailand - June 2017

McDonald's Thailand Minion Potatoes - June 2017
McDonald's Thailand Spicy Bellow Burger - June 2017
McDonald's Thailand - Yellow Mania Minions Promo - June 2017

Consumed on 03 June 2017
Location - McDonald's Central Rama IX, Bangkok, Thailand
Price - "Yellow Mania" Set - 99THB = $2.90USD
Calories - Burger ~575kcal. Fries - Unknown.

McDonald's Thailand Receipt - June 2017
Last Thursday, McDonald's Thailand started quietly promoting their new "Minions" items on their various social media pages. I think I saw one of the films on a plane a few years back, but I don't really have any feeling for these characters, so the branding did nothing for me.  The two items which clearly stood out in the sea of drinks and ice cream options, were the Spicy "Bellow" Burger, and Minion Potatoes.  Since moving to Thailand in 2015, promo burgers have been pretty non-existent, or repeatedly bringing back something I've had before. I've tried reviewing all the sides they've run over the last couple years, but my last actual burger review was from a short-lived, black-bunned, Pork Burger in late 2015! I have a 3 week trip starting next week, and I didn't want to risk missing these items, so I insisted that The Wife and I try it over the weekend. 

McDonald's Thailand Minion Potatoes
McDonald's Thailand Minion Potato Box 
McDonald's Thailand Minion Potatoes Box
McDonald's Thailand Minion Potatoes Filling

I'll start with the Potatoes, as aside from their appearance, there wasn't that much to them.  They were served 6-to-a-box, and from what I could tell, if you didn't order one of the two "Yellow Mania" sets, either with the burger I had, or one with some fried chicken, rice and a Happy Meal bundled together, you couldn't order them ala carte in the restaurant. However, I did notice that McDelivery had a promotion that if you ordered over 300THB of any other food, you could get these for free.

I think someone at McDonald's knew they weren't going to perform well so giving them away for free through McDelivery would be the best way to clear their stock, as these were pretty horrible in every aspect.  Worst of which was the texture - these had a dark, but still outer shell, and the inside looked and tasted like instant "just add water" mashed potatoes.  If you look closely at the photos of them in the box, a few have very small black specs on them, but don't be mistaken as that was certainly not seasoning, but likely something they picked up from the oil, as these were about as tasteless as they looked.  They weren't even salted, so all each bite could give you was a a very bland potato flavour.  When I first saw them on the promotional photo I thought they might be more like a crispy tater tot.  Maybe if they were at least remotely fresh, but the batch I received was served at room temperature, made everything that much worse.  At best, these could be good for kids, but seeing as they weren't being served with Happy Meals and the only way to get them was with full adult meals I'm not sure they aimed for the right audience.  No adult is going to order them more than once, even if a massive Minions fan.

Since McDonald's Thailand handles their social media exclusively in Thai and Spicy Bellow Burger wasn't even mentioned on their official website, I went into the burger completely dark without any idea what to expecting.  I could assume "Bellow" was supposed to be a play on Yellow, as you could also see bit of a yellow sauce in the promo photo of the burger.  

What I was served was a fried chicken thigh patty, that was clearly dipped in a sticky, chilli sauce prior to being placed on the bun.  The top bun was covered in that yellow sauce, which looked an awful lot like mustard, but I refrained from giving it a smell before my first bite. The only veg on there was shredded lettuce, so just from the appearance it reminded me an awful lot of the McSpicy, that is served in Singapore and Malaysia.

In my first bite, I had a big mouthful of Chicken, and could taste the chilli sauce more than anything.  My chicken was fresh, and actually surprisingly meaty, and not that oily which is a common complaint of mine when I get thigh meat.  The meat itself was seasoned just like the McSpicy patty, so I wouldn't be surprised at all if it was the same.  The sauce was decently spicy as well, and although sticky, it didn't really taste all that sweet and wasn't a typical Thai Sweet Chilli sauce, which was a nice change. It actually reminded me quite a bit of Korean spicy chicken sauce, and could even be considered a better effort than the Seoul Spicy I recently had in Singapore. In that first bite, I couldn't really taste the Yellow at all, The Wife had a bit on the side with a bit less chicken. She instantly called it out as Mango, to which I didn't really believe her at first - until I finally gave the sauce a smell... and it was indeed a Mango sauce! 

I guess it was somewhat to be expected? The rest of the ice cream based Minion promos were Mango flavoured (the last film they were banana, but sadly no Banana Burger), but Mango was not something I expected at all on a Spicy Chicken burger.  Unfortunately when I had my first bite that wasn't all chicken and finally got a taste of the mango sauce together with the rest of the burger, I wasn't really all that impressed by it whatsoever.  The sweetness of the Mango didn't work well with the pleasant chilli sauce, and it certainly didn't work with the fried chicken.  I tried one more bite and it actually became worse the more I ate (or at least the more I focused on it) so I ended up removing the bottom bun that had all the mango sauce on it and ate the chicken only with the plain top bun.  McDonald's Thailand should just sell that spicy chilli sauce together with the chicken and brand it as their own McSpicy and they'd be all set. 

Rating - 
Minion Potatoes - 0/5
Spicy Bellow Burger - 2/5