If you had not known that the Nasi Lemak Burger was launched by McDonald’s last Thursday, you must either be in out of town, or not a Singaporean.
The fact that they could come up with a burger inspired by the popular local dish is worth being the talk of the town. The fact that the outcome is widely praised (as opposed to the big flop of banana-flavoured ice cream just prior to this launch) makes it the must-blog of the weekend.
Just what is the hoohaa all about?
In overview, McDonald’s has launched a set of items to celebrate Singapore’s National Day, which is coming up in a month’s time. Last year, they also launched a series of items that proved to be popular. Nobody expected them to outdo themselves this year.
The set of food items include a burger rendition of Nasi Lemak, of which a set meal comes with Bandung Fizz (Bandung in 7-up) and cross-cut fries. For dessert, patrons have the choice of Chendol McFlurry and Coconut Pie.
To show my love for
McDonald’s Singapore, I promptly went to queue up for my share of the in-food of the season. However, because of my small appetite, I could only gorge down the classic burger and Chendol McFlurry.
Nasi Lemak Burger
In between those buns (which, as everyone has commented, was the only disappointment of this burger) was layer after layer of local goodness. The chicken, which itself was marinated in coconut sauce (yes! McDonald’s did not mix and match existing products!), was laid on top of a bed of yummy sambal sauce. If that is not enough, no worries, because there is still another layer of sambal sauce on top of it, but will caramelised onions and slices of cucumber to add a tinge of freshness to the whole burger.
For foreigners, or those afraid of spiciness, the sambal sauce is more sweet than spicy. In this aspect, McDonald’s is conservative, and yet respectful. True enough, those who found the sambal not spicy enough can always smear a layer of all-time-favourite garlic chilli to add the kick in the meal!
As if McFlurry itself is not heavenly enough, McDonald’s has Chendol McFlurry. It has the usual soft-serve, but added with Gula Melaka, Chendol (that green, stripey jelly thing) and desicated coconut to add a grungey texture to the dessert.
For those who read my previous article talking about Coffee Bean Tea Leaf’s latest Gula Melaka Pandan Cake, you would have an appreciation of how heavenly Gula Melaka is. Yes, Gula Melaka is sweet, but it also has that memorable, fragrance of caramelised coconut (to be frank, I do not know if Gula Melaka has that in it, but it does feel like that). So when added to McFlurry, it provided a multi-layered sensory delight!
Should You Try It Now?
Now, I am adding this section for 2 reasons: I can’t be parroting what other established bloggers are saying, and I have personally “suffered” from being the first-mover.
On hindsight, I will tell myself to wait for 1 week before trying the burger out, and this is what I will tell everyone who reads this blog.
First, I started having the runs after the meal and I had stomach cramps for 2 days. Because N and I both had Chendol McFlurry and yet he did not have diarrhea, the culprit then lies in the burger.
Perhaps the food preparations was less than ideal given the hype over the burger, such that the staff were overwhelmed with the orders, and yet the situation was not bad enough to cause mass food poisoning.
But let’s view this from another perspective. As with all popular product launches (like the latest smartphones), the very first batch out of factory would have been carefully checked to ensure the first-movers get the best and spread the good word around. If the launch takes off, the company would be in a rush to produce a 2nd batch to meet the sudden spike in demand. Usually, those who went in to make a purchase 1 month after a successful launch of a product will be “blessed” with products that were buggy. Only when the hype sort of dies down and balances out with the stress of ramping up of the supply chain, do the product start to be more bug-free than the 2nd generation products.
In the case of Nasi Lemak Burger, the “first wave” was over in the first few hours of the launch. The only time when our burgers will be heavenly is when the crowd eases and/or McDonald’s adds that slightly extra manpower to cope with the increased demand.
This is the same case with the McFlurry. Although I did not think it caused me to have diarrhea, I spotted something wrong with it right away. Compared to the vastly unpopular banana soft serve, which was super cold and hard, the Chendol McFlurry was gooey and barely cold.
The reason behind this difference was the amount of time the milk get to settle into soft serve. Because not a lot of people ordered the banana ice cream, the milk had more than enough time, in fact too much time, to become cold and hard. The latter, on the other hand, was less solid than a milkshake.
I still think the Nasi Lemak Burger is true to its promise to be a makeover of the popular local favourite, and the Chendol McFlurry gives the taste buds a taste of heaven. But perhaps, to have a ultimate experience, wait for a week for the hype to settle down, before visiting McDonald’s.
By then, I will spend any amount of time in McDonald’s just to celebrate Singapore’s birthday. And yes, if only this amount of time can be translated to my yearly requirement for National Service…