Nasi Lemak Burger

Capture

Singapore’s National Day was August 9. To commemorate the island’s 52nd birthday McDonald’s released some special, limited time only menu items.

Top of the list was the Nasi Lemak burger: coconut flavored chicken covered with a fried egg, fresh cucumbers, grilled onions and spicy sweet sambal sauce. For drinks, there was Bandung McFizz and for dessert Kueh Salat cake, Chendol McFlurry ice cream and fried Coconut pie.

Local TV personality Genevieve Loh gave her impressions on the McD treats. It’s a riveting film clip. Not only because of her eye catching lashes (I watched with full expectation of them falling into her food ūüėČ ) but because of her reveal that Singaporeans like their fries dipped in ice cream! I challenged my friend Lisa on the claim. Lisa was quick to clarify that only some Singaporeans do this. Only the old timers from her & my generation. The new timer kids eat fries with ketchup and chili sauce. Ahem. That’d be the Singaporean chili sauce … a hot & tangy tomato ketchup … not the American style chili with ground beef and beans.

But back to the Nasi Lemak burger. The pictures looked good and the McDescriptions tantalizing. I had to try and because it was McDonald’s, I up-sized to a $10 set where I had 510,000,000 calories worth of burger, fries, bandung drink & coconut pie.

So how did it taste?

Well, first things first: Appearance. The official pictures looked like the image above.

My burger looked like this.

My Nasi Lemak Burger

It’s a saucy, sloppy mess of a burger. The sauce, onions and cucumbers slip around and it was challenging to get a good grip and¬† solid bite. Hunger, conviction and a whole lot of napkins saw me through. The chicken was good.¬†It was real chicken not a pre-fab patty. The first bite of crunchy chicken had a strong hit of coconut flavor followed by a surprising taste of … fish?

At the second bite the fishy taste was even stronger. Everything was freshly made so where did this fishy taste come from? I dialed back to an image of traditional Nasi Lemak and remembered that aside from fried chicken, sambal & coconut rice there was always heaping pile of dry fried anchovies, ikan bilis.

Ha! Now I knew why my burgers tasted of fish. I also remembered why Nasi Lemak was one of my least favorite Singapore dishes.

Verdict: Not bad. Tasty but probably not worth the expense of calories and clogged arteries.

How about the Bandung McFizz? What’s bandung anyways?

Bandung is a local drink made with rose flavored syrup, evaporated milk and crushed ice. It looks a bit like strawberry flavored milk. It’s a favorite of Malaysians and Singaporeans, smooth and soothing after a spicy curry laksa. The McFizz version had all of the sweet syrup and none of the milk. It was super concentrated sugar water. Kind of like a fizzy lemonade with no lemons.

Verdict: Nasty.

The fried coconut pie reminded me of a Taro pie I had in McDonald’s Beijing. Warm and creamy filing with a strong taste of coconut. The Beijing version had soft cubes purple yam. The Singaporean version had cubes of hot nato de coco. The Beijing version was delicious on a cold and wintry day. The Singaporean version ‚Ķlets just say that Genevieve‚Äôs idea to mix it with ice cream might be a good idea.

Verdict: Has potential but we’ll need to wait until Singapore cools down to a chilly 10C to truly enjoy it.

Singapore. August 2017

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