Okay so I have a guilty pleasure:
Whenever McDonald’s comes out with a new and unique burger in Taiwan, I can’t help myself but go and try it.
Mostly because, really, you’ll never get to see these things stateside.
This time around, McDonald’s has decided to go to Japan with a tonkatsu-esque pork burger and a teriyaki marinated beef burger.
Let’s take a look!
Of course, this being a language blog, we can’t escape from interesting nuggets of language learning. Both of the names for these burgers make use of Japanese phrases in their names.
First up! The sesame pork burger, or 胡麻豬排堡餐. Let’s break this down!
- 胡麻 (húmá): sesame seeds, which is ごま in Japanese.
- 豬排 (zhūpái): pork chop
Next is the beef burger, which is called 月見牛肉堡餐:
- 月見 (yuèjiàn): from the Japanese つきみ, for “viewing the moon”
- 牛肉 (niúròu): beef
In both titles, they contain the characters 堡 (bǎo), for burger, and 餐 (cān) for meal. Both titles begin with Japanese terms to further connect the meal to Japan (smart marketing!).
Enough of that language stuff, let’s get into how they taste!
You can click on any picture to enlarge.
胡麻豬排堡餐 (Sesame Pork Chop Burger)
The sesame pork chop burger is supposed to be tonkatsu-inspired fried pork chop with shredded cabbage and a sesame sauce on top. This is what we got:
Taste wise, the cabbage and the sauce were pretty good, when we found it. Generally this was a very dry burger. It also wasn’t terribly crispy either, although the pork flavor wasn’t bad. I wouldn’t particularly recommend this one.
月見牛肉堡餐 (Viewing the Moon Beef Burger)
I can only image the name of this burger is slightly inspired not only by the moon viewing tradition, but also by the egg placed right in the middle:
Generally, we quite liked this one. The egg is of course recycled from their breakfast menu, but it’s a rather nice addition to this burger. There’s lettuce (exciting!), but also a nice helping of mayo on top. Being a huge fan of Japanese mayo this was quite welcome. If only they did the same for the sesame pork burger! The teriyaki sauce on the beef patty itself was actually quite delicious, and overall made for a very juicy burger. Really, quite good.
Like anything else, these things can be pretty hit or miss depending on the store, time of day, celestial cycle and who’s making your burger. However, we got this set twice and found the beef burger to be the better of the two, and more consistent, while the pork burger was always a miss for us. The extra black sesame on the buns could very well have not been there, but it sure looked pretty, though:
Overall, if you happen to be in Taiwan while these limited edition burgers are out, I’d say they’re worth giving a try. If you do, let me know what you think in the comments below!