The pink-coloured items are a beautiful way to spruce up the menu for spring.
After trying out the somewhat disappointing Camembert teriyaki egg burger, we decided to head back to McDonald’s for round two, this time for a serving of their new Shaka Shaka Potato Ume fries and a taste of their pink-hued Sakura Cherry McFizz. It turns out that — spoiler alert! — one of the sides is, thankfully, much better than the burger. They’re both a lot prettier too!
▼ McDonald’s gets into the spring spirit with some pretty sakura decorations on the walls, on the counter, and on the menu.
▼ The “Spring Set”, featuring plum and cherry blossom flavours, can be ordered as part of any medium-sized burger meal for an additional 60 yen (US$0.53). Alternatively, the McFizz can be purchased on its own for 250 yen.
▼ The plum-flavoured seasoning can be ordered with plain fries of any size for an additional 30 yen.
While it’s hard for anything to look sensational when served on a plastic tray, our eyes are immediately drawn to the pretty pink colours of the seasoning packet and the icy McFizz.
It’s not only the logo that’s encased with a cherry-blossom hue; the thick sakura-flavoured syrup at the bottom of the cup brings pretty tones of pink to the whole drink itself.
After taking a sip, we were immediately hit with a mouthful of sweet, syrupy, floral cherry flavour. While the vivid pink bottom looks pretty, the drink really needs to be mixed to lift all that heavy syrup up from off the bottom.
After giving the drink a good stir, the mix was still remarkably sweet, and the strong floral flavour hadn’t disappeared. It was like rosewater masquerading as sakura swimming around in a tub of sugar-laden syrup. The only thing saving this was the fizz, which was there in abundance, presenting itself as tiny bubbles which hit the tongue, providing a refreshing, palette-cleansing experience.
After trying the fragrant drink, we weren’t quite sure what to expect with the “ume” plum seasoning in the floral package. We poured the fries into the paper bag, sprinkled the seasoning inside and then gave the whole thing a good shaka-shaka shake.
As soon as we tipped the fries back into their original carton, we knew we were going to love these. Each one was beautifully coated with bright pink speckles, and the salty-sweet aroma was immediately enticing.
The flavour of the salty seasoning was reminiscent of an umeboshi pickled plum, only without the usual tart sourness. The fruity sweet aroma of the blossom brought a mellow sweetness to the crispy potato pieces, elevating them from ordinary fries to unforgettable, lip-smacking morsels of deliciousness.
As a “spring set”, the side items bring pretty pink-blossomed hues to any ordinary meal, and flowers are, after all, the beautiful harbingers of spring. While we’re not entirely sold on drinking flowery soft drinks, we’ll happily have fruity plum blossoms on our fries any day. In fact, we might have to stop by to try them again before they disappear from menus around the country in early April!
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