fast food

Fast food flavour cup noodles recreate the authentic American experience in a pot

Fast food flavour cup noodles recreate the authentic American experience in a pot

Japanese people love their cup noodles, there’s now doubt about it. You can see endless varieties on sale at the conbini or supermarket, from the ordinary to the weird and wonderful. Recently Nissin Foods has released two limited edition cup noodle flavours to be sold at AEON which are definitely at the weirder end of the scale: Cheeseburger Noodles and Hot Dog Noodles.

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Ultra-enthusiastic Japanese Family Mart employee is the height of customer service

Ultra-enthusiastic Japanese Family Mart employee is the height of customer service

Growing up in the U.S., I had always been pretty jaded with customer service. At best, I’d get a cashier thanking me for my patronage (in response to which I would sometimes awkwardly say, “You too!”), and at worst I’d have to remind the cashier s/he was on the clock just to get them to lazily punch in some numbers and ring up my diet coke.

Things are different in Japan. People in retail and customer service jobs practically fall all over themselves to help the customer – when they aren’t busy taking Twitter photos of themselves in ice boxes, anyway. But this Family Mart employee may put them all to shame; he’s got the whole ringing someone up routine down to superhuman levels, snatching cash out of customer’s hands and tossing it into the register with ease and confidence like he’s some kind of teetotalling flair bartender:

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KFC now selling bento lunchboxes from exclusive chain of Japanese-style outlets

KFC now selling bento lunchboxes from exclusive chain of Japanese-style outlets

People in Japan love fried chicken. It’s so popular it’s become one of the staple ingredients in Japanese bento lunches, where it’s served in small, boneless pieces known as kara-age, and it’s in such high demand that you’ll find queues outside specialist kara-age joints around the country.

World-famous fast-food chain Kentucky Fried Chicken has finally picked up on the popularity of the chicken piece with a new line-up of Japanese-style hole-in-the-wall outlets dedicated to serving up kara-age in a variety of KFC flavours. And that’s not all. They’ll even serve it up in a bento lunchbox too.

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All-you-can-eat-fried chicken coming to KFC Japan just in time for the 4th of July

All-you-can-eat-fried chicken coming to KFC Japan just in time for the 4th of July

Man, doesn’t that pile of Kentucky Fried Chicken look enticing? Sure, it may not be the most sophisticated meal, and there’s really no way you can twist the nutritional facts to call it particularly healthy, but you’d be hard-pressed to find a purer, simpler gastronomic joy than a bucket of fried chicken.

But you know what makes the above image all the more beautiful? The large-font Japanese text smack dab in the middle of it, the part that says tabehodai, or, in English, “all you can eat.”

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Kentucky fried rice bowl – KFC’s Kentadon expands throughout east Japan

Kentucky fried rice bowl – KFC’s Kentadon expands throughout east Japan

It’s amazing how much Japan loves KFC. I pass by more locations of the world’s most popular fried chicken chain on an average day in Tokyo than I ever did in Los Angeles, and it’s even the meal of choice for most Japanese diners on Christmas Eve.

Now, just as Japan has embraced KFC, KFC is embracing Japan by expanding the number of locations where you can get your hands on one of the restaurant’s rare Kentucky Fried Chicken rice bowls.

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Think you can finish seven Whoppers in 30 minutes? Burger King Japan wants you!

Think you can finish seven Whoppers in 30 minutes? Burger King Japan wants you!

Burger King Japan has just announced the “60th Anniversary ‘B’iKing Battle,” inviting anyone with the stomach and speed for eating seven Whoppers in half an hour to apply. Sounds pretty sweet, right? Maybe…we have a feeling the grand prize is the last thing participants will want to receive after polishing off two-days’ worth of calories.

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20 bizarre fast food items from Japan

20 bizarre fast food items from Japan

Japan has always had a knack for taking Western ideas and turning them on their head, churning out some weird and wonderful gems in the process. So it’s not surprising that the fast food world in Japan is an absolute goldmine of unusual creations and bizarre taste sensations. From towering burgers to chocolate sauces, we take a look at some of the most mind-boggling limited edition releases we’ve seen in Japan over recent years.

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How to make McDonald’s four-patty burger diet-friendly: Hold the everything

How to make McDonald’s four-patty burger diet-friendly: Hold the everything

A lot of people in Japan start to feel down in the dumps in May, as the excitement of the new jobs and school years they started in April gives way to a daily drudgery with the next public holiday months away. For us, though, May has suddenly become the happiest month of the year so far, with the return of McDonald’s Japan’s massive four-patty Mega Mac on May 19.

Here at RocketNews24, we try to stay one step ahead of the latest burger trends, however. Sure, everyone’s excited about having extra meat now, but what if the next big thing is less meat? Could we order our Mega Mac with no meat, or anything else, for that matter?

As it turned out, not only was McDonald’s willing to indulging us in our minimalistic burger experiment, they even got in on the process by offering us some advice.

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McDonald’s Japan’s eight-nation World Cup menu kicks off next week

McDonald’s Japan’s eight-nation World Cup menu kicks off next week

Japan loves cheering on its sports teams in international competitions, and with the World Cup just a few weeks away, soccer is set to dominate TV programming, advertising, and the national consciousness in general.

If you’re not personally a fan of the Beautiful Game, you might feel a little left out of the conversation for the next couple weeks. So since you won’t be using your mouth for talking, why not stuff it with some of the 14 new World Cup-themed menu items McDonald’s is rolling out in Japan?

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Just when you thought it was safe to get your triglyceride levels checked, the Mega Mac returns

Just when you thought it was safe to get your triglyceride levels checked, the Mega Mac returns

It’s been seven hours and 473 days since they took your love away, Mega Mac. And now the McDonald’s Japan hit taste of the month in the form of an oversized Big Mac has returned. Starting 19 May McDonald’s outlets across the land will again begin serving up the Mega Mac to gluttonous fans (including half of our writing staff) left wanting more back in January ’13.

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We try churros from McDonald’s Japan

We try churros from McDonald’s Japan

Churros are especially popular in Spain and Portugal, but those in Japan have encountered the delicious deep-fried snack at Tokyo Disneyland, Universal Studios Japan, and more recently, Mister Donut. Because of Japan’s familiarity with churros, the new McChurro from, you guessed, McDonald’s, has caught consumers off guard as it looks more like a flaky pastry. And so we headed to McDonald’s to check it out ourselves. Read More

Japanese fast food chain Lotteria continues shoving noodles where they don’t belong

Japanese fast food chain Lotteria continues shoving noodles where they don’t belong

Our long-time readers will remember Lotteria’s famous–or possibly infamous–ramen noodle burgers last May. We even set Mr. Sato off to try out an extra-massive ramen noodle burger and were amazed by his ability to consume gargantuan amounts of food. As strange as the combination of noodles and buns seemed at the time, it apparently earned the company a lot of happy customers, since Lotteria will be bringing back noodle burgers at the end of this month, with a few new twists…

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Burger King launches perplexing ‘PooPoo Smoothie’ in China

Burger King launches perplexing ‘PooPoo Smoothie’ in China

Burger King has raised some eyebrows with its latest menu addition in China, called the “PooPoo Smoothie.”

The drink as similar to a Taiwanese boba tea, or bubble tea, and has pulp-like “pearls” inside that are supposed to “explode in your mouth upon consumption,” according to the Daily Meal.

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KFC launches collaboration with soccer star Ronaldo, ensures next generation will be too fat to play

KFC launches collaboration with soccer star Ronaldo, ensures next generation will be too fat to play

KFC Japan has announced it is getting in on the fast food giant’s tie up with international soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo starting April 28 by offering new menu items at all Japanese stores. Ronaldo’s face may be all over this stuff, but something tells me this kind of fully fried meal doesn’t actually go in his face very often…

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What’s for breakfast at Burger King Japan? Spamburgers!

What’s for breakfast at Burger King Japan? Spamburgers!

It’s no surprise that the fast food market is a competitive one, particularly in Japan where restaurants go to great lengths to create the most unique items to bring in the customers.

This time, Burger King Japan has announced a new breakfast line-up of unique items not often found in fast food joints. At the head of this new seven-item menu is the wonderful Spam & Cheese for 260 yen (US$2.54).

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Attack on Lotteria! Get your burger with a side of Levi and Eren

Attack on Lotteria! Get your burger with a side of Levi and Eren

Do you love burgers and enormous, skinless giants? How about sexy studs Eren and Levi from the super popular Attack on Titan? If you answered yes to any–or all–of those questions, then you better get to your nearest Lotteria this Friday, because supplies for the limited-edition mini-towel and plastic file are…uh…limited!

Also, we’d really like a milkshake while you’re there.

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We try McDonald’s Avocado Beef, see if it’s as lame as people on Twitter are suggesting

We try McDonald’s Avocado Beef, see if it’s as lame as people on Twitter are suggesting

Remember the other day when we announced the surprisingly fresh looking Avocado Burger Series from McDonald’s Japan? Many, including us couldn’t help but get drawn in to the heaps of vibrant green avocado bulging out of a firm ciabatta bun, even though deep down we knew it was too good to be true.

With their release date of 17 April here, many rushed to their nearest McDonald’s outlet to get a first crack at the uncharacteristically fresh and healthy looking sandwich. Unfortunately, what the first few customers reported was not pretty.

So are these customer reviews doing the avocado burgers justice, or is there still some truth in advertising left? We picked one up to see for ourselves.

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We take on Thailand’s five-and-a-half-pound hamburger, and live to tell the tale

We take on Thailand’s five-and-a-half-pound hamburger, and live to tell the tale

Our Japanese-language correspondent Kuzo is currently making his way through Thailand, and while we’re happy he had such a good time at the country’s famous water festival, frankly we’re a little worried about the guy. We think all the excitement may have frazzled his brain, since he recently sent us a batch of pictures of himself eating what appears to be a hamburger-shaped novelty pillow.

Wait, that’s a real burger?!

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McDonald’s Japan’s new Avocado Beef, Chicken, and Shrimp burgers look surprisingly good

McDonald’s Japan’s new Avocado Beef, Chicken, and Shrimp burgers look surprisingly good

Regular readers will know that we at RocketNews24 are no strangers to fast food. When you’re based in one of the biggest, most convenient cities in the world and spend the majority of your day online with instant access to more information than your ancestors probably had in their entire lifetimes, you tend to lose the ability to concentrate long enough to prepare a real meal, and it’s easy to give in to the greasy and syrup-topped temptations that wink at you from the branches of McDonald’s and Starbucks located on every other street corner.

We’re not exactly proud of the amount of junk food we shovel into our faces under the pretences of journalism and science, and certainly don’t recommend that any of our dear readers attempt to replicate our own Mr. Sato’s adventures in Cholesterol Land, but we have to admit that McDonald’s Japan’s new Avocado Beef, Avocado Chicken, and Avocado Shrimp burgers actually look pretty good.

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Free double pickles and onions at McDonald’s Japan will help your budget, ruin your breath

Free double pickles and onions at McDonald’s Japan will help your budget, ruin your breath

At midnight on April 1, everything you can shop for in Japan got a little bit more expensive as sales tax rose to either percent. Thankfully, this three-percent hike was announced well in advance, giving consumers a chance to stockpile staples such as toilet paper, detergent, and other dry goods ahead of time.

Unfortunately, there’s one other necessary yet perishable staple of our lifestyle that we couldn’t hoard: hamburgers. With the amount we eat, that extra three percent of tax works out to a pretty hefty chunk of change.

Thankfully, at the same time as the tax increase took effect, so did a new McDonald’s Japan policy offering free double portions of pickles, onions, and sauce on the chain’s sandwiches.

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