Despite every student in Japan being required to take English language courses, it may be difficult to find everyday people who enjoy and feel comfortable speaking the language. Sure, there are some former compulsory school students who are completely fluent in English, but overall, finding a native-level speaker or even someone confident enough to speak with can be difficult. That’s why we were surprised and pleased to watch this video of an Australian expat and his English language encounter at the McDonald’s drive-thru in Japan.
Sure, we know we’re not supposed to play with your food, but the temptation can be great when there are gadgets around like the Direct Food Printer that lets you draw and write as you choose directly onto food. But now, for a limited time starting this week, McDonald’s Japan will be offering a new menu item that allows you to draw directly on your food using … chocolate sauce! It’s the “Oekaki Happy Hotcake” (Draw and Happy Hotcakes) set, and if you think drawing on hotcakes with chocolate sounds like fun, we completely agree! What’s even better, the set can be ordered as part of a Happy Meal that comes with a Pokémon toy — now, what kid can resist that?
I’m not entirely sure if this applies to all the McDonald’s outlets in the world, but the ones I’ve been to usually have soft serve ice cream (they call it a Vanilla Cone in Singapore) on the menu. It’s a simple, inexpensive sweet treat that hits the spot after a savory serving of burgers and fries.
It’s just vanilla ice cream served on a wafer cone, something so simple that almost nothing can go wrong… almost. We shan’t spoil it for you. Check out the video clip after the break!
Thai food is fantastic; the flavors of sweet and spicy excite the taste buds like little else. But in a country as diverse as Thailand, how do you know which restaurant to visit? There are so many local eateries, how can you decide which one will be the best? Well, RocketNews24 has a recommendation for you, and it doesn’t matter what part of Thailand you are in, you will probably be able to find it.
The restaurant we recommend for you to try some authentic Thai food is…McDonald’s!
On May 28 at a McDonald’s restaurant in China, six members of an alleged religious cult attacked and beat to death a 37-year-old woman after she refused to give them her phone number. The incident was caught on security cameras and filmed by fellow diners as they fled, but no one attempted to intervene.
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.
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?
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.
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
Here at RocketNews24, we’re all about forming stronger connections between Japan and the rest of the world. Incidentally, we’re also all about burgers and fried foods.
Sometimes, the planets align just right, and we get to check all three boxes at once, like we did today with our taste-test of McDonald’s new pork cutlet burger, a Westernized version of Japanese dish inspired by Western cuisine. And since the only thing better than a fried pork sandwich is two fried pork sandwiches, we’ll be comparing it to the nearly identical menu item from hometown hero Mos Burger.
When we first heard about the new banana-based Frappuccinos from Starbucks, we had a sneaky feeling that they just might be a big hit. Bananas have always been a popular fruit in Japan, after all, and the description of the two new Frappuccinos made them sound seriously mouthwatering.
Now that they’ve been on sale for over 10 days, it seems the banana Frappuccinos have been successful beyond everyone’s expectations, and with McDonald’s also having come out with original banana beverages as well, bananas appear to be the sizzling hot ingredient in the world of Japanese cafes at the moment. So, of course we had to look into what everyone was going bananas about!
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.
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.
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.
Not everybody has time to cook a solid, healthy meal on their own every morning for breakfast. We get that. Hell, sometimes we’re forced to drink the leftover grease from last night’s KFC bucket just for some kind of nourishment as we dash out the door, so who are we to judge when someone opts for a fast food breakfast?
But imagine plopping down 619 yen (US$6) for the newest McDonald’s breakfast item you’d been waiting for, only for the cashier to present you with a heaping plate of random food bits that look like they were scraped together from various leftovers they found lying around in the kitchen.
With certain varieties of sakura trees already covered in pink blossoms, Japan has got cherry trees on the brain. Everyone is looking forward to go out and see the flowers that’ll only be here for a short time, but why settle for one Japanese tradition when you can have two by combining it with limited-availability fast food, in the form of cherry mochas and frappes from McDonald’s.
Despite all the lavish attention RocketNews24 has laid upon the altar of the Golden Arches at the cost of our Adonis-like six packs, it seems there’s a fast food chain Japan loves even more than McDonald’s. According to a recent Niconico News survey of adults, the reigning king of fast food in Japan is the country’s own native Mos Burger – although McDonald’s runs a close second.
Since our diets consist of almost nothing but the lard, chicken goo, sawdust and other mystery substances that go into a fast food meal, a win for any fast food is a win for humanity in our book, but let’s take a moment to look at Niconico‘s ranking and examine some of the possible reasons the results:
In a number of East Asian countries, but perhaps most strongly in Japan, it is believed that one’s blood type, or ketsuekigata (血液型), determines a lot about one’s character and how we relate to others and the world around us. Although comparatively few Westerners who have never donated blood or had the misfortune of being seriously ill know their blood type, it is rare to meet a Japanese person who does not know theirs, and it’s considered perfectly normal for people to try to guess someone’s blood type when first getting to know them or working together closely.
It’s easy for non-Japanese to forget the character traits that blood types supposedly denote, however, so here’s a handy image – which is currently doing the rounds online in Japan and being suitably nodded at and chuckled over – to save on your computer or smartphone for the next time someone says, “Oh, that’s typical A-gata behaviour!” when you fold up your napkin or straighten a crooked picture frame.
On 18 February, McDonald’s Japan began selling its third and final installment of the “American Vintage Series.” Called the American Funky BBQ Chicken and American Funky BBQ Beef respectively, the pair are intended to symbolize the material world of 1980’s America. We’re not really sure how it does that, but meh, when it comes to a new burger flavor the reason for its creation is incidental.
Hungry like the wolf, our material-girl reporter Meg ran, ran so far away to the nearest McDonald’s to take on an American Funky BBQ Chicken for a test taste. Is it worthy to be her brand new lover or will it just be a case of tainted love leaving her doing the reflex over the toilet bowl?