If we’ve learnt one thing from the vast number of articles on this site, Japanese fast food chains like McDonald’s come up with some really good ideas to keep people coming to their restaurants. Regardless of whether they turn out delicious or disgusting, inventions such as the luxury burger line-up, avocado burger, and tofu nuggets are hard to ignore.
It’s gotten to the point that people in Japan may have grown too accustomed to the nice things served at fast food outlets. For example, McDonald’s recently announced their new autumn special – Mushroom Risotto Balls – and online reaction could largely be described as righteous indignation with comments like “only an idiot would eat that!”
When I was a kid, we never had Oreos in my house. This wasn’t because my parents had a no-sweets policy, but because the pantry was well-stocked with similar Hydrox sandwich cookies instead.
But while Hydroxes actually predate Oreos by a whole four years, it’s the latter that went on to international fame and fortune. It’s a pretty similar tale to that of Dairy Queen’s Blizzard, which has been largely overshadowed by McDonald’s McFlurry, a nearly identical dessert of ice cream mixed with cookies or candy that came out more than a decade after Dairy Queen’s original.
So while the double imitation of an Oreo McFlurry might seem completely derivative, starting next month in Japan there’s a tasty bit of innovation you can look forward to, as McDonald’s Japan is bringing back matcha Oreo McFlurries.
McDonald’s joints all around the world have some of the most interesting items. There’s of course Chicken Curry Rice in Thailand, American vintage burgers in Japan, and ramen at one McDonald’s in the US (of all places!). But we’ve never seen anything quite this fancy at a fast food restaurant anywhere, so we sent one of our reporters to check out the colorful macarons at a McDonald’s in Shanghai.
Just days after the taking Chicken McNuggets off its menu in the light of the China food scandal, McDonald’s Japan has unveiled a brand new, rather unusual product: Tofu Shinjo Nuggets and Ginger Sauce, a combination of bean curd, fish and vegetables shaped into bite-size pieces and deep-fried.
Turning to tofu–a food that has long been a favourite in Japan and known for its health benefits–is certainly a wise move, and McDonald’s is undoubtedly in need of something new to entice customers back with, but while we’ve no doubt all craved deep-fried chicken at some point in our lives, we’d hazard a guess that very few have ever longed for a box of tofu nuggets at the end of a night on the town.
Curious cats that we are, we headed over to our local McDonald’s to grab a few boxes of the new nuggets. Join us after the jump to find out how they taste.
McDonald’s restaurants are now doubling as wedding venues in Hong Kong.
McDonald’s launched a wedding party program a few years ago in response to customer demand, with three locations offering wedding services. Today, 15 McDonald’s locations in Hong Kong host weddings, as well as engagement parties, anniversary parties, and bridal showers, according to CNBC.
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.