Well, the trip is drawing to a close, which means that this is my last taste of international McDonald’s weirdness.
First up: the Golden Prosperity Burger, which consists of a chicken patty (it’s also available in beef), a hash brown, black pepper sauce, and onions. I didn’t care for this one at all. For one thing, it was easily the sloppiest burger I’ve ever had at McDonald’s; the soft bun was barely even able to hold up under all that sauce. The chicken patty was really bottom-of-the-barrel — it was one of the shoddiest reconstituted chicken patties I’ve ever had. Plus, the sauce was just one-note peppery. It really needed pickles or something acidic to balance things out a bit.
Up next was the Bubur Ayam McD, which was a rice porridge with chicken, green onions, fried shallots, ginger, and sliced chilis. This was actually not bad at all — the rice had a good texture, and all of the flavours worked pretty well together, with the fried shallots adding some crunch.
Last but not least was the Red Bean Pie. This was about as close to a sure thing as it gets. I mean, it’s a crispy fried McDonald’s pie filled with tasty red bean filling. Yeah, it was quite good.
One of those things that’s huge in Asia and virtually unheard of in the west is putting beans in desserts. It’s a little bit off-putting at first, but then you quickly realize it’s delicious and wonder why you haven’t spent your whole life eating beany sweets.
These little bean-filled, fish-shaped cakes are particularly popular, and with good reason. And this place (this was a random discovery and the sign was all in Japanese, so I have no idea what it’s called) was particularly good.
It was warm and fresh, with a generous amount of sweet bean filling encased in a subtly sweet, pancake-like exterior. This particular place had a bit of extra cake around the edges (it’s usually just the fish) — this is actually kind of ingenious, because the extra part is nice and crispy, which contrasts nicely with the cake and the beans. It’s really good.
I don’t know that I’ve ever heard anyone bellow with quite the impressive room-filling intensity of the order-taker at the Regency Cafe, but holy crap. I wish I had taken a video of this because there’s no possible way I can adequately describe it with just words. She sounded like a pretty normal person when she was taking orders, but then when they were ready and she called them out? Her voice got two or three octaves deeper and it was like she had a megaphone embedded in her larynx.
I guess it was one of those “you had to be there” things, but it was actually quite awe-inspiring.
The Regency cafe is famous for its take on the full English breakfast, which in this case came with toast, eggs, baked beans, sausage, and bacon — I chose to add on black pudding (i.e. blood sausage) and hash browns, because go big or go home, right?
Even with the addons, it came up to just eight pounds (which also included a very strong cup of English tea), so it’s a pretty amazing deal considering the absolutely monstrous amount of food that you get.
It’s the type of meal where you want to lie down and go into a food coma immediately after. And it was seriously tasty — no individual component on the plate was particularly mindblowing, but taken together it was an absolutely phenomenal breakfast. Plus, you won’t need to eat anything else for several hours, which is always a good thing for a traveler on a budget.