Back in May, McDonald’s Japan unleashed the Tonkatsu McBurger highlighting Japan’s ubiquitous piece of breaded meat, the tonkatsu (deep-fried pork cutlet). Although it didn’t entirely win us over against Mos Burger’s tonkatsu burger when it first came out, the masses were pleased and cleaned out the burger chain of supplies before the Tonkatsu McBurger was scheduled to finish.

Due to that success McDonald’s will bring back the Tonkatsu McBurger but planned an added feature for its inauguration into the regular menu across Japan – a truly special moment in any sandwich’s life. This addition is an elaborately created sauce promising to heighten its flavor to a whole new level. But is it enough to win back customers lost after this summer’s chicken scandal?

The basic structure of the Tonkatsu McBurger will be the same as before: a breaded pork cutlet (using varying sized bread crumbs for maximum crispiness), shredded cabbage (which is found beside tonkatsu due to their complimentary nature), tonkatsu sauce, and some mustard.

However, this time the tonkatsu sauce has been redesigned through a revolutionary sauce developmental process. First, McDonald’s established the “Everyone Tonkatsu Sauce Research Group” which is a team of 15 civilians chosen from 3,000 applicants nationwide who worked with McDonald’s sauce engineers to come up with the best possible flavors.

This team then came up with a variety of tonkatsu sauces that were distributed to 60 McDonald’s outlets across Japan in what was called the “Grand National Tonkatsu Sauce Tasting” where customers could sample the sauces and vote on which ones they liked best.

The winner of this convoluted process was the Goma Katsu Sauce which boasts the savory and pungent aroma of sesame (goma in Japanese) infused in the regularly tangy taste of tonkatsu sauce. But that’s just the tip of the flavor iceberg with hints of miso and garlic buried deep within this topping.

Online chatter was all aflutter over the news with comments such as:

“Crap. Don’t need it.”
“Expired meat, wrapped in expired bread, fried in expired oil.”
“You’re better off just buying tonkatsu at the supermarket.”
“The katsu sandwich at my station’s bakery is a better deal pound for pound.”
“I absolutely don’t trust McDonald’s.”

As you can see, there are still plenty of hard feelings towards McDonald’s since the tainted chicken scandal back in July. Aside from that there was a large number of complaints over the price of theTonkatsuMcBurger at around350 yen (US$3.26) for the sandwich and 650 yen ($6.05) for the combo.

It’s certainly a different world for the Tonkatsu McBurger from when it first emerged in May. Will its warm greasy pork melt the frigid hearts people in Japan have for the beleaguered burger chain? It looks unlikely after other recent attempts, but hey, McMiracles can happen.

Source: McDonald’s Japan, Hachima Kiko, Narinari
Video: YouTube – McDonald’s Japan