Tell us, Ronald, is this an exclusive menu item worth travelling for? 

McDonald’s has a lot of unusual items on its menus around the world, and in one country they even have Japanese curry rice as an option.

However, strangely enough, McDonald’s Japanese curry rice isn’t something you can get in Japan. Instead, it’s available in Thailand, where our reporter Kamezawa Ikuna is right now, so she was able to try it and give us her opinions on it.

▼ Incidentally, one of our other reporters, Go Hatori, tried curry rice at a McDonald’s in Thailand nine years ago, but back then it was a Thai curry.

Ikuna says the curries at McDonald’s Thailand have changed dramatically over the past nine years, with even more options available now. She’s visited a lot of McDonald’s branches around the world, and has always noticed that the menus in Thailand seem to have a lot more variety than other locations.

▼ That’s not the only reason to love them — the Ronald McDonald out the front greets customers with a traditional pose.

Like a lot of countries, this branch offers customers the option to order and pay through a touch panel system, so that’s what Ikuna did, all the while marvelling at the fact that these systems are yet to become popular in Japan.

A Big Mac in Thailand costs 145 baht (US$3.96), which is higher than a Big Mac in Japan, where you can buy one for 390 yen (US$2.83).

One thing you can’t get at a Japanese McDonald’s is a Japanese curry, but sure enough, over in Thailand, it’s there on the menu, both in chicken and chicken and egg versions.

Ikuna went for the Imkum Japanese Curry Rice Fried Chicken Set, which comes with a drink, fries and chicken nuggets on the side, for 149 baht.

Lifting the lid on her meal, Ikuna was pleased to see the curry looked like the ones she’s used to eating at home, although the rice was long grain instead of short grain, but that’s to be expected in Thailand, where there’s a preference for long grain.

One thing she was a little unsure of was the serving size, because when she dipped her spoon into the curry section, it appeared to be about a centimetre (0.4 inches) deep — a lot shallower than what she’d been anticipating.

Still, Ikuna was more excited to find out about the taste, so she heaped a bit of each ingredient onto her fork and took her first bite of McDonald’s Japanese curry.

Hmm………not bad!

It certainly tasted like a Japanese curry, which was good, but it wasn’t as thick and flavourful as the ones Ikuna is used to eating. It was as if someone had taken a medium-spicy Vermont curry and cooked it using twice the recommended volume of water.

Still, watery curries, or “shaba curry” as they’re known in Japan, do have their proponents, so this is a curry that’ll definitely appeal to lovers of shaba curry. However, aside from the slightly runny texture, there was something that was even more concerning to Ikuna.

▼ The shortage of curry.

As she’d suspected, there wasn’t enough curry in this meal, and by the time the curry was gone, Ikuna still had a mound of rice left. She decided to look on the bright side, though, and took it as an opportunity to add some of the free sauces to her rice to help finish off her meal.

Ikuna used the sauce container from her nuggets to carry the sauce back to her table. Another perk of McDonald’s in Thailand is customers can enjoy unlimited free refills of tomato sauce, chilli sauce, and American ketchup during their meals.

▼ Unfortunately, no free refills of the delicious plum sauce that came included with the nuggets.

By the time she’d finished her meal, Ikuna was pleasantly full and satisfied with everything she’d eaten. If they just made the curry a little less runny and added a few more spoonfuls to each portion, Ikuna would’ve been in curry heaven, but still, she wasn’t complaining.

Being able to enjoy Japanese curry at McDonald’s is a treat people in other countries can only dream of right now, so Ikuna was happy she was able to get a taste of it. Now if only they would add it to the menu in Japan, along with the katsu curry nuggets that previously wowed U.K. customers!

Photos © SoraNews24
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