Cute on the outside, but are they good on the inside too?

Last week, McDonald’s raised eyebrows with the announcement that they would be adding a new series of burgers to the menu called “Asian Juicy“.

Inspired by a play on words on “Ajia no Junshin” (“Asian Innocence“), a ’90s hit single by J-pop group Puffy, the new range brings the flavours of China, Japan, and Thailand together for a limited time, and we were able to get our hands on them when they were released on 1 February.

Image: McDonald’s Japan

After taking them back to the office for a taste test, we found that one of these burgers was not like the others — it bucked all the conventions we’ve come to expect from McDonald’s in Japan, but in a very good way.

First up, let’s take a look at the two other burgers, which sadly left us wanting, perhaps because the photos on the menu built them up to look so mouthwatering.

The Yurinchi Chicken (440 yen [US$3.38]) is the Japanese entry in the series, although it’s originally inspired by Chinese “oil-drenched chicken”. 

The burger contained all the main components we’ve come to expect from Yurinchi Chicken — crispy fried chicken and a sweet-and-sour scallion sauce. Sadly, though, these ingredients didn’t jump out at us as presenting anything we haven’t already tried at McDonald’s before, with everything melding together to create a good but relatively ordinary chicken burger.

Next up, we have the Sweet Chilli Shrimp (450 yen), which we were most looking forward to, as it contained Thai sweet chilli sauce. We were hoping that the crunchy, creamy shrimp cutlet would be drenched in this sauce, but sadly it wasn’t as plentiful, or flavourful, as we’d hoped.

▼ Still, an above-average burger.

While these two burgers didn’t live up to our expectations, the third burger, the Tantan Double Beef (490 yen) saved the day.

This burger-shaped nod to Tantan Ramen, a spicy noodle dish based on a Chinese recipe, was a total maverick, combining beef with cheese, egg, and a spicy Tantan Mayonnaise.

This spicy mayonnaise was outstanding, transporting us to China with its delicious flavour. We don’t think there’s ever been a spicier burger at McDonald’s, and the heat is so strong it comes with a warning on the packaging that reads: “”Please be careful if you don’t like spicy food.”

▼ A good amount of spicy sauce makes this an excellent Asian Juicy burger.

If you’re a fan of spice, we highly recommend trying this burger, as the sauce isn’t just spicy but flavourful too. The other burgers aren’t bad either, but for us, the Tantan Double Beef is the one worth spending your money on, and we might just do that again before the end of March, when the burgers will disappear from the menu.

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