New burgers fall short of our expectations.

McDonald’s is currently giving its customers in Japan a taste of the Big Apple, with a new burger series called “Come on Baby! N.Y. Burgers“. This is the second time the chain has featured the city in a limited-edition range, having given us two “Itta Ki Ni Naru N.Y. Burgers“ (“I Feel Like I Went to N.Y. Burgers“) last year, and this time around there are three to try.

▼ So, yes, we bought them all.

Released on 25 October, the new burgers look similar to the ones we tried last year, with their special square buns designed to look like knotted hamburger buns. For our reporter P.K. Sanjun, who only recently returned from a trip to New York this summer, square buns aren’t something he would ordinarily associate with the city, but as he was still the most qualified member of the team to see if the burgers truly captured the taste of New York, he decided to try them.

First up to the plate, we have the N.Y. Buffalo Chicken (460 yen [US$3.07])

This burger surprised P.K. with its spicy chicken batter, which was much spicier than anything he’s ever had before at McDonald’s. According to the chain, the chicken patty is seasoned with two types of chilli peppers to give it a hot kick, and P.K. thought it went well with the slightly sweet mayo sauce. As for whether or not it really tasted like buffalo chicken, well, if he’s being honest, it wasn’t like any buffalo chicken he’s had in the past, but hey, it was a good burger nonetheless.

Next up, we have the N.Y. Deli Shrimp Tartar (490 yen)

If P.K. were to describe this burger in one sentence, it would be something like “a sibling that looks a lot like the Shrimp Filet-O.” With the Shrimp Filet-O being a mainstay on the McDonald’s menu in Japan, it’s always hard for a new shrimp burger to stand on its own, but this one made a valiant attempt at it, with the addition of tomatoes — not found in the Shrimp-Filet-O — and a tartar sauce containing basil, rosemary, and thyme, which created a slightly new twist on the flavours.

However, if he had to point out the major difference between the N.Y. Deli Shrimp Tartar and the Shrimp Filet-O, they were that similar that he’d have to say it was simply the buns.

Finally, we have the N.Y. Thick Beef and Potato (530 yen)

For P.K., this was the clear winner out of all three burgers. Not only did it have a strong kick of black pepper, but the gravy and patty went very well together. Furthermore, the mashed potatoes added depth to the flavour, and though he wasn’t certain about it having a N.Y. feel, as a burger it did a great job of displaying a good balance of flavours.

So in the end, what was P.K.’s overall impression of the New York trio? Well, aside from the fact that they didn’t really taste like New York to him, his main criticism was the buns, because although they gave them a different look to other burgers on the menu, they didn’t do anything to add to the taste or texture. To him, they were just square buns.

Out of all the burgers, P.K. was most impressed with the N.Y. Thick Beef and Potato, so if you’re thinking about trying the burgers, he would recommend trying that one. While the other two aren’t bad, P.K. doesn’t feel like he could recommend them with confidence, so from his point of view, there’s one win in this New York series, and two losses.

If you’ve been to the Big Apple and tasted the food there, you might find yourself like P.K., wondering where the New York flavours are in these burgers. But then again, they are designed to suit the tastes of locals and not New Yorkers, so we can’t be too hard on them, especially when they put so much effort into marketing them with American comic book graphics.

Photos © SoraNews24
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