Travel

McDonald’s of the World: Why, Saigon?

It was last year when I fell in love with Vietnam’s strong and fragrant coffee. I wrote a couple of blog posts about my trip to the hot city of Ho Chi Minh. As you might know (or not), it is BaconTunaMelt tradition to find the local McDonald’s in a new(ly visited) city. The hotel I stayed at was in the middle of the city, and I figured that I’d find it one of the major streets or something. I still hadn’t found it after the first couple of days so I thought to ask for help from the hotel staff.

Nnnnnooooooooooooo!

Guess (or not, I’ll say it anyway) what I found out? There is no McDonald’s in ALL of Vietnam! Huh? I repeat, there is NO MCDONALD’S in Vietnam. Wooot?! Apparently, the people of Vietnam aren’t big fans of burgers and fries. They do have a local version of sorts called Lotteria. They have probably everything you can get in a McDonald’s. Except the clown.

It must be why the hotel receptionist had a waistline that could rival a child's.

Here’s the silver lining for fast food junkies, according to this article, McDonald’s is all set to open its first Vietnam branch in 2014! On that note, I leave you all with the fact that there is no Starbucks either (it’s probably because the Trung Nguyen coffeeshops will put their coffee to shame).

Read the Vietnam-related posts on BaconTunaMelt here.
Read the other McDonald’s of the World posts on BaconTunaMelt here.

Travel

McDonalds of the World: 100% Authentic Swiss Beef

Before talking your ears off regaling you with the nomfinds from my recent Rome trip, we’ll talk about the newest notch in our McDonald’s of the World series- Switzerland. The Cornavin station of Geneva, Switzerland is merely a two-hour train ride from Lyon, France. One fine Saturday, a few of us hopped on a train for a day trip to the neutral country. Of course, I didn’t pass up on the chance to have a quick meal at the fastfood of all nations.

Although it’s only a train ride away from Lyon, going to Geneva was a totally different experience. For one thing, I found the Swiss to be very helpful people. Their transportation system, while efficient and extensive, was confusing for a noob like me. Not that the French aren’t nice, but in Geneva, a couple of people actually approached us and offered to help us with directions (although it was possibly because we looked stupid lost).

Eventually, we found our way to the places we wanted to see and visit. One day was enough to see the Jet d’Eau, which is a gorgeous (and large at 229 feet) fountain of water right dab smack in the middle of the city, CERN (must stop for a geek), the UN headquarters, the Red Cross headquarters, and even the Saleve (for a beautiful view of Switzerland).

At the end of the full (walking) day, we headed to the nearest McDonald’s. There was one along the popular Rue du Mont-Blanc and it was mighty full (see photo for proof!). It seems that the Swiss love greasy fast food too (we’re all the same, at the core).

Mcdonald's Switzerland CBO Meal (about Chf13+/- or Php630+/-)

The menu had the basics, with your typical Big Mac, McChicken, McNuggets, Filet-o-Fish and sundaes. To try something different,  I had the CBO meal. It comes with a side (a choice between regular fries, deluxe fries or a salad), a drink, and if you upgrade your side and drink to medium, a free Coke glass as well. CBO combines three of my favorite things- chicken, bacon, and onions. It was a melt-in-your-mouth combo (at least, according to me). The patty was softer than your typical McChicken, and together with the bacon and onions you get an extra flavorful sammich.

Mcdonald's Switzerland McWrap (Chf7+/- or Php330+/-)

Here’s a healthier-than-most-Mcdonald’s-meals meal, the Chicken McWrap, available in most McDonald’s all over Europe (they also have it in Abu Dhabi). I really wish they offer this eventually in Manila.

And this photo below, is of a Swiss Big Mac. Not much different from other Big Macs all over the world, in size and in toppings. But the Swiss Big Mac has an authentication- the patty is made from 100% pure Swiss beef.

Mcdonald's Switzerland Big Mac Meal (about Chf13+/- or Php630+/-)

Switzerland is a lovely country to visit. Besides the beautiful landmarks and many souvenirs, there were also a lot of Pinoys in the country. For a Pinoy assigned abroad for a while, hearing snippets of Filipino conversation from the next table is somewhat reassuring (you don’t get a lot of it in France, I tell you).

One more important thing to know if you’re visiting Switzerland is that the shops close at about 6-7pm. If you want to get some souvenirs like Swiss knives and Swiss-made watches, make sure you visit the shops before 6pm. And then head to McDonald’s for a quick and cheap enough dinner, they close later than the shops.

Travel

McDonalds of the World: Royal Bacon in France
Bonsoir everybody! The day is about to close on this side of the world and I thought to start writing about this little fastfood chain that I visited recently. McDonald’s! Here on BaconTunaMelt, we have the series called McDonald’s of the World and I’m already living in France, of course I wouldn’t pass up the opportunity to feature their nomz. 

McDonald’s of the World: France
Quite honestly, it was one of the first few places I looked for (seeing a McDonald’s in a strange place oddly comforts me). It wasn’t until I first had to venture my way around the city to open a bank account until I finally found one, specifically in Bellecour.
Bellecour is one of the more popular destinations in Lyon, France. In the heart of the city, this square is one of the busiest. Right in the middle of it is the statue of King Louis XIV (a tourist destination) and near the area are landmarks such as the Hotel de Ville and is considered a mecca for shopping with a long stretch of filled with stores of all kind (including Louis Vuitton and Cartier).
McDonald’s at Place Bellecour
Right above one of the exits of the Metro (Bellecour station) is a McDonald’s. I actually kind of got lost getting there, heading in the opposite direction towards the Poste Principale (the main post office) instead of the commercial area and had to backtrack (here, walking shoes is a must, if you like your feet) to find it. It was such a relief when I found it, because I was feeling kind of down (you would too if you had to eat my cooking) and McDonald’s nomz, wherever it is, is comfort food.
Inside, it was almost like your typical McDonald’s restaurant. The place smells like fries, the familiar yellow M logo, and the crew in fastfood uniform (caps too!). Everything, of course, was in French, including the menu. Also noticeably different, is that in every counter, there’s a self-service machine to pay via debit card. Cool!
Maxi Best Of Royal Bacon (€6.90 or about Php423)
It took me a while to order because I couldn’t understand much of what was on the menu, but when I saw the words “royal” and “bacon” all in one line, I knew I had to get it. The lady behind the counter couldn’t understand much English but I kind of figured out how to order the meal and upgrade the fries and drink while at it (the ugrade cost €0.50) and order a dessert, all for take out.
Look at that patty!
Sadly, the dessert, supposedly chocolate mousse, got lost in translation. Or something. I ordered and paid for it but it wasn’t in the bag (I forgot to check until I was home). No matter, I had with me a burger that seriously smelled like home (I dunno, it might be the grease). The Royal Bacon is a one layer burger with a wide beef patty and some bacon strips sandwiched between very thin burger buns.
To the very hungry me (I walked several kilometers only on breakfast nomz), it tasted really, really good. The beef was not as greasy as I was expecting it to be (surprisingly), and thick enough for me to actually taste the flavor of meat and the hint of bacon (the thin buns helped too). The fries were cold by the time I got home but their special sauce (something like an herbed mayonnaise) made up for it. Except for the fact that ordering can be a bit of a challenge if you can’t speak the language, I give McDonald’s in France two thumbs up.

(Click here to read the other posts on the McDonald’s of the World series)

McDonald’s of the World

Travel

McDonalds of the World: Shrimp EuroKnallers in the Netherlands
Hi guys, this will be a quick post. We shall again be disrupting the Delightful Davao series for an update on yet another series. It’s been awhile since the last post on the McDonald’s of the World series and it’s high time for a new one. Mostly because we recently got photos of the nomz from McDonald’s Netherlands from an anonymous donor.

McDonald’s of the World: Netherlands

Because I haven’t been there myself, the pictures will have to do the talking (writing, in this case). So, here they are-

Looks like the Dutch also like chicken (like me!). But hey, they have Chicken Sate (Met satesaus), which is something I would expect more from McDonald’s in Indonesia or Malaysia rather than the Netherlands. And, and, and, and… is that a Kit Kat McFlurry I spy? *drools*
I can’t understand much of what’s written on the menu but I can see the prices. That’s 5.90 euros for the salad, 3.75 euros for the Happy Meals, 1-2 euros for the Euroknallers. That’s a 356 peso salad, 226 peso Happy Meal, 60-120 peso side dishes. It’s not as expensive as I thought it would be (I was told a Value Meal is priced at EUR15 or Php905. Yikes!).
Chicken Sate (Met satesaus)
(EUR 3.75 or Php 226 for burger; EUR 6.05 or Php 365 for a meal)
Garnalen met chilisaus (EUR 2 or Php120)
SHRIMPS! Mcdonald’s in the Netherlands sell shrimps! WANT! To the awesome person who shall remain nameless and anonymous by request, thank you for the photos. 🙂 

(Click here to read the other posts on the McDonald’s of the World series)

McDonald’s of the World

Travel

McDonalds of the World: Samurai Burger in Bangkok
Today, we’ll add another entry (the third, yay!) to BaconTunaMelt’s McDonald’s of the World series. Thanks to my tita, who’s regularly in Thailand for business, our latest entry will be about the Bangkok version of the much loved, sometimes hated, but nevertheless very popular fast food chain.

McDonald’s of the World: Bangkok
When visiting Thailand, communication can be a bit of a problem. While the Thai people don’t look much different from our countrymen, unlike most Filipinos, few will be able to converse with you in English. Even in Bangkok, the country’s capital, not many can understand, and much less speak the language. You’ll have to get used to hand gestures and basic words to transact in most parts of the city.
Clowns are still creepy, imo
One of the most basic hand gestures that you should learn when you get to any part of Thailand is the wai. The wai is a traditional Thai greeting that can be used for many different situations. Bowing with your palms together in a praying position is the Thai way to politely say say “hello”, “thank you”, and even “i’m sorry”. Adopting Thai culture, the Ronald McDonald statue that welcomes you as you enter the store is in the traditional “wai” pose.
The menu is in Thai

 

The standee has chinky eyes ~_~
The logos and the theme is the same as it is in all McDonald’s branches around the world, but the menu in Bangkok is in Thai and their standee has the Thai chinky eyes. Maybe our posters should be in Filipino (plis no jejemh0wnz).

Samurai Burger Meal (116 baht/169 pesos) + Corn Pie ( 15 baht/22 pesos)

Tita Ging ordered the Samurai Burger Meal (specially for BaconTunaMelt <3) which comes with a Samurai Pork Burger, fries and a drink- like your typical McDonald’s meal. The meal costs one hundred sixteen baht, or about one hundred sixty nine pesos, a tad more expensive than our meals here. The Corn Pie costs 15 baht, or twenty two pesos. (I used Google’s current exchange rate: 1THB= 1.46 PHP)

The pattie is somewhere in there

With a name like Samurai Burger, you wouldn’t think it’s from Thailand. The patty is made with pork instead of beef and is slathered with teriyaki sauce (hence the name) and is topped with heaps and heaps of lettuce.

My tita says that the Corn Pie is not unlike our very own local dessert- the Filipino maha blanca. Corn kernels are mixed in a sweet and creamy mixture and wrapped in the same crunchy crust of the McDonald’s Apple Pie.

Thanks for the pictures Tita Ging! Check out my titas’ fabulous clothes, click here to visit the Pikachu’s Closet Facebook page (they’re cute, I promise!). Happy start of the weekend, gaiz!
Travel

McDonalds of the World: Twisty Pasta in Hong Kong
Haven’t gone outside the country for the longest time nor am I scheduled for a trip anytime soon (which is a bummer because I really want to feature in flight meals) but luckily, I have friends who travel abroad regularly. So as a follow up to the first post in this McDonald’s of the World series, I asked my friend Alvin, who was recently on a trip to Hongkong (to be a kid again), to take pictures of whatever unusual thing he can find on the McDonald’s menu there.

McDonald’s of the World: Hong Kong
He did me one better by trying some of the food and taking as many pictures as he can! Awesome! Thanks to Alvin, Kid Repetitive, we have a second serving of McDonald’s of the World, Hong Kong edition. Here are some of the pictures that he took of the menu-

Zomg, Double Sausage McMuffin! NOM!
Twisty Pasta is the “in” thing
See what I mean?
Instead of Apple Pie, they have Red Bean Pie
McDonald’s’ in Hongkong have more burger choices

The menu is in Chinese, with English translations in a smaller font size. Compared to the menu here in the Philippines, there are more choices, even healthier ones. Twisty Pasta seems to be the current trend in Hongkong and they have different variations of it, even on the breakfast menu. I thought it best to summarize all the different items on the menu and their prices, converted to Philippine peso (based on the current exchange rate from Google [1 Hong Kong dollar = 5.67046006 Philippine pesos]).

Menu Ala Cart
(HKD)
In Pesos With Meal
(HKD)
In Pesos
Ham + Egg Cheesy Twisty Pasta $19.30 109.44 $24.50 138.93
Sausage + Egg Cheesy Twisty Pasta $19.30 109.44 $24.50 138.93
Double Sausage McMuffin with Egg $16.80 95.26 $23.00 130.42
Hotcakes with Sausage $14.50 82.22 $19.50 110.57
Sausage N’ Egg Twisty Pasta $17.30 98.10 $22.50 127.59
Grilled Chicken With Twisty Pasta $19.70 111.71 $24.50 138.93
Red Bean Pie $6 34.02
Grilled Chicken Burger $16.80 95.26 $28.00 158.77
Big N’ Tasty $18.10 102.64 $28.00 158.77

 

Converted to peso, I’d say the prices are not bad at all, specially if you consider that the fries and drink that come with the meals are bigger than the ones we have here. Everything looks good! Or at least, better and healthier than the choices we have here. Although, of course, nomz usually look amazing in pictures. Here they are in real life-
Grilled Chicken Twisty Pasta
Tomato Seafood Soup
Spicy Chicken Wings
Although the Twisty Pasta looks a little less appetizing compared to the ad, most still look pretty darn good to me. Specially those chicken wings. Nom.
ZOMG, Christmas is right around the corner! Have a merry one, filled with good cheer and yummy nomz!
Noms

Crepes On The Go at Crepe Delight
Taking advantage of the holiday last Tuesday, Bim and I set out early to get some legwork done. We wanted to take a look around this warehouse in Makati we found online because we needed good chairs and they were selling office equipment at bargain prices. By mid-afternoon, we were pretty happy with ourselves for accomplishing what we set out to do so we headed to the nearest mall, Cash & Carry to get some celebratory pizza.

Nope, we didn’t get pizza here

It was this inviting little crepe stall that we caught sight of on the way to the pizza place. Without so much as batting an eyelash, we walked straight up to the stall and promptly ordered crepes for each of us (and temporarily forgot about pizza). At Crepe Delight you can pick between two kinds of crepes- Crepe ala Mode or Crispy Crepe, and both come in a variety of flavors.
Crepe ala Mode-

The classic Banana + Choco Crepe Ala Mode (p75)

This classic combination of chopped bananas wrapped in soft crepe, topped off with vanilla ice cream and whipped cream and drizzled with chocolate syrup is an irresistable treat. This wasn’t my order, but it was so good that I kept nicking some.

Crispy Crepe-

Bim‘s thumb

Mine was a Peach + Mango Crispy Crepe (p60). The crepe had chopped fruits enveloped in a crispy crepe wrapper with no syrup, whipped cream or ice cream. Although I loved the toasted crepe wrapper that tasted like Iloilo barquillos and enjoyed the delectable combination of mangoes and peaches, I thought the crepe tasted a tad bit too plain. The Crispy Crepe would probably go better with the non-fruit flavors, like tuna and chicken.

The crepe lady that made the afternoon delightful

The crepes are prepared expertly right in front of you upon ordering. Ingredients are prepacked and neatly arranged, their countertop is gleaming, the workarea is neat, and your order is handed to you within a few minutes. These guys know what they’re doing, the people at Crepe Delight sure make crepes right. (In case you were wondering, yes, we remembered to get pizza after.)

Crepe Delight

Location: Food court, Cash & Carry Mall, corner Buendia and South Super Highway, Makati
Other Info: Franchising details