Home Sweet Home: Hong Kong

Hello you!

Welcome to my blog: a traveler’s blog with a twist. Unlike your average travel journal, I explore different countries with a goal – to try all the different local McDonald’s around the world. Ever since I was young, I’ve had an obsession over McDonald’s. From their crispy burger and fries to their happy meals, McDonald’s never failed to cheer me up from a bad mood.

As such a big fast food chain, I was surprised when I first found out that McDonald’s actually catered and altered their menu depending on the location. Ever since I found out, I’ve set myself on a mission to try all the special menu items from all over the world. This blog will be dedicated to all my favorite different McDonald’s local specials I’ve tried from around the world, as I continue my travels abroad.

Growing up in Hong Kong, I’ve always loved “Shake Shake Fries.” The ideology behind it is pretty self-explanatory – as you’re given regular fries in a brown plastic bag with flavor packets of Salt & Pepper Crab Seasoning, Honey BBQ Seasoning, and Seaweed seasoning, and you just mix it all together and shake the fries till the flavor packet is all mixed in. It sounds simple, yeah, but you would be surprised how much better it makes the fries taste. My personal favorite is the Salt & Pepper Crab Seasoning, as it encapsulates the flavors of the local Salt & Pepper Crab dish really well. The right balance of salt and pepper gives me a tingly feeling on my tongue – so flavorful, what a tang!

Right in the middle of the spotlight, McDonald’s Hong Kong has a special burger called “Black & White Burger.” The black burger is composed of a squid-ink bun, sandwiched with a thick pork patty, bacon, onions, and black pepper sauce. The white burger, on the other hand, consists of bacon, a chicken patty, and sweet and sour sauce topped with a white bun with black sesame seeds. I’ll be honest, although I love the black burger, it’s not the best thing on the menu. The squid ink bun is great, but does it really taste that special and different? Debatable. More than just the burger though, this “Black & White” theme seems to symbolize the traditional Chinese ideology of “Yin & Yang.” This became a huge marketing stunt in Hong Kong, and just like everyone else, I went crazy for it. I thought it was such a clever idea, and I was intrigued by McDonald’s attempt in embracing local customs and beliefs. Then again, this is all just an assumption; was this actually McDonald’s intentions? Who knows.

Another one of my favorites is the classic Red Bean pie. Embracing the Chinese desserts that revolve around red and green bean in the traditional Hong Kong culture, McDonald’s created a Red Bean Pie, which is basically the same idea as the original Apple Pie, but filled with Red Bean instead. I personally love it, because it provides a nice blend between the Western taste of the crunchy crust, along with the homey goodness of the warm red bean inside.

One of the best dessert in Hong Kong McDonald’s is their Apple Pie A-la-mode. Ooh, yum! A sundae drizzled with warm chocolate sauce topped with an apple pie broken in half, this is a great twist on the traditional American apple pie. Bringing a traditional American dessert to Hong Kong, this simple combination of apple pie and sundae is the perfect balance between hot and cold – perfect under a nice summer breeze.

By incorporating local significant foods and flavors into their menu, McDonald’s does a great job in submerging into the Cantonese culture. While it experiments between Asian and Western culture, McDonald’s still remains to keep their original menu items and food style – giving their customers both a sense of familiarity and a little twist of something new.