McDonald’s Nasi Lemak Burger

Overall Nasi Lemak Burger assembly
Overall Nasi Lemak Burger assembly

I finally tried McDonald’s Nasi Lemak burger. Having heard great things about this localised burger I had great expectations for it. How would this burger hold its own against a person who wants to hate it simply because it is missing the main component, the nasi? Can bun surpass rice?

The burger looked promising. Fried egg. Onions. Cucumber. Sambal. Chicken patty. What’s there not to like?

The cucumber QC needs to be improved. One of the slices comes from an old cucumber with large seeds affecting the crunch and adding a sogginess to burger.

Finger taste test of sambal. Passable. Lacks depth.

I bite into it.

The internals of the Nasi Lemak Burger
The internals of the Nasi Lemak Burger

The batter around the chicken is crunchy. Better than the McSpicy.

The sambal unfortunately is lost in the burger. Old coconut taste is emanating from somewhere.


Bun? No.

The onions are cooked totally separate from the sambal, the same onions used in their other burgers.

I examine the chicken patty. The unpleasant old coconut taste seems to be coming from here. The crunch is added by what I think are tiny pellets of corn flakes mixed with the batter. Certainly the volume of crunch appeared louder because of it.

The batter of the chicken patty inspected
The batter of the chicken patty inspected

Overall, the sambal has disappeared and I’m left with this lingering old coconut oil taste at the back of my throat. This unpleasantness will keep me away from this thing. It is a good crunchy chicken patty though. So sad to be let down by whatever seasoning is in there.

So this burger is missing, not just the nasi but the lemak. That’s totally gone. No ikan bilis cooked in the chilli or on the side also makes it lack a certain depth that only that little crunchy fried salted fish can give.

So why have Singaporeans gone so crazy over this that it has made a return? I think the lack of readily available good nasi lemak.

You know, the kind without the distraction of fixin’s like otak otak. Where rice is mixed with the milk of fresh coconuts. When hot rice is placed in a banana leaf it cooks the leaf slightly giving it its distinct aroma and flavour. That is so good it can be eaten with sambal and ikan bilis. Nothing else.

Yes that nasi lemak. Not served on a plate.

The made-for Singaporeans packaging of the Nasi Lemak burger
The made-for Singaporeans packaging of the Nasi Lemak burger

It isn’t that the nasi lemak burger is any good. It’s very average like most things out of McDonald’s. It’s that we’ve forgotten what really good nasi lemak is. And sadly, that, in my head is a distant and fast fading memory.

And also, technically, shouldn’t this be Burger Lemak?

Note: I wrote this on 2nd September 2017. I failed to upload it till now.

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