Oct 5, 2009

Spotlight On: McDonald's Japan

With McDonald's considered by many, for better or worse, as the embodiment of the West, or rather more specifically, of American cultural imperialism abroad, it's worth taking a look at how the menu differs in other countries as McDonald's caters to its newer audiences. And so, I thought I'd taunt myself with pictures of limited-time, featured McDonald's food abroad (taken from their respective websites) that I'll probably never get a chance to try.

First up is Japan. Please keep in mind that I've tried to deduce as much as I can but I don't know any Japanese (well except from a few common words... you know like tempura, teriyaki, etc.). Above is the Gateau Marron McFlurry... so fancy! Gateau Marron roughly translates to 'chestnut cake' according to Google. I don't think we'd ever see anything so fancy as a gateau at McDonald's here in the States. The Gateau Marron McFlurry seems to contain the typical McFlurry soft serve mixed in McFlurry fashion with cake, walnuts, and some sort of syrup (chestnut flavored?). Hm... they should at least make a strawberry shortcake McFlurry here if they can make a Gateau Marron one in Japan! I want chunks of cake in a McFlurry!
Next we have the Shaka Shaka Chicken. From what I can figure out, it is a breaded chicken patty that you can shake (hence the 'shaka shaka') with a seasoning of your choice (lemon flavor, cheese, or black pepper). Again, I could be wrong so feel free to correct me if you know Japanese, live in Japan, or just like correcting people.
It seems Japan still gets the deep-fried rather than the baked pies they now serve in the U.S. Boo for fear of litigation for super hot filling in the U.S.! As opposed to the normal U.S. sweet fillings, it seems, in Japan, they offer savory fillings (at least occasionally) with their Bacon Potato Pies. I can't say I'm that excited about this offering; it doesn't look that appetizing to me. They are probably kept warm in a cabinet like they are here.
The two above here are something called Nippon All Stars (Nippon is what the Japanese call Japan. Japan is what everyone else calls Japan. Interesting no?) I believe they are limited run items that represent the flavors of Japan (at this point, I feel like an archaeologist except the civilization is still around and I'm trying to figure out something far less important from pictures of their food.). Apparently the sandwiches come complete with a racist campaign in Japan:

The Chicken Tatsuya looks pretty interesting. It appears to be a battered (McNugget-style) chicken patty on a bed of shredded cabbage(?) and mayo served on a brioche-looking bun.

The Graccoro looks like a Japanese-style croquette with a creamy-filling, shredded cabbage, and tonkatsu sauce on a typical McBun (that's my new term for the normal McDonald's bun).
The last special menu item gleaned from McDonald's Japan website seems like typical McDonald's fare. I think it's called the Juicy Chicken sandwich but I'm not sure. The text is also accompanied by three red chili peppers and judging by the reddish tint of the chicken breast, I think it's safe to say that it's spicy. Beyond that nothing exciting, just leafy lettuce, mayo, and a sesame bun. And there ends our brief look at the special menu items of McDonald's Japan.

What's on the Menu: McDonald's Chile
What's on the Menu: McDonald's France


  1. fast food restaurants in asia are usually pretty awesome because they would add their own item that you would not find elsewhere, the only down side is that they tend to be smaller compared to the "supersize" burgers in the states

    you should definitely write about the different types of pizza toppings that you would find in asian countries, just in pizza hut or dominoes or whatever. they are pretty creative too! (like bbq pork topping!)

  2. Hm... maybe I'll do that sometime in the future.


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