The McDonalds Create Your Taste range was first introduced to South Australia at McDonalds Port Adelaide in February this year and has since been rolled out Australia wide. October 21st saw the addition of the new chicken and salad options to the Create Your Taste range, which was originally launched with Angus beef patties. Adelaide Food Central and others were invited to the McDonalds Create Your Taste Chicken range VIP launch at McDonalds West Terrace. All food and drinks were provided free of charge.
The McDonalds Create Your Taste range allows you to use touch screen digital kiosks to build your own gourmet burgers (and salads) in 6 simple steps from more than 30 ingredients. The first screen presented on the digital kiosk requests you to ‘choose your bun’. Here you can choose from a brioche, bakery or ciabatta style bun or even opt for the no bun option which consists of a lettuce wrap – perfect for people on a gluten-free diet or simply for the more health-conscious among us. Next you are prompted for your choice of protein, ‘beef or chicken’. You can add extra meat here if you are feeling particularly hungry. Given that it was the official launch of the Create Your Taste Chicken range we opted for the grilled chicken breast fillet. The next screen allows you to ‘make it cheesy’ with 6 different types of cheese on offer, including traditional cheddar, mozzarella, shaved parmesan and Swiss cheese. The fourth screen allows you to ‘turn up the taste’ on your burger, with ingredients such as egg, guacamole, crispy or rasher bacon, grilled mushrooms and for the more adventurous, grilled pineapple and tortilla strips. Following these choices it’s on to the ‘fresh’n it up’ screen where you can add toppings like tomato, lettuce, jalapenos, sliced beetroot, baby spinach, red onion, sliced pickles, coleslaw and caramelised onions. Finally it’s time to ‘get saucy’ with 12 different sauces on offer, including tomato chilli jam, Thai style mayo and of course Big Mac special sauce. After building your customised burger you then have the choice to create a complete meal by adding sides such as fries, coleslaw or a salad and any drink, including those offered in the McCafe.
Once you are happy with your selection you then have the option to pay via credit card at the digital kiosk or print your order and pay at the counter. At this point you take a small round disc which acts as your table number, find a seat and await the arrival of your Create Your Taste gourmet burger. Not long after placing our order, our burger creations arrived at our table served on wooden boards and not the typical cardboard box and plastic trays that we all associate with a fast food chain like McDonalds.
My Create Your Taste burger consisted of one grilled chicken breast fillet topped with a slice of cheddar cheese, egg, crispy bacon, spinach, beetroot, sliced red onion, guacamole and herb aioli, all neatly stacked on a bakery style bun. I also opted for a side of coleslaw and a Choc Whirl Frappe. The first thing I noticed about the burger was the way the cheese had melted onto the chicken breast, perfect assembly I’d say. The bakery bun had a crunchy exterior, whilst being soft on the inside. The crispy bacon was actually crispy as the name suggests without being too oily and the salad ingredients were fresh and vibrant in colour. The stand out ingredient for me was the grilled chicken breast fillet itself. It was honestly one of the most tender and juiciest chicken breasts I’ve had in a burger. Whilst my burger was packed with other flavours, the herbs and spices in the ‘secret’ chicken marinade really stood out. My only criticisms were that the egg was overcooked for my liking and the bun itself was burnt on the edges. The latter however, I only noticed when looking back at the photographs. One piece of advice though, don’t get too ambitious with the number of burger fillings as things can start to get a little messy. But hey if it tastes good, what does it matter!
Mr N, being the carnivore that he is, chose 2 grilled chicken breast fillets with 2 slices of Colby Jack cheese, grilled onion and mushrooms, pickles, crispy bacon and chipotle mayo encased in a ciabatta bun, accompanied by a side of fries (served in a mini chrome basket) and a Frozen Fanta McSpider to round out his Create Your Taste meal. He too noted that the ciabatta had the right amount of crunch, the gooey melted cheese and that the chicken was succulent and well flavoured.
Our custom Create Your Taste burger meals tallied just shy of $18 each, with the burgers themselves coming in at a touch over $12, which aligns McDonalds nicely with other burger eateries. Whilst prompt table service isn’t something that springs to mind when you think of McDonalds it is all part of the Create Your Taste experience. For a split second I almost forgot where we were.
Having avoided fast food chains for the past decade or so I was rather sceptical about trying the McDonalds Create Your Taste Chicken range but I must admit I was pleasantly surprised. The thing about McDonalds Create Your Taste is really just that… you create the perfect burger to suit your individual tastes without the hassle of a busy queue!
Words and Photos by Kelly Betterman