McDonald’s Australia (or, Long Live The King)

If it looks like Burger King...

If it looks like Burger King...

I know that my McDonald’s posts are some of the most popular ones I do, but seeing how long I’ve been in Australia (waaaay longer than I ever intended), I haven’t had a whole lot to write about. Since the beginning of the year, in addition to Australia I’ve been in Brunei (no McDonald’s that I could find), Malaysia (saving that till I get to Kuala Lumpur), Indonesia, East Timor (no McDonald’s), and PNG (no arches to be found in Port Moresby). That doesn’t leave me with a whole lot of Ronald to talk about.

Nonetheless, I feel it is time. Time to talk McD’s.

The menu at the McDonald’s Australia isn’t really that special. When I first arrived in Melbourne there was a McDonald’s about half a mile away (1km) from where I was staying. The first time I went there they had something called the McOz on the menu, but it was replaced by the next time I went there. The McOz was just a regular burger with beetroot on it. It was the same as the Kiwiburger I found in New Zealand, minus the egg. (and I must say, I’ve become a convert to putting an egg on hamburger. It bothered my American sensibilities at first, but now I’ll go out of my way to have a fried egg on my burger at a restaurant.)

The McOz was replaced by the McFeast which is just a burger with lettuce, tomato and mayo. Boring.

There is no $1 menu because nothing here costs anything close to $1. Even a simple cheeseburger is over $2, and the Australian dollar is close to parity with the American dollar. A large McFeast meal is $8.75. Sadly, McDonald’s is the cheapest meal you are going to find in Australia.

...and it tastes like Burger King...

...and it tastes like Burger King...

They have just introduces a bunch of new sandwiches in preparation for the olympics. They are the McEurope, the McAsia, the McAustralia and the McAfrica. Needless to say, as the spokesman for all of the Western Hemisphere, the Americas are pissed at their exclusion from the menu.

  • The McAsia is a chicken wrap, harkening back to the days of yore when Asians ate their foods in tortillas.
  • The McAustralia looks good, but in reality the only good parts are on the edge of the burger. If you look inside, the middle is totally dry and empty and there is nothing but a big red rock in the center.
  • The McAfrica is given to you in a box. When you open it you find it empty and the cashier can not explain where everything went. In truth, the burger has been put in a safe deposit box in Switzerland.
  • The McEurope is chicken. No joke required.

But honestly, I really don’t want to talk about McDonald’s. The whole McDonald’s around the world is great, but McDonald’s often isn’t the interesting fast food story. In Brunei for example it was the pizza. Because it was a Muslim country, they didn’t have any pork. What needs to be brought to the attention of the world in Australia is Burger King….. or, the lack thereof.

It should be BURGER KING!

It should be BURGER KING!

There is no Burger King in Australia. They have Hungry Jacks.

Hungry Jacks is to Burger King what a watch sold by a guy on a street corner is to a Rolex. A cheap imitation of the original.

I can’t tell you how disappointed I was in Australia when I saw the Hungry Jack’s sign. For a country which still has a queen which doesn’t even live in the damn country, you think they could extend the monarchy to something as important as flame broiling.

What was their beef with the King? I think they couldn’t take the idea of two monarchs ruling them from other countries.

What happened to him? Was he beheaded like Louis XVI or Charles I? I imagine there was some burger cabal of Ronald, Wendy and the usurper “Hungry Jack” who got together to plot the coup. Mean, motive and opportunity. Just follow the beef and it will lead you to the truth.

Shame on you Australia. Shame, shame on you…..

  • 16 Comments... What's your take?

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Comments

  1. Byron says:

    Why would you reptitively look for McDonalds to eat at while in other countries?! Half the fun of travel is the exotic, weird and wonderful cuisine you get to try along the way… not to mention the complete lack of nutrition a fast food meal offers be it McDonalds, Burger King, Hungry Jacks, McBurger King, Hungry Burger… what ever its all the same crap..

  2. Pokin says:

    I just found your blog! It’s funny as I was musing about McDonalds’ the other day on my blog, and how it’s always so comforting to visit a McDonald’s abroad. :p Looking forward to checking out more of the blog.

  3. brad says:

    If you make it back to the Twin Cities some time, Highland Grill has “Peter’s Burger” which is an Australian style burger with fried egg (and pickle relish, too, IIRC). I agree with you–good stuff!

  4. Darcy says:

    Q1: Why would we want to name a burger after the worst country in the world?

    Fact1: We do have burger king.

    Fact2: Hungry Jack’s is just burger king with a better name.

    When I was in America (2002), Burger King just tasted like Hungry Jack’s, except worse. And Hungry Jack’s tastes pretty bad compared to Maccas.

  5. May says:

    i work at one of Brisbane’s McD and we have McAmerica, Gary !! =)

  6. Steve says:

    There will be a McAmerica breakfast bagel.

    *Diplomatic crisis averted*

    Also the HJ’s wiki (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hungry_Jack's) gives a pretty good explanation on the whole HJ’s v BK thing.

  7. Gary says:

    @keith

    I prefer my conspiracy theory.

  8. Keith says:

    As I understand it, when Burger King arrived in Oz there was already a small burger bar that had that name. The ad used to have the “king” and they said “Hungry Jacks, the King of burgers”

  9. Gary says:

    @Nate

    No. I honestly believe that the menu of Australian McDonald’s will spark a diplomatic incident.

  10. Nathan D says:

    I have to presume that when you say “the Americas are pissed at their exclusion from the menu” you are being facetious given the menu is that of McDonalds.

  11. Ben says:

    @ Gary

    Sorry, I’m not sure how to locate it and I google searched “burgerking australia” and came up with nothing but a wiki a and this blog post ;)

    Sorry I cannot be much help but I havve definately heard it talked about and seen oone somewhere here.

    P.S How are you finding australia.

  12. Lea says:

    Hungry Jacks was started in Western Australia nearly 50 years ago and when the owners died Burger King took over, so now some are Hungry Jacks some are Burger King, mmm yummy!

  13. Gary says:

    @Ben

    Where is this Australian Burger King? I have yet to see one, an ad for one, or anyone mention one.

  14. Gary says:

    1) Go and read my first McDonald’s post as to why I’m doing it.

    2) I don’t only eat at McDonald’s nor to I mostly eat at McDonald’s.

    3) That view might make sense when you are on a two week vacation, but as you spend long periods of time traveling, then you do occasionally want a hamburger.

  15. Ben Wilson says:

    we have burvger king in australia

  16. jmac says:

    Yep, so I just started following your tweets – but McD’s? Anywhere? When there’s so much glorious ‘food porn’ to be had? Where’s your sense of adventure? Get out on a culinary quest, step away from the burger and no one gets hurt!

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About Gary Arndt

My name is Gary Arndt. In March 2007 I set out to travel around the world...
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