Like a train wreck you know you shouldn’t look at, yet you dare not turn away, I bring you the next installment of McDonald’s Around The World. Today we visit the land of one of the most popular cuisines in the world: Thailand. What better way to avoid the subject of real Thai food than talking about McDonald’s?
Of all the countries I’ve visited so far, Thailand probably has the most unique McDonald’s menu of all. None of the menu seems particularly Thai, however. Let me list off some of what makes Thailand McDonald’s different:
- Spinach Pie. I can’t say I’ve seen a lot of spinach in Thailand so i don’t know why spinach pie made the menu cut. Nonetheless, it’s there. I think it is supposed to be a desert.
- Corn Pie and Pineapple Pie. I’ve found corn is some weird places in Asia. I went to a KFC where they had corn sundaes. (yes, corn and ice cream). The pineapple pie really doesn’t surprise me, but the corn pie was kind of out from left field. They also had a taro pie as I’ve seen all over Asia and in the Pacific.
- Samurai Pork Burger. This certainly wasn’t going to show itself in Malaysia or Indonesia. The pork burger isn’t anything fancy like a McRib. It is just a pork patty on a hamburger bun. They also have a double pork burger which, as far as I can tell, is basically a pork version of the Big Mac. Given how popular pork is in Asian cooking, I’m amazed I haven’t come across the pork burger sooner. I did give it a try and it was fine. Why it is called the “samurai” pork burger is beyond me.
- Chicken Wings. Like most every other Asian McDonald’s, chicken is a staple of the menu. They had plain fried chicken, chicken wings, chicken strips, and a lemon chicken wrap. This is in addition to the chicken sandwiches.
- Cheese Fries. I’ve seen them elsewhere, but it sticks out only because of how non-Thai cheese is.
- Fish Burger with Salmon Sauce. A Filet-O-Fish that looks more crunchy than a normal one with some special sauce. I didn’t have one, but it looked good.
One thing absent on the menu is any sort of quarter pound patty.
If you think of Thai food, the first thing which probably comes to mind is spices. Thai food (usually) is spicy. One thing which I’ve noticed in Thailand and in Indonesia is the use of chili sauce as a condiment. The sauce is really nothing more than a spicy ketchup, but it is always served alongside ketchup everywhere. (Ketchup is usually called tomato sauce. This was also the case in Australia. If anyone from a “tomato sauce” country comes to the US, please note that tomato sauce is totally different.)