Aug 4, 2023 Metro Eats
Everyone who reads this knows that I am a KFC stan (listen: we eat everyday, many times a day, and therefore I highly believe that there is room for supporting local and also dabbling in the deep-fried products of multinational conglomerates), but I don’t know anyone who so comprehensively surveys the seasonal specials of fast-food chains as this newsletter’s illustrator.
In this special edition of Metro Eats, Simon takes you through the novelty items currently available at your local drive-thru (well, a couple require you to download an app). There is some snarky commentary, as is typical of a Metro writer, but it’s mostly practical and helpful for time-poor lovers of novelty.
I ate at Eden Park for the first time while attending a FIFA Women’s World Cup game, and I got this cardboard box of fish and chips that was showcased on @footyscran. While the chips were surprisingly crispy and the fish well-breaded, they were actually $12.50 and not the advertised $10 (!!).
There’s a special on at Ajisen Ramen right now featuring a shrimp and pork broth, where they scatter pungent scraps of dried shrimp on top. Very shrimpy!
Celebrate OOH-FA’s first birthday! Free pizza will be passed around.
Mor Bakery is open now, but I would either go on a quiet weekday or wait for the lines to die down, as it looked pumping on Saturday (opening day).
A new, monthly column examining the short run menu items across the city’s massive fast food ecosystem.
McDonalds is celebrating their FIFA sponsorship with a 40 pack of McNuggets available with temporary international goodwill dipping sauce flavours Curry (‘apple, tomato and delicate spices’) and Szechuan (soy, garlic, ginger, sesame oil) – the same Szechuan sauce made famous by its major role in the Rick and Morty series and subsequent popularity amongst the stonerati. Worth noting here the McDonalds is also doing a Chocolate Lava pudding at the moment, presumably in answer to the success of BK’s Hershey’s Molten Lava Cake. Also not really the season for McFlurries. The McDonald’s saver menu is particularly weak this month, with each offer only serving to remind you how much more expensive this stuff is now.
Burger King is still running the always good Big Mac alternative Big King range but this month has added the YUM Burger in beef and chicken which seems to be a pretty close riff on their other recent BBQ flavoured burgers – onion rings, bbq sauce, mayo, bacon… in fact I’m struggling a little to see how it’s different from the BBQ Rodeo burger; they are saying crispy onions instead of onion rings so maybe that’s it or maybe there’s more salad? Likely quite nice but very much business-as-usual here. They are also still running the Burgerrito for those disinclined towards meat, and which has a patty made of beans which they describe as “Mexcellent” and is half price for ROYAL PERKS members at the moment. Mexcellent!
In the BK coupons department this month the B02 code offers a puzzling BK Chicken and Crispy Chicken burger combo for $13.50. (But surely you’re either one or the other here? It’s like being Shia and Sunni at the same time.) Best value this month looks like the B42 again – two Whopper Juniors and a large fries for $10.90.
Wendys is also still firmly in BBQ sauce mode with the BBQ Bacon Melt range running, now with the cry-for-help tagline ‘Bring Back Summer!’ These are a range of beef, chicken and double beef burgers, also with onion rings and barbecue sauce, but with the advantage of sitting inside the Wendy’s kaiser bun. Wendys, it must be noted, is still stubbornly resisting the Rotating Value Menu concept.
KFC has the welcome return of the Hot & Spicy range this month, with the Hot & Spicy lunch being the centrepiece with 1 piece of Hot & Spicy, 1 Wicked Wing, 1 potato and gravy, 1 drink and 1 dinner roll for $9.99. You can also swap out any piece of original recipe from the rest of the menu for a piece of Hot & Spicy for 40c. KFC are persisting with their confusing Delivery/In Store/App only deals structure this month, with the picks of the bunch being: The Wicked Fix (4 wicked wings, chips) available daily until 4pm, only on the app, $9.79 delivery and $7.99 pick up. Sadly Gimme5 (PLU12) is off this month. If you are anti-bone you might like the irritatingly named “Nug Me Tender” (PLU389) with two tenders, four nuggets, chips, a drink and a dipping sauce for $12.49.
Burger Fuel’s offer this month centres around the Jalapeño Hornet burger – chicken, pineapple, jalapeños with peanut butter and sweet chilli and lime sauce. The marketing line says the following and it’s so amazing and terrible to read I’ll just drop it here verbatim: “Bringing you an exotic medley influenced by the eclectic and colourful vibes of New Zealand’s own Havana, Cuba Street in Wellington.” How has this thought process occurred? You have one cafe called Fidel’s on one street named after the country of Cuba and all of a sudden this? I don’t get it. The big ol’ slice of pineapple in this burger also looks intimidatingly overpowering to me. Burger Fuel is also offering the Banoffee Boss milkshake this month.
Pizza Hut is promoting their Korean Fried Chicken pizza, in the Deluxe menu but for what might be an introductory price of $10. Apparently features a Korean sauce base and a Korean sauce topping. I understand not wanting to give away a secret recipe but this seems especially opaque. If anyone tries this please let us know what sort of Korean Sauce they have gone for – is it the same Korean sauce on the bottom and the top or different ones? (Food ed note: It’s probably just gochujang.)
If you are lucky enough to live within a striking distance of one of our few remaining Carl’s Jnr outlets, they are promoting the Philly Cheesesteak Big Angus this month, which looks like it’ll be great for the first 2 minutes and awful for the following 4 hours.