McDonald's has a long history of releasing regional menu items—some more questionable than others. The fast food giant has had a go at lobster rolls in six New England states, as well as Spam McMuffins in Hawaii. In Hong Kong, it sells "Rice Fantastic" rice patty burgers and Middle Eastern McDonald's have "McArabia" kofta-stuffed flatbreads on their menus.
Two weeks ago, McDonald's unveiled its latest regional specialty in Singapore: the nasi lemak burger. But it didn't go down quite as expected.
Nasi lemak is a traditional Singaporean rice dish served with anchovies, peanuts, hard-boiled egg, cucumber, sambal chili sauce, and meat such as fried chicken. Considered to be neighbouring Malaysia's national dish, it is also widely popular in Singapore. But when McDonald's Singapore announced its new nasi lemak-inspired burger, many customers were unimpressed. One vital ingredient was missing: rice.
McDonald's has reimagined nasi lemak as a coconut-flavoured fried chicken thigh topped with a fried egg, sambal sauce, caramelised onion, and cucumber slices served in a bread bun. Many Singaporeans took to social media to express their outrage at this snubbing of rice.
Despite the critics, the nasi lemak burger has managed to win many people over. Fast food fans waited up to 75 minutes to gets their hands on a burger and it has completely sold out across Singapore since the launch.
Well, if you can't beat them, join them.