Ever since McDonald’s opened its doors in 1979 and sold the worldwide record number of hamburgers ever sold in a single day at Liat Towers, Singaporeans have been lovin’ it for the last few decades and show no signs of slowing down. Here are 10 reasons why this fast food giant has dished out millions of burgers and who-knows-how-many fries for so long and is still a firm favourite on our island nation.
They are consistent
I had my first double cheeseburger as a small boy in the 1980s back when there was still a children’s slide and play area at the Sembawang Road outlet, and I swear it still tastes just as good today. In fact, its price hasn’t even gone up that much, considering that chicken rice costed $1.50 back then but $3 today!
Compared to other fast food chains who don’t really pay much attention to their interior design, McDonald’s regularly updates their look, which gives them a far livelier vibe. Not only does this make it popular with the teenagers, it also means that it usually brightly lit, welcoming and the seating is fairly new and comfortable.
90s kids will never, ever forget the elderly grandmother talking about her grandson at a McDonald’s restaurant in an advertisement that accompanied an entire generation. The words “带他出来很麻烦，他只喜欢McDonald’s” (Bringing him out is very troublesome, he only likes McDonald’s) absolutely resonated with Singaporeans of all walks of life and became an instant hit. In more recent times, I am sure it is hard to get that McDonald’s jingle out of your head. BALAP BA BA BA!
Comparatively less greasy
Although it might be a bit presumptuous to say that fast food isn’t greasy, but compared to the other fast food restaurants today, McDonald’s just tastes that little bit cleaner and slightly less heavy, especially their fries…which I will move on to immediately.
Best fries ever
To be honest, I never had a thing for fries as a child. I thought they were tasteless, especially after having so many different types of fries from other fast food chains as well – the now defunct A&W’s curly fries were my favourite. It was only when I became a teen that I realised the awesome taste of a freshly fried McDonald’s fry; in fact, I now eat them without any sauce at all. I can’t really put a finger on it; its just more fragrant and savoury, even without salt (which I sometimes order, so that I can get fresh fries).
Did I mentioned I loved A&W’s curly fries? When McDonald’s decided to have their own, Singaporeans islandwide rejoiced, including me. We now had not one, but TWO types of fries to choose from.
I am sure most of us here have binged on a box of 20-piece McDonald’s nuggets at least once in our lifetime; I am guilty of several. While most chicken nuggets are filled with flour and have very little resemblance to chicken meat, at least McDonald’s chicken nuggets have recognisable chunks of meat. Not to mention it comes with…
When McDonald’s ran out of curry sauce because of a disruptions at US West Coast ports, it sparked a mini riot and protest in Singapore because we no longer had our highly celebrated local condiment. I swear it has some kind of drug in it. And when the supply came back 4 months later, McDonald’s stopped giving us more than 1 additional tub of sauce. Dang.
Singaporeans love their spice, and when McDonald’s released the McSpicy burger to fight the dominance of another popular spicy chicken burger from another renowned fast food restaurant, they clearly did something right. In fact, there are some people who refer to the McSpicy as the McLaosai because it was so spicy that it induced diarrhoea (I’m one of them), but it was a price they were willing to pay.
A recent addition, McDonald’s has done something no other global fast food restaurant chain has officially or explicitly done – allow diners to build their own burgers from the ground up. More gourmet selections are available, although they can be quite pricey; but I personally think it is worth it. I’m just a sucker for rocket in my burger.
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