McDonald’s Japan Spring 2016 Menu: Camembert Teritama Burger & Hokkaido Namaeboshu “Names Wanted” Burger

McDonalds Japan

I was attracted by the posters advertising the new limited edition Camembert Teritama Burger which is a pork patty topped with an egg and served in a teriyaki-like sauce. You can also opt to have Ume plum powder with your fries, which is very Japanese (and it’s only available in the Land of the Rising Sun). I read about a new nameless burger made with Hokkaido potatoes and bacon that I was keen to check out too.

Japan McDonalds

I have been bugging my better half to make space in our stomach for a meal at McDonald’s Japan. I like visiting McDonald’s in other countries coz they’re so much more awesome than our own. I started my passion when I was studying in Australia, and since then I’ve eaten at the Golden Arches at many countries, from Germany to Sri Lanka to Korea to Thailand.

McDonalds Japan Spring 2016

They have an English menu in McDonald’s Japan but it only lists the regular menu items. I wanted the special and limited edition sets so I had to order by pointing and guessing what each option was. Unfortunately, this means that I missed out on the Sakura Cherry McFizz. It was there in bright pink but I thought it meant Large so I didn’t order it. It was just a 30 yen (RM 1.50) upgrade. The Ume plum powder for the fries was also 30 yen for a sachet.

Camembert Teritama Burger Spring 2016 Set (690 yen or RM 30)
カマンベールてりたま

Camembert Teritama Burger Japan

This is the new 2016 Camembert Teritama Burger! It’s made with a pork patty with teriyaki sauce, egg, lettuce, and delicious gooey Camembert cheese inside a sesame seed bun. I was quite impressed with the use of Camembert cheese but it was the juiciness of the pork patty coupled with the sweet teriyaki sauce that sealed the deal.

Camembert Teritama Burger

It tasted so good with the locally made Camembert and egg.

Teriyaki McBurger (310 yen or RM 14)
てりやきマックバーガー

Teriyaki McBurger

My better half went for a Teriyaki McBurger. It was decent enough but I thought it was rather unimaginative given the wide range of other options out there which you can only get in Japan. Haha. To be fair, this pork patty is local so in a way, it’s a Japan only burger too.

Names Wanted “Namaeboshu” Burger (390 yen or RM 18)
名前募集バーガー

Names Wanted Burger

Namaeboshu literally means “Names Wanted”. This is the new item which hasn’t been given a name yet. McDonald’s Japan is asking for people to name it for a chance to win a year’s worth of this burger! It contains a delicious top, middle and bottom bun with a beef patty, onion relish, Cheddar cheese, awesome bacon slices and a generous scoop of beautifully buttery mashed potatoes from Hokkaido. It was a symphony of perfection!

McDonalds Nameless Burger

This burger very aptly comes in an special unmarked box.

Namaeboshu Burger

The onion sauce has a hint of burnt soy sauce and the hot potatoes topping it is soooo buttery it’s sinful! I got it a la carte for JPY 390. The beef is local and the Cheddar cheese is from Hokkaido as well. The bun is the best thing about this burger though, it’s a very rich and buttery brioche dough. It’s a lot better than the regular sesame ones. Get into my belly!

Hokkaido Potatoes

I really enjoyed this Hokkaido Names Wanted Burger. It represents everything right about McD in Japan – they have frequent limited edition items. This is true of other Japan fast food chains as well since Lotteria came out with a Shinkansen meal for JPY 1,000 in Hokkaido only which has a pork rib burger in the soon-to-be-launched H5 bullet train box. Plus, the Namaeboshu a.k.a. Giyu Innovation Burger (北のいいとこ牛(ぎゅ)っとバーガー) is made with local Hokkaido ingredients.

McD Japan

I dragged my dear for a 40-minute round trip walk in the -9 degree Celsius snow to visit the nearest McDonald’s in Sapporo and I didn’t regret it. 9/10, will eat again!

Hokkaido Soup Stand

Hokkaido Soup Stand

WTF!!!! I can hear you guys scream from over here. smirk Don’t worry, we had 2 meals at Michelin star places in Hokkaido so there’s lots of good food write-ups coming up. This was actually our very first meal in Japan. We were on the way to our ryokan (traditional full service Japanese inn) so we didn’t want to spoil our appetite since we had a complete kaiseki (multi course formal Japanese dinner) due in a few hours.

Hokkaido Soup Chitose

Thus, we decided to grab something light to eat at New Chitose Airport while waiting for the shuttle to pick us up. My better half wanted to eat soup so we came here. Personally, my choice was beef tongue, very popular in Japan, but she doesn’t like beef. I can eat just about anything and I was very happy with the Hokkaido in the title so here we came.

エビとブロッコリーの北海道有機トマトクリーム
Shrimp and Broccoli in Hokkaido Organic Tomato Cream (JPY 910 or RM 38)

Hokkaido Soup Stand Set

This was my order. You can have it by itself for JPY 530 (S) or JPY 690 (M) and I opted for the smallest size since I didn’t want to ruin my appetite. You can have Set A (Hokkaido white rice, sprouted brown rice, circle bread of Hokkaido wheat + one drink) for JPY 380 extra or Set B (just one of the 3 starches, no drink) for a JPY 160 supplement. I opted for the full set and went with Hokkaido white rice (200 grams) and an iced coffee.

Hokkaido Shrimp Organic Tomato Cream

The rice was nice and fluffy and came locally so that was delicious. The real star was the huge and juicy shrimps though. It was my first preview of the wonderful and abundant seafood available in Hokkaido and I fell in love right away. It went very well with the organic tomato soup base with cream. The cream is local too, Hokkaido is a big dairy producer.

北海道白菜と豚肉の中華鍋
Wok of Hokkaido Chinese Cabbage and Pork (JPY 520 or RM 22)

Hokkaido Pork Soup

RM 22 for a soup seems a bit steep but the prices here are actually decent if you don’t convert. A regular meal per pax is usually around JPY 2,000 (RM 85) so it’s best not to convert. Haha. It’s a good thing I brought a fair amount of yen so we could eat whatever we wanted. The pork here was decent and the soup tasted good enough but I preferred mine. My dear had this and shared my rice.

Chitose Airport

I thought this was a good start to our Japan trip. It wasn’t over-the-top delicious or luxurious but that’s good coz we wanted to fit the kaiseki in later. Plus, since our first meal was so humble, the two other Michelin star restaurants we went to, the splurging on uni (sea urchin) with rice, the trio of snow crab, king crab and hairy crab is made all the more special. For that, Hokkaido Soup Stand served its purpose and we were both happy with what we had. Stay tuned for more! :)

Posted: 1:01 am Japan time (GMT/UTC +9)

Konnichiwa from Hokkaido!

Snowing

Brr…it’s a bone chilling -13 Celsius in Hokkaido right now. こんにちは! We’re here on our annual overseas trip and decided to book a room in a classic Japanese ryokan complete with kaiseki dinner for the first night. It’s been snowing non-stop since we arrived and the fresh powder makes it hard to walk around. I neglected to bring proper cold weather boots but at least my parka is very warm.

Sapporo Snow

It’s interesting to hear that getting a voice SIM card is practically impossible in Japan. You need to be a resident in order to get one. However, we managed to get a data SIM from the airport. Yup, you can buy almost anything from a vending machine in the Land of the Rising Sun. It’s JPY 3,000 (about RM 110) for 1 GB.

SIM Card Vending Machine

Another thing I love about Japan is that their combini (convenience stores) have a wide range of interesting and unusual snacks and food items. I have been to many 7-Eleven (called 7 & i Holdings here) and Lawson stores while we were here. It’s not very hard when you can find more than one in a block. I have taken to eating the onigiri when I want a quick bite.

Onigiri

Oh, and the density of vending machines is mind-boggling too. There’s more than two per city block as well and they pop up at the most random places. Here’s the one below our apartment in Hokkaido. You can get both hot AND cold drinks from them.

Vending-Machine

My favorite is corn pottage! smirk
(Yup, you can get savory drinks in cans here)

Corn Pottage

It’s still winter in Sapporo and the temperatures frequently drop below zero. The highest was -3 degrees Celsius and the lowest was -16 degrees Celsius when we arrived. That means the weather didn’t breach 0 degrees Celsius the entire day, needless to say a positive number! We’re having a lot of fun though, there’s nothing quite like having a hot onsen bath outdoors while the snow falls on you.

Japan

It feels amazing! :)

Snowball

I’ll blog again soon. Check out my Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and Facebook for live updates!

Posted: 7:37 pm Japan time (GMT/UTC +9)

Wakudoki Your Way to Tokyo

I’ve read a lot of articles on the net trying to explain what the term “Wakudoki” mean – they range from “heart pumping, adrenaline racing” to “sprained neck” (haha wtf?). I’m here to tell you the official meaning of “Wakudoki”:

  • Waku-Waku” is a term in Japanese used to describe when your heart is pumping with joy and you can’t sit still
  • Doki-Doki” is Japanese for the sound of your heartbeat

Okay, I know that second bit from my college years watching anime.

Thus, “Wakudoki” is the creative expression for the joy you feel when your heart is pumping with excitement…and you can win a trip to Tokyo just by dancing the Wakudoki dance! :)

wakudoki

Thinking about winning a trip to Tokyo is giving me the “wakudoki” feeling. I’ve been wanting to go for ages! It’s one of the few countries where I haven’t been to, and it’s so close nowadays and since the visa requirements have been reduced (it’s now visa on arrival) we’ve always planned for our next trip to be to Japan.

Did you know that Japan has the most Michelin star restaurants after France?

Just thinking of eating at Sushi Saito by Takashi Saito or Ryugin by Seiji Yamamoto gives me the “Wakudoki” feeling. :)

There are 13 Michelin star restaurants in Tokyo alone as of 2014!

It’s time to WakuDoki Your My Way to Tokyo. I love the Wakudoki dance! It’s a fun way by Toyota to engage the youth of the world. I’ve seen dance covers on YouTube and I thought they were hilarious! I think I can make this work since it’s quite simple.

waku doki

Still confused? Don’t worry! The site will guide you through the steps of the Wakudoki dance!

wakudoki dance

It’s so easy everyone can do the Wakudoki! Just use your smartphone or notebook so you can access the front camera/webcam and start with the “Beginner Mode”.

wakudoki toyota

You’ll be given a tutorial video where you can simulate the Wakudoki dance simply by following an animated silhouette of the dance moves.

Once you’ve familiarized yourself with the steps, check out “Expert Mode”! This mode doesn’t have a guide to help you out so you have to memorize the steps!

There are two rounds to the Wakudoki Your Way to Tokyo contest! The user whose video gets the highest number of views will win a “Beats by Dr. Dre” earphones at the end of each round. There will be one winner from each country! :)

The most remarkable dance video wins a trip for two to Tokyo!

wakudoki japan

Yes, there will again be one winner per country so every country (including Malaysia) will have a grand prize of a trip for two to Tokyo! Join the Wakudoki dance at www.wakudoki.asia to do the hottest dance in town now!

Zuiho Daiko performance @ Sibu Gateway

zuiho daiko header

Zuiho Daiko is a professional taiko (Japanese drum) group with intellectual disabilities from Nagasaki, Japan. The Rajang Community Service in conjunction with the Sibu Community Services Association (of which the Agape umbrella falls under – the SCSA is apparently the jumbrella) organized the event for the Kanowit, Sibu and Kuching leg of their tour.

The performers were amazing – as event organizers, we were concerned about the acoustics of the venue since it’s an open space, and you don’t need to be a rocket scientist (or the modern cellular biologist/nano physicist equivalent) to know that sound waves attenuates in such conditions.

enthusiastic

However, the taiko drums were really loud and it was an amazing experience to watch them perform.

The show started out with an enthusiastic sonic assault from the taiko drums. Taiko drums are traditional Japanese percussion instruments that were used in feudal warfare. The taiko drums beats signals the troops to advance, retreat or call on allies to jump in.

zuiho players

I love the speech by the Japanese representative that stresses how Japan is now a peaceful country and offers an olive branch to all nations. I guess that strikes a note with the older generation since there was thunderous applause after that statement. Historically, Japan invaded, I mean, occupied, Malaysia (and other Asian countries) during World War II.

There was another great publicity stunt by the leader of the taiko drum troupe when he jumped out from backstage with our local Sarawak drum to perform.

sarawak

The Sarawak drum was given as a souvenir to the drum troupe and this scene was totally unrehearsed and impromptu – the Japanese delegation did not even know about the souvenir until just before the performance when it was handed over.

…beats from the Land of the Rising Sun
(this was one of my press release titles that was rejected and I just wanted to publish it on my blog ;))

zuiho ending

The Zuiho Daiko ensemble performed for 40 minutes before the show ended. The area was packed, the crowd was happy, and overall the event was a success. It was tiring to be a volunteer for charity work, but strangely rewarding as well.

zuiho pose

The full postmortem of the event organization will be up soon. Cheers!

Zuiho Daiko drum troupe from Nagasaki, Japan

zuiho daiko

The Zuiho Daiko drum troupe is a team of five people with intellectual disabilities hailing from Nagasaki, Japan. The Japanese drummers (together with 17 family and other support staff) arrived on Thursday night and will be performing later this evening at 6:30 pm at the Sibu Gateway.

zuiho drummer

This is the actual Japanese Taiko drummer that we used for the massive billboard promoting the event. He was ecstatic at seeing himself featured in the billboard and immediately posed for a photo in front of it. Heh!

salad

The organizing committee brought them on a city tour yesterday morning and introduced them to several local delicacies – this is the salad fruit, which they found oishii (delicious) – whether out of politeness or genuine ardor, I could not be certain. ;)

chicken

They were also very interested in the way we sell our chickens at the central market – alive, and bundled in newspaper wrappings with nylon for easy carrying for slaughter at the privacy of the purchaser’s own home. I told them it’s easier for the sellers too, since live chickens tend to run around.

pagoda

We brought them to the famous seven storey pagoda as well. One episode I found interesting was the level of amazement they experienced when they chanced upon a cluster of mimosa. Mimosa pudica is a herb that grows in the wild over here and it’s very sensitive to touch. It closes its leaves under any stimuli and they found it sugoi (amazing).

fat

The city tour ended at the Agape Center, our local facility for people with disabilities which includes Methodist Care Center, Sibu Autistic Association, Special Olympics Sibu and other organizations under the umbrella group. I know I look obese in the photo, it’s due to the double shirt I was wearing, tucked in some more.

press release

I am a volunteer in organizing this event and have been doing press releases for the local newspapers for the past week. The performance will be held at 6:30 pm this evening at the Sibu Gateway followed by another performance in Kuching at 3 pm tomorrow (Sunday) at tHe Spring.

OMG! I have been writing so many press releases that I’m starting to repetitively drive in the dates and times of the performances. ;)

rtm interview

I’ve also been involved in radio interviews to promote the event (which also ends up as an excuse for a press release for our week-long publicity blitz ;)) and it’s been a very long and tiring week, but it’s for a good cause.

pk

It’s a good chance for everyone to catch the performance of the Zuiho Daiko troupe, which has performed in two Paralympic Games and a UN function. The event will hopefully foster better understanding between the public and people with intellectual disabilities to promote awareness and tolerance.

Charity work is surprisingly fulfilling and I’ve learnt a lot in volunteering for the Zuiho Daiko event. See ya all tonight!

Tadas from Coca-Cola, Japan

tadas coke

Tadas is one of Coca-Cola (Japan) product lines. The Japanese
Coca-Cola seems to have a larger portfolio of drinks and they’re nicely
packaged in a very unique 300 ml aluminum bottle for RM 6.99 each. It
seems that this novel aluminum bottle is common in Japan, as they are
other offerings in the same form factor, all by the Coke drinks line.

tadas cap coke

Tadas is one of them, and there are others in the same packaging as
well, like the Fanta! Grape drink and one mineral water (Aquarius –
also in the aluminum bottle form factor), amongst other things. I found
this Japanese import to be very appealing, due to the all aluminum
bottle (not can, bottle) casing.

tadas drink coke

It contains 300 ml of liquid instead of the usual 325 ml in a can.
Tadas tastes like what an isotonic (otherwise known as sports) drink
tastes like – nothing special, it’s slightly bubbly and thirst
quenching. It’s just the intriguing aluminum bottle form factor that
got me – interesting Japanese import for RM 6.99.

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