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Sunday, June 24, 2012

McChicken @McDonald's Islamabad (Pakistan): A Bastardized Version of a Burger

Even the packing is not made in Pakistan, all packages had Arabic on them instead of Urdu

What is popular as a burger these days used to be a bun-kebab for decades in Pakistan when not many knew of McDonald's even in the US. McDonald's has come a long way and has presence in countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Rwanda and Burundi. Pakistan is also in the list (nothing to be proud of though).

Despite all controversies, these fast food chains have survived. Actually flourished and they are very popular with children and young people around the world. I will also add students because it is one of the cheapest meals you can get in many of the European or North American countries where a proper meal costs more than what McDonald's charge. It is a budget meal indeed and many a times, it is a food for low-income families in OECD countries.

I have to confess that it is addictive however, at McDonald's Pakistan (in Islamabad )- get ready to have the worst burger of your life. I'd no choice but to buy one during my stay and I regret it and my advice is: please if you have to eat a burger, get a bun-kebab instead or get anything but DO NOT EAT AT McDONALD'S (F-9, Islamabad). I opted for McChicken (take out) and the rest was nothing short of a nightmare.

First, price tag is heavy in a country like Pakistan where it starts at about 5USD with NO DOLLAR MEAL which is being offered in the US. My question is, we beat the bush about poverty and a dollar a day income levels of a large number of people in this region so how come we do NOT offer a dollar meal in Pakistan (and other such countries) and why???
Chicken patty was ridiculously thin with no taste

Second, quality of the McChicken is substandard and it's nutritional value is vague compared to the international standard McChickens at McDonald's elsewhere such as Sweden, France, USA, Canada, Korea, China, Japan and the West Indies to name a few places where I tried it) Pakistani McDonald's bun as we call it or the sandwich was stale and it smelled old and super dry. On top, it had no lettuce or pickle inside it but simply a patty slapped with mayonnaise and a cheese slice - there you go, try lovin it!!. The patty was ridiculously thin and insipid and wasn't fried properly - it was chicken mixed with God knows what and it did NOT tasted as chicken at all, with 70% of batter and breadcrumbs that were the actual taste of it and 30% chicken with other ingredients was quite a shock and a disaster for me. Come'on, not in Pakistan was my first thought - a country where a kilogram of chicken boneless sells for 2USD, 500gm Mayonnaise sells for 80 cents and a cheese pack of 12 slices sells for 1.2USD. I had high expectation for all these reasons but I was too naive. Before choosing an awful burger my advice is: think before you eat. Please.

I have spent a whole week living under a dollar a day in Islamabad (this deserves a separate post) and I assure you that I didn't missed a thing when it comes to food in my dollar a day budget: I'd cherries, strawberries, mangoes, yogurt, milk, bread and pretty much everything I wanted to eat. I fail to understand why people in Pakistan wanna eat a low quality McDonald's burger starting at Rs.435/- (about 5USD) when they have so many great choices. Last time, we went to Marriott for a dinner - it cost me Rs.2000 for 3 persons with great service, ambiance and really great food that was served. Now, if I have to decipher it at McDonald's then for the same money that is Rs. 2000, all one will get is 4 substandard burgers. Viola!

If one would ask me where to eat in Pakistan then I will highly recommended eateries known amongst labors, bus drivers etc. called dhabas or roadside restaurants that sell mouth watering, finger licking full meal set that includes a curry platter, salad and chapattis right out of the tandoors for merely Rs.45 or 50 cents. If we bring it down to local burgers we have really fantastic choices by these nameless, small shops or stalls making great burgers that can compete with any foreign franchise...so why these stupid Mc burgers?

I don't think that I'd ever eat at McDonald's of Pakistan but I'll continue to explore them elsewhere around the world. At the same time, I'm happy that I tried McChicken only to know what crap is being served in McDonald's franchise of Pakistan which if tested overseas will surely turn out to be of a dubious quality. I fall sick with it and I'll never recommend anybody to visit F-9 McDonald's. At the same time, I feel pity for all those families who were munching on it quite happily not knowing what they were eating.

I have to make a confession that I'm fine eating McDonald's once in a while but my first ever experience in Pakistan left a very, very bad taste in my mouth. I wanted to complain and tried their website and it was equally lame. There is no number where I can register my complain or ask for a refund.

McDonald's Pakistan can do a better job and for the sake of Pakistani children I strongly believe that the patty and the buns - both should go through high/intense quality control before it is served to our kids and the rest.


  1. Hey,

    Thanks for taking the time to comment on my bpost. Sorry for getting back to your question so late...I was out of town and had limited access to internet. My follow-up comment to your question is posted on my blog: Kiss My Roti.

  2. @roti fan:
    You are welcome. I'll revisit your blog.

  3. I am really very sorry that you faced this situation in Islamabad. I didn't know MC Donald is offers this kind of worst food in Islamabad.

    franchise ownership

    1. @Andaz Luise: They are selling trash at a very expensive rate!