The New Maharaja Mac, McDonald’s

J: I still remember the day McDonald’s opened its doors in India in 1996. I was 9 years old, and my parents took us to McDonalds for lunch. McDonald’s had run a 3/4th page ad on the front page of the The Times of India. The ad asked the reader to cut out the ad and carry it to the nearest McDonald’s and exchange it for a free ice-cream. My parents bought a second copy of the TOI that day because my 5 year-old sister insisted that she wanted her own cutout/free ice-cream too. We got to the restaurant and the Manager informed the crowd there that the ice-cream machine had broken due to the high volume of ice-cream that they had to churn out. So everyone got a chocolate or strawberry milkshake instead. That made 9 year-old me and my 5 year-old sister very happy. That’s always been a thing with McDonald’s; they always go beyond just good customer service.

The ‘vintage’ MaharajaMac, the mutton version, that launched in India way back in 1996 was HUGE. As a kid, I remember not being able to eat more than 1/3rd of it, but it was my favourite burger. Years later, when McDonalds’ hand was forced to stop serving mutton products in their menu, the Filet-O-Fish and McChicken became the go-to burgers we’d eat at McDonald’s.

McDonald’s is constantly reinventing their menu to appeal more to its wide customer base. The recent Schezwan series got mixed reviews and we, personally, were not big fans. So when we heard that they have a new Maharaja Mac Burger, it got us wondering and we thought we’d give it a try. We enquired with an outlet Manager, who said that the patty was an ‘all new’ recipe and was flame grilled. An all new recipe and flame grilled; sounded reassuring.

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We ordered two large MaharajaMac meals; the veg and non-veg versions of the burger, one Coke was swapped for a Strawberry milkshake. We got to our table and we took our first bite on the count of three. (yes, we do that when we’re trying something for the first time). 🙂

Let’s jump right to it. Ladies & Gentlemen; we have a winner!

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E: The Chicken MaharajaMac – Flame-grilled patties, topped with a lip smacking Habanero Sauce, and pickled Jalapeño slices. Fresh tomato slices ease the fiery combo of the sauce and jalapeño; the lettuce and onion slices add the required crunch and the cheese slice brings everything together making it a (huge) perfect bite. The quality of ingredients is impressively fresh; a huge pat on the back for McDonald’s, considering the scale on which they operate. They’ve definitely got great vendors that they work with. The flame-grilled patties were not the usual patties that we’ve had at McDonald’s. These were different; a good different. They were juicy, smokey and packed with flavour. The burger’s got a very ‘premium‘ feel to it. By far, one of the best tasting burgers we’ve had at McDonald’s. (A steaming hot Filet-O-Fish is hard to beat 🙂 ) We’ve already told family and friends to try out this flamed-grilled burger.

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The Veg Maharaja Mac – Cheese and Corn patties, with chunky cocktail sauce and pickled Jalapeño slices. Loved the crunch of the lettuce and onions. Almost felt like having a cheesy Jalapeño Cheese Popper Burger with corn. There’s something about corn and jalapeños that go so well together. The crumb coated patties retained it’s crunchiness till the last bite. I love that about all the Vegetarian burgers at McDonald’s.

The new MaharajaMac is totally worthy of being McDonald’s flagship burger, and is definitely the best tasting burger among all fast food chains in the city. If you enjoy smokey chicken, you should definitely give it a try; and for vegetarians, the Cheese & Corn burger won’t disappoint. 🙂

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