Thursday, May 31, 2007

Burger King in Jakarta

When I first moved to Indo back in 1990 I vaguely remember there was a Burger King then it just disappeared. And once McDonalds stepped into the mix they totally gobbled up the majority of the burger franchise market share. That really sucked too because I don’t really care for their burgers. Back in college when I was short of cash I often had to choose between the 99 cent double cheese burger at Micky D’s or the 99 cent Whopper at Burger King. Both worked out to $1.03 with tax. I almost always went for the latter because it had a better flavor plus it was loaded with veggies so I was under the impression that I was eating healthy. Here in GZ they do not have a Burger King either so I have actually been missing the good old Whopper and their onion rings. I was pretty stoked to find that they have reopened Burger King in Jakarta.

The new Burger King is situated in Senayan City, the swanky new up market mall in Jakarta. They have a bunch of branded clothing stores in there and a cool art gallery but overall the mall is quite drab. They just opened up a GAP store in there too. I like the GAP. So the décor of the new BK Is all fresh and clean with their trade mark catch phrase plastered on the wall reading ‘HAVE IT YOUR WAY’. That is another thing I liked about BK, I could add and remove components from my burger as I wished. The area of the restaurant is not too big and I heard there were long lines of people waiting to try their wares. I went in at about 3pm on a weekday and there were not too many people in line.

The menu was very standard. I do not understand why we do not reap the benefit of specials in Indonesia. Every time I am in Hong Kong or Singapore I always see a variety of special burgers on offer at the usual franchises. In Indo we are always stuck with the standard shit. At Micky D we don’t even have apple pies or milk shakes. I was hoping to find that BK had come in with a barrage of specials; instead I found they were even sold out of some of their standard items. Out of the burgers in the picture below I believe 4 were not available.

I must admit that I prefer Chicken Tenders to McNuggets. But somehow the quality of these tenders was just substandard. They were a little soggy and not hot enough. Also they did not have any cool dipping sauces to choose from. You would think they would at least do that to set themselves apart. I also love the onion rings at BK. But again the ones I had that day were just not crunchy enough. They tasted micro waved. I wonder why other franchises do not offer onion rings. They are a magnificent supplement to any burger based meal. Could BK actually have a patent on the onion ring? The fries were alright but I have to give the better fry prize to Micky D. In all fairness they make a much better French fry, they always have. Or are they freedom fries?

I ordered a Black Pepper Burger. I think this photograph can speak for its self. It was very sloppy. Not what I was looking forward to but nonetheless better than the Big Mac for sure.

I think the food franchise wars are really fun to watch plus I hope that some healthy competition will force the bastards to come up with more interesting offers. The TV ads in the states were hilarious, Jack in the Box competing with Taco Bell, and Mc D with BK. There are some real creative cats behind those commercials. With only one outlet so far in JKT, BK has a lot of ground to cover if they want to stand up to McDonalds, plus they had better get some fried chicken and rice on their menu soon. My favorite brand in the US was Jack in the Box. It is really popular in Hawaii but I am not sure if they have too many outlets in the mainland. The variety of burgers they offer is awesome, I love the Sourdough Jack. They also had the most mouth watering Jalapeño Poppers stuffed with melted cheese. Very cheap and unhealthy but ideal for munchies. IN Indo I would have to say my favorite burger franchise would have to be Wendy’s. They buns are really fresh and not too soft, plus you can’t beet a square burger. What is your favorite burger franchise?

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