McDonald's nasi lemak burger: 8 other localised fast-food items across the globe

Nasi Lemak Burger by McDonald's.
Nasi Lemak Burger by McDonald's. PHOTO: MCDONALD'S

SINGAPORE - In less than two weeks, the McDonald's nasi lemak burger has sold out, with McDonald's ending sales of the burger on Tuesday (July 25).

Along with the burger, two other locally inspired items on the fast-food chain's menu to celebrate National Day - the Chendol McFlurry and Bandung McFizz - were also taken off the menu.

Launched on July 13, the menu, which also included Coconut Pie, attracted much buzz.

McDonald's cited "overwhelming demand" as the reason for the products selling out and being taken off the menu.

Singapore is not the only country where fast food has been customised to satisfy local tastebuds.

Here are seven other fast-food items that cater to local populations.

1. KFC: Congee in China

Also served in Singapore, breakfast congee, or porridge, is a popular breakfast item that has long been on the menu at KFC outlets in China.


A dish in KFC's breakfast congee range. PHOTO: KFC.SG/FACEBOOK

Served with chicken, shallots and spring onions, the breakfast staple is reportedly the fast-food chain's best-selling item for breakfast.

2. McDonald's: Masala Dosa Brioche in India


The Masala Dosa Brioche. PHOTO: MCDONALD'S INDIA/FACEBOOK

In January this year, it was announced McDonald's would be rolling out the Masala Dosa Brioche to 44 restaurants in India. Inspired by the popular Indian breakfast staple masala dosa, the burger comprises a grilled vegetarian patty along with a molaga podi (a type of chilli powder) sauce.

The burger, released first in Mumbai on Jan 13, joins a number of other localised products on McDonald's menus in India. They include the McAlloo Tikki, a vegetarian burger with a potato patty.

McDonald's is an old hand at customising food for regional markets, offering items such as a McLobster in Canada this year (it was a summer special with lobster meat, diced celery, lettuce and salad dressing in a hotdog bun) as well as a McArabia in the Middle East (two grilled chicken patties with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and garlic sauce in a pita).

3. KFC: Karaage chicken and rice bowls in Japan

At KFC outlets in Japan, chicken is served in the Japanese karaage style, which involves marinating the chicken in soya sauce, ginger and garlic before it is fried.

The fast-food chain also offers rice bowls, in flavours such as Japanese Teriyaki and Spanish Salpiaco.

4. Starbucks: Sakura Blossom drinks in Japan


A sakura-inspired creation at Starbucks. PHOTO: STARBUCKS JP/FACEBOOK

Starbucks' sakura-flavoured concoctions are a spring staple in Japan, utilising the Japanese favourite of cherry blossom as a flavour for its milky offerings. This year, the limited-time menu included the Sakura Blossom Cream Frappucino with Crispy Swirl, which came with a topping of pink chocolate shavings and crunchy rice pieces.

There is also a Sakura Blossom Cream Latte. Both drinks are served in matching cherry blossom cups and Starbucks has even designed a "Sakura Snap" photo frame, retrievable via a QR code, so that customers can commemorate their drink with a prettily framed Instagram shot.

5. Dunkin' Donuts: Kimchi doughnuts in South Korea

Other than standard flavours such as a glazed doughnut, Dunkin' Donuts in South Korea offers varieties such as red bean and glutinous rice doughnuts.

Other unique items include sweet potato muffins, sesame tofu rings as well as savoury fried croquettes filled with kimchi, that classic Korean accompaniment at all meals.

6. Burger King: Hamburger meets jelly doughnut in Israel


The SufganiKing. PHOTO: BURGER KING ISRAEL/FACEBOOK

To celebrate Hanukka in Israel in 2016, Burger King introduced the SufganiKing. A sufgania is a jelly doughnut. BK's take filled the doughnut with ketchup (but kept the powdered sugar topping), and used two to sandwich chargrilled beef patty, lettuce and tomatoes. Do not forget the pickles and onions.

7. Taco Bell: Cheetos Quesadilla in the Philippines

Take a quesadilla, fill it with jalapeno-flavoured crunchy Cheetos, add lots of cheese. The idea was so genius, or gross depending on your fast-food tolerance, that online websites such as Foodbeast and Mashable immediately wrote it up when it was launched in 2016.

8. Pizza Hut's cheeseburger pizza crust in the UK


Pizza Hut's Cheeseburger Crust Pizza. PHOTO: PIZZA HUT RESTAURANTS UK/FACEBOOK

Why dither between pizza and burgers when you can have both? Pizza Hut introduced this particular Frankenfood in the United Kingdom in 2013. The pizza comes with little burger patties and melted cheese tucked into the crust.

SOURCES: CNN, Quartz, Refinery29, McDonald's Arabia, CBC News, Harvard Business Review, Business Insider, People.com, Mashable.com, Seriouseats.com